I was in a tight spot and in a hurry…
Car Reviewed: Kia Niro EV ‘2’ 64.8kWh
A van – a white van man – had parked right in front of me and was unloading. I reckoned, however, with a bit of manoeuvring, I could make it out of the empty space to my left and get around the van – but would this Kia Niro EV be up to it? Hah! Does EV mean smooth and silent driving?
The dexterity of the Niro was astounding, but I should not have been surprised because everything about this latest offering from the Korean company is tight, compact and incredibly positive.
It is yet another step forward in Kia’s continuing drive towards excellence that makes driving their cars so rewarding.
The Kia Niro EV is another of Kia’s award winning all-electric compact crossover / SUV’s. It offers an impressive driving range, practicality, and style with brisk ‘electric’ acceleration and a smooth, quiet ride. It has a smart, sporty-like stance on the road, neat roof bars and an integrated spoiler on the rear.
This version is the 2, the entry-level, but like all KIA’s comes with a vast array of equipment as standard. Let’s look, however, at its electric credentials first.
This is an all-electric car following in the footsteps of the original e-Niro but now in a much more sophisticated form.
It comes with an electric motor powered by a 64.8kWh battery which can be charged overnight on a home charger or in 1h 5 mins on a 50kW charger to 80%.
The Niro will give you a combined range of 285 miles with the ability onboard to boost this by means of the paddles behind the steering wheel or by the usual regeneration methods of braking and lifting your foot off the gas. Amazingly this actually results in the range rising as you drive.
The other thing I liked about this car was that the mileage was more or less real-world mileage and not – as in some cases – two electric miles to what would have been one internal combustion mile. Well done Kia.
Next up – the tech. In this 2 model, that means an eight-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, voice control, Bluetooth, reversing camera, rear parking sensors, a 10.25ins instrument cluster, and two ports in the front, one for a C-type connection and the other for a USB.
The interior is bright and airy with good visibility and the infotainment system is easy to work. There is plenty of storage space and the rear seats can go down all together or for that 60/40 split which is so valuable when you need passenger spaces as well as room for a buggy.
The auto window defogger is brilliant in the winter and you do not miss the gearstick. Here the gears change by means of a rotary dial which is becoming more and more common among electric cars and which I am growing to really like.
And there is plenty to drool over for the driver. There are Eco, Normal, Sport and Snow modes, Hill Start Assist, Lane Keep Assist, smart cruise control, Forward Collision Avoidance and a system that monitors pedestrians and cyclists. It keeps you as safe as possible and others too.
The Kia Niro EV is brilliantly practical and offers a considerable EV range – definitely one for today’s green family. All with the bonus of the Kia 7-year warranty.
Maggie Barry is an Award winning journalist, she regularly travels in Europe and beyond to test drive cars. A former lecturer in journalism and motoring editor of Media Scotland she has written for and contributed to the Daily Record and Sunday Mail among others. She is on the panel judging the Scottish Car of the Year and Women’s World Car of the Year. She lives near Glasgow with her husband and several cars.
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