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KIA e-Niro 2019 Road Test

The 64kWh KIA e-Niro is not just another electric car. Apologies for using a hackneyed old phrase, but it’s a ‘Game Changer’. It not only goes further on a single full charge than any other EV of its size, it’s also spacious, quick and fun to drive.

KIA E -Niro 2019 Front Cornering Speed

KIA claims an open road range of 301 miles (WLTP 282 miles), and an impressive city range (where electric cars are at their best) of 382 miles. We put this to a proper test, covering 130 road miles, including severe city traffic jams, motorways and country roads through hilly areas with steep ascents and descents. At the end of our test, the range-meter still showed 210 kilometres, which is 131 miles, so even a couple of electric car chumps having fun and using its impressively linear 7.5 second 0-60 still managed a range of 261 miles.

KIA E -Niro 2019 F34 City Bush MINI

If we can do that, anyone can. And I reckon some of the electric car zealots could be turning in range mileages approaching 400.

KIA E -Niro 2019 Wheel

As well as range and performance, the e-Niro also impressed with its ride quality on 215/55 R17 tyres, that could be swapped for same size Michelin Cross Climates for an even more compliant ride as well as their cold weather benefits.

KIA E -Niro 2019 Load 1

As with other KIA Niros, it’s spacious, with decent front and rear legroom and a significant 451 litre load area with the seats up, making taxi work with the car a possibility. The load deck is a metre wide  and extends to 1,600mm long with the rear seatbacks down. (Though the rear seatbacks don’t fold flat and level.) Boot length rear seats up is 780mm.

KIA E -Niro 2019 Range Information

It’s crammed with tech and all the latest safety gear including the slightly annoying Lane Keep Assist and more relevant Forward Collision Avoidance assist that spots pedestrians jumping into its path and slams the brakes on.

KIA E -Niro 2019 Satnav Screen 1

Tech highlights include 8-inch touch-screen Tom-Tom navigation, DAB radio, 8 speaker JBL premium sound system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (both with voice control), Bluetooth, an inductive wireless phone charger. All the stuff everyone seems to want these days. And, of course, a rear parking camera, blind spot monitoring system and traffic sign recognition.

KIA E -Niro 2019 Drive Selector

Driving couldn’t be simpler. Big knob for forwards, neutral and reverse; steering wheel; two pedals and a brake hold function. If you want to get more complicated, there are four levels of regenerative braking to recharge the battery on descents controlled by ‘flappy paddles’ behind the steering wheel. The 4th level of regenerative braking actually brings the car to a complete stop.

KIA E -Niro 2019 Dials Showing Range

The speedo’s digital. The range-meter’s digital, so no distractions there. The driver gets an 8-way electric seat with adjustable lumbar supports. The passenger seat is height-adjustable. Everyone sits on leather. The interior fit and finish is first class.

KIA E -Niro 2019 Side Ascending Hill

We’re getting used to electric cars now. Tesla showed us that they could have a sensible range for everyday use. Renault/Nissan and BMW offer a good choice of electric cars and vans. KIA knew that just another electric car wouldn’t make the headlines. So came up with a better one that doesn’t just remove ‘range anxiety’, it puts a smile on your face.

More at KIA

(Early test of the smaller Hyundai Kona Electric with same 64kWh drivetrain at: /road-tests/hyundai/hyundai-kona-electric-64kwh-2018-road-test/)

KIA E -Niro 2019 R34 Highway

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