Kia e-Niro (2018 – 2022) Review
Kia e-Niro (2018 – 2022) At A Glance
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.