Kia e-Niro (2019) Review

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Kia e-Niro (2019) At A Glance


+Desirable electric crossover SUV. Very spacious. Impressive 282-mile range. Seven-year warranty.

-Expensive compared to the Hyundai Kona Electric and Nissan Leaf. Demand is likely to exceed supply.

Insurance Group 28

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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Ask Honest John

Kia says my e-Niro shouldn't be jacked up, only lifted on a workshop hoist. What if I get a flat tyre?
"I just bought a Kia e-Niro 4+, it's awesome and exceeding expectations. I really want a space-saving spare wheel and can find one online. However, in the manual there is no mention of jacking points on the e-Niro and Kia say it shouldn't be jacked up, only lifted on a workshop hoist with 4 point supports. I understand the need for caution with that big battery underneath but it's not practical to have to be lifted onto a transporter to be taken to a workshop for a simple puncture. How can I safely change a wheel on my e-Niro and use a space saver to get to a tyre fitter of my choice? I'm old, but fit enough to change a wheel. Not many opinions one can trust nowadays, but I respect your down to earth views."
We picked this up with Kia directly and they said: "Kia does not provide a spare wheel with the e-Niro, however, it does provide a Tyre Mobility Kit (TMK) which can temporarily solve a punctured tyre until a final fix is completed soon after application. The e-Niro does have jacking points, however, utilising this without proper equipment is not recommended due to the weight of the vehicle and the positioning of the battery pack. All new Kia vehicles are sold with a year’s free roadside assistance, which can support customers who experience a puncture. This roadside assistance can be extended after the first year." Unfortunately, that means there isn't really an option for you to change the tyre yourself if you get a puncture. In that regard, I'd certainly recommend getting a breakdown policy on your e-Niro in case you do get a flat tyre.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
What's the best small, electric 4x4?
"I'm planning to use our 2008 Mini Cooper Clubman for a deposit on an electric 4x4, some kind of lease deal. The question is, what 4x4 do we need? We share our time between London and rural Suffolk, and the lanes have been particularly muddy and icy of late. It would also need to transport two cocker spaniels and have enough room in the back for baby seats as we have grandchildren (dogs and children not necessarily at the same time as we have access to other cars). So, as small as possible, decent off-road ability and ground clearance, funky, and able to travel between London and Suffolk easily in terms of range. Thanks."
The Jaguar I-Pace might do the job. It has an official range of up to 292 miles and is a fairly practical choice, but it's not cheap. Also consider the Audi e-tron or Mercedes EQC. Alternatively, if you're happy to compromise on the 4x4 requirement, consider the Peugeot e-2008 or Kia e-Niro. Both are very versatile small electric crossovers.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What winter or all-season tyres should I put on my electric car?
"I live in an area of Wales where we can get quite a lot of snow and ice in the winter. I have previously had 4x4s and fitted winter tyres but now have a Kia e-Niro with its original spec Michelins. I'm planning on fitting winter tyres soon but wonder if there is anything I need to be aware of in choosing for an electric car. Is there a specific winter tyre that you would recommend? I'm also wondering whether the Michelin Cross Climates may be as good as fitting specific winter tyres. Your advice would be much appreciated."
Michelin Cross Climates+ and other all-season tyres are a good middle ground for those who usually change between summer and winter tyres anyway. It saves the hassle and cost of getting them changed, as well as storing the alternate set for half of the year. There's nothing really worth considering in terms of buying tyres for an EV, though you could look at tyres that'll offer decent fuel economy. Here are the tyres I'd look at if I were you: Goodyear Vector 4Seasons Gen-2 are good in wet, dry and snowy weather. They're also quiet on the move. Continental AllSeasonContact are another great all-rounder for all-season performance, and they're good on fuel. But they aren't as quiet or refined as rivals. Goodyear UltraGrip 8 Performance are also great snow tyres. The Falken Euro All Season AS200 are good in the snow and they're quiet tyres, but not as good as rivals in wet weather. They're also not great on fuel economy. Michelin Cross Climate+ are good in dry and wet weather but aren't quite so good in the snow. But the Michelins aren't too pricey and there are lots of sizes available - which is a big plus.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Why is there such a long wait for new electric cars?
"Just tried to buy a Peugeot e-2008 from my local dealer, it had done 250 miles and was their demonstrator. However, Peugeot has said they can’t sell me that particular car. There is a six to seven-month wait for a similar vehicle. Can you recommend a similar vehicle in the same price range?"
There's a lot of demand for electric vehicles at the moment so it's not surprising to hear of a long waiting list for the Peugeot e-2008. Also consider the Kia e-Niro, Hyundai Kona Electric or maybe the MG ZS Electric.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Kia e-Niro (2019) cost?

Buy new from £20,740 (list price from £25,105)