The Kia e-Niro is a stylish looking, well-equipped electric SUV, with a big boot and a range of more than 280 miles. It’s looks a bit expensive compared with other electric cars though
If you love the looks and practicality of an SUV and think you could live with an electric car then the Kia e-Niro should go straight to the top of your shortlist. Torpedoing some electric car concerns – range anxiety and worries over battery life and reliability – the Kia e-Niro has an impressive 280-mile range and peace of mind that Kia’s seven-year warranty brings.
Sure, electric car alternatives such as the Nissan Leaf and the Hyundai Kona Electric (with which the e-Niro shares its electric technology) are cheaper, but the e-Niro is a bit more practical and comes with an impressive list of standard kit.
You can spot the e-Niro over the standard Niro hybrid and Plug-in PHEV thanks to that filled-in front grille which houses the charging port and those flashes of blue trim near the daytime running lights and round the air intakes. It also has differently styled alloy wheels which, like the grille, aid aerodynamics and efficiency.
Remember the time when Kia was a watchword for cheap and cheerful? That’s absolutely not the case with the e-Niro. The interior is filled with leather, soft-touch plastics and piano black trim of the quality you’d expect to find in posh cars from Germany.
The tone is set by the slick 8.0-inch touchscreen that comes with sat-nav, a JBL premium sound system, reversing camera and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s easy enough to use, and there’s the back-up of the row of buttons below the screen to help navigate through while you’re driving.
As an electric car, the e-Niro is great, but remember there are better petrol and diesel SUVs that you can get for the same money
There are no confusing engine or gearbox combinations to choose from. It only comes with 64kWh electric motor and like most electric cars, driving the Kia e-Niro is a hoot. You press the accelerator and whoosh off you go, meaning you’ll get away quickly from the lights and be able to nip in and out of gaps in city traffic.
The car is quiet and comfortable on the motorway – you’ll hear a bit of noise from the tyres and a synthetic Tardis-type noise from the electric drivetrain. If you get a chance to scoot down a quiet country lane, switch the drive controller to ‘Sport’ and things get even more fun.
If you do that too often though, you won’t get near the car’s 282-mile range between charges. Speaking of charging, you can go from zero charge to around 80% in 75 minutes if you have got access to a 50kW fast charger. Charging from empty at home will take up to nearly 10 hours.
So, are you tempted by the Kia e-Niro? If an electric car fits your lifestyle the e-Niro is one of the best electric cars on sale. It’s a bit more practical than a Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Kona EV, but it’s a bit more expensive than those cars, too. However, keep an eye out on Kia e-Niro deals when it goes on sale in April 2019.