Meet the Kia e-Niro, a car that successfully combines two of the fastest growing motoring trends – smart crossover styling with full electric power.
It’s a car that looks very much like any other Niro externally, save for a few cosmetic additions, but it’s one that offers zero emissions motoring and is not hindered by the need to stop every hundred miles or so to charge up the batteries.
It’s a sector of the market that is going to boom in coming years, and it hasn’t taken Kia long to come up with a vehicle that will instantly fit the bill for many owners.
e-Niro weighs in with a driving range of over 280 miles which is possibly the best brownie point it can notch up, instantly making it a car you can use day to day for around town commutes and still have plenty zip left in the batteries for a weekend outing before you need to plug it in for a top up.
It went on sale in the UK in April and is Kia’s second all electric vehicle after the Soul EV. Its tiger nose grille, a feature of Kia across much of the range, features an integrated charging port, and there are blue trim highlights to differentiate it from the rest of the range.
The redesigned rear bumper also has those blue highlights and e-Niro rides on 17 inch diamond cut alloys, behind which sits the regenerative braking system. A system that noticeably works, and can be adapted by the paddles on the steering wheel to offer a little less resistance when required..
The all electric powertrain requires no traditional gear lever, so the centre console is a unique feature of the car, the new shift by wire dial drive selector sits in a panel that extends forward from the centre armrest. You’ll also find the electronic parking brake, heated seats switches, heated steering wheel, drive mode select and auto hold function housed there. Kia like buttons and switches – there are loads of them!
The high capacity 64kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack gives a driving range of more than 282 miles on a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle, and on the WLTP city cycle it’s capable of up to 382 miles if driven very conservatively.
A quick DC charger should see you up and running with the car 80 per cent topped up in 54 minutes – a 7.2kW AC charge takes just shy of 10 hours.
And being electric, there’s grunt instantaneously which means it can hit 60mph in just 7.5 seconds and on to a modest – but perfectly adequate – top speed of 104mph. It rides as well as any other SUV you might have driven, the only difference being the lack of noise from under the bonnet.
Five doors, five seats, and a host of standard equipment including a reversing camera and rear park sensors, a wireless phone charger, Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom Live, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay make this a welcome and well equipped addition to Kia’s range. The fit and finish is high quality and deserves mention too.
At £32,995 (after a £3,500 Government grant) it’s competitively priced for a family sized SUV with such strong eco credentials. And the clincher is it’s not going to cost you topside of £70 to ‘fill’ it up.
Kia e-Niro 64kWh First Edition
Price: £32,995 (after £3,500 government grant)
Engine: 64 kWh electric motor
Transmission: one speed automatic
Top speed: 104mph
0-60mph: 7.5 seconds
Economy: 282 miles
CO2 emissions: 0g/km