Kia e-Niro (2019) Review
Kia e-Niro (2019) At A Glance
Just like the closely-related Hyundai Kona Electric, the Kia e-Niro is causing ripples in the electric car world. It's bigger than the Kona - more of a rival to the Nissan Qashqai and SEAT Ateca - but shares its 59kWh electric motor and can cover an impressive 282 miles between charges.
Unlike the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia's not offering a lower-powered version of the e-Niro in the UK - and, for the time being, it's only available in one 'First Edition' trim level. As a result, it's a fair bit more expensive than the Kona, not to mention other electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf.
You can see where your money is going, though. Its interior feels distinctly premium - more convincingly so than the Kona Electric. It's also well-equipped, with standard equipment including adaptive cruise control, a premium sound system and leather upholstery.
The e-Niro's boxy dimensions means there's plenty of space for four adults, with plenty of head, leg and shoulder room. The boot is usefully big and square in shape, with access easier than the Kona Electric.
To drive, the e-Niro's acceleration from low speed is impressive. As soon as you hit the accelerator pedal, it surges forward with no hesistancy. That's a perk of electric cars - you don't need to wait for the automatic gearbox to select the right gear or for the revs to build. It will just go, running from 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds. You do have to be careful not to spin the front wheels, however, even in the dry.
It's a heavy SUV and, as such, it's not the most nimblest of handlers - but it's eager enough to change direction and it doesn't lean too much under cornering.
The e-Niro is at its best in town, where good visibility (aided by standard parking sensors and reversing camera) makes it easy to squeeze in and out of spaces.
What's most impressive about the e-Niro is Kia has beaten the more mainstream manufacturers to producing a genuinely useable electric car. It's practical enough for day-to-day family use, doesn't feel like a compromise to drive (actually it's quite fun) and represents reasonable value for money. Its closest competitor is the Hyundai Kona Electric, but both are subtly different enough to cater for different markets.
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