Kia e-Niro (2018 – 2022) Review

Kia e-Niro (2018 – 2022) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Kia e-Niro is an appealing electric SUV that offers a choice of two battery sizes and is more enjoyable to drive than a Nissan Leaf.

+Desirable electric SUV. Spacious. Impressive range up to 282 miles.

-Charging can take longer than many rivals. Anonymous looks.

New prices start from £28,785
Insurance Groups are between 20–29

Kia was quicker to market with its fully electric Kia e-Niro than many rival companies were with their EVs. And it stacks up well, with a decent driving range, comfort and practicality. Balanced against that are nondescript looks and strong used prices. However, it’s good to drive and practical when compared to a Hyundai Kona Electric or another of its Korean stablemate’s offerings, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric. Read on for our full Kia e-Niro review.

Just like the closely-related Hyundai Kona Electric, the Kia e-Niro caused plenty of ripples in the electric car world. It’s bigger than the Hyundai Kona Electric – it’s more of a rival to the Nissan Qashqai or the SEAT Ateca – but shared its 59kWh electric motor and can cover a claimed 282 miles between charges.

Unlike the Hyundai Kona Electric, a lower-powered version of the Kia e-Niro wasn’t offered in the UK. As a result, it was a fair bit more expensive than the Hyundai, as well as other electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen ID.3.

However, its interior feels distinctly premium – more convincingly so than the Hyundai Kona Electric. It’s also well-equipped, with standard equipment including adaptive cruise control, a premium sound system and leather upholstery.

The Kia e-Niro’s boxy dimensions means there’s plenty of space for four adults, with lots of head, leg and shoulder room. The boot is usefully big and square in shape, with easier access than the Hyundai Kona Electric.

On the road, the Kia e-Niro’s acceleration from low speed is impressive. As soon as you hit the accelerator pedal, it surges forward with no hesitancy. 

That’s a welcome trait 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. 

The Kia e-Niro is a heavy SUV, and as such, it’s not the nimblest of handlers – but it’s eager enough to change direction and it doesn’t lean too much under cornering.

It’s at its best in town, where good visibility (aided by standard parking sensors and a reversing camera) makes it easy to squeeze in and out of spaces.

What’s most impressive about the Kia e-Niro is that the company beat many 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 (it’s actually 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.

Want the latest model? You'll need our Kia Niro EV 2022 Review.

Ask Honest John

Do new tyres for an electric car have less tread depth?

"I have just had my front tyres replaced and find the tread is only 6mm. The tyre company tell me that this is correct for an electric car. The tyres are Goodyear Efficient Grip Performance 2. Please advise as I am somewhat sceptical."
Based on the information available to us, we would expect a new example of this particular tyre to have at least 8mm of tread depth, so if these tyres have only 6mm of tread then we would suggest further investigation is required.
Answered by David Ross

What automatic SUV would you recommend for frequent short journeys?

"Which SUV auto is good for me? I do more short runs every week, around 120 miles. "
If you need an automatic SUV and frequently make short journeys we would suggest looking at a hybrid or pure electric car, such as the Kia Niro, Ford Kuga, Hyundai Tucson, Honda ZR-V hybrids and Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Ioniq 5 or BMW iX3 EVs.
Answered by David Ross

What electric car for £30k do you recommend?

"What is a recommended EV for up to £30k? My annual mileage is just under 10k. If a used car, can I trust a used battery?"
A nearly-new Kia Niro EV would be a good purchase. It's one of the best electric cars on the market, while it comes with a seven-year warranty (including the battery) which is useful if you're planning to keep it long-term. If you'd prefer something bigger, you might find a used Hyundai Ioniq 5 within budget. Alternatively, the MG 4 EV represents excellent value for money.
Answered by Andrew Brady

How often do hybrid cars need recharging?

"How often does the battery in a hybrid car need charging? I'm thinking of a Kia Niro and I do on average about 200 miles a week."
One of the big plus points of hybrid cars is that they do not need to be recharged at all. Whether it's a plug-in hybrid or a self-charging hybrid, both use the braking system to recharge the internal battery when slowing down. Even if the battery is fully discharged, the petrol engine still provides power so the car can be driven. The PHEV version of the Niro means you have the option to plug the car in and recharge the battery that way - if you do so it is possible to cover more miles without using petrol at all, but if you chose to do so you can rely solely on petrol and let the car provide electric assistance when it is available.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Kia e-Niro (2018 – 2022) cost?