KIA

KIA NIRO EV ESTATE 150kW 3 64kWh 5dr Auto

Fuel

FuelElectric

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph7.8s

EC Combined (mpg)

EC Combined-

The second generation version of Kia's fully electrified Niro model gets more appealing packaging inside and out. But otherwise, this Niro EV is a fairly subtle evolution of its e-Niro predecessor. Still, that's enough to make it a very good car indeed.

NIRO FINDS ITS SPARK

Kia's Niro EV usefully develops the brand's compact hatch full-electric proposition. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Review

The second generation version of Kia's fully electrified Niro model gets more appealing packaging inside and out. But otherwise, this Niro EV is a fairly subtle evolution of its e-Niro predecessor. Still, that's enough to make it a very good car indeed.

Background

When the history books are written on the early years of electrified automation, Kia won't be one of the brands credited with originating the EV concept. But it will very much be seen as one of the makers that popularised it. When its first high-volume global electric model, the e-Niro, was launched back in 2018, there were quite a few battery-powered compact models around, but none of them had gained much sales traction. That all changed with the e-Niro, which shared nearly all its engineering with its close cousin, the Hyundai Kona Electric. And went on to account for over 55% of all Kia Niro sales in the UK. It was the first EV to out-sell a directly comparable combustion alternative. And it was a sign of things to come. A sign of irresistible momentum continued by the car we look at here, the e-Niro's successor, now called the Niro EV. This model, Kia says, has been redesigned 'to provide people with a clearer path to clean mobility'. And it's the most important component in the brand's target of boosting its global sales of eco-friendly vehicles to 2 million units by 2030.

Driving Experience

Just what is an eco-friendly vehicle? Any of the current Niro powerplants could theoretically qualify for that title, all of them being electrified in some way. The mechanicals on offer haven't changed much in the 1.6-litre GDI petrol-powered Hybrid and PHEV versions, save for a slightly larger 11.1kWh battery in the Plug-in variant that boosts its driving range to 40 miles. The Niro EV we look at here can go 285 miles between charges of its 64.8kWh battery, which these days is the only one on offer in a fully electric Niro. Kia hasn't fundamentally changed much about way this Niro EV drives: there's a front-mounted electric motor with a 201bhp total output that gets you to 62mph in under 8 seconds. As for dynamic updates, well really it's just detail stuff; extra insulation improves refinement. And a bit more chassis rigidity improves the ride and reduces body roll. Like some other EVs, this one provides you with paddle shifters behind the steering wheel that allow you to either intensify or reduce the regenerative braking feel. Alternatively, there's an 'auto' setting that constantly calculates the optimum level of braking regeneration, based on the positioning of the vehicles ahead. As usual with a modern electric vehicle, there's also a virtual engine sound system for creating artificial noise to warn those on the pavement of your approach in urban areas.

Design and Build

If you've been wanting an electric car of this sort but weren't attracted by this car's e-Niro predecessor, it was probably because that car looked, well, rather dull. This one makes much more of a visual statement and is distinguished from its Hybrid and PHEV stablemates by a two-tone closed grille and unique steel grey side cladding. The Niro EV also has a dedicated lower grille and bumper treatment, in addition to model-specific 17-inch alloy wheels. At 4,420mm long, 1,825mm wide, and up to 1,570 high, this second generation Niro design is formulated on Kia's third-generation 'K3' platform. The front end takes up the styling theme already established by the current Sportage. And in profile, the effect of that larger chassis becomes obvious, extending the length by 65mm. Inside, the dash gets twin 10.25-inch displays and a multi-function panel on the fascia allowing you to flick between infotainment and heating controls. Premium-effect recycled materials adorn the cabin, to augment the interior space and underline Niro's sustainable credentials. Thanks to 20mm more wheelbase length, there's now space in the rear for a couple of six footers. And you get more 495-litres of boot space, 147-litres more than the PHEV version. This full-EV variant also gains a 20-litre front 'frunk' compartment, which would be useful for the storage of wet charging leads.

Market and Model

Niro EV prices open at around £35,000. That compares with around £26,000 for the Hybrid model and around £30,000 for the Niro PHEV. For Niro EV customers, there are three trim levels - '2', '3' and '4'. Even base '2' spec gets you quite a lot - 17-inch wheels, an 11kW on-board charger and a battery heating system. Plus inside, there's an 8-inch centre touchscreen display with a 10.25-inch instrument cluster. There's 'Android Auto' and 'Apple CarPlay' smartphone-mirroring of course. And plenty of camera safety kit, including 'Forward Collision Avoidance' with car, pedestrian and cyclist recognition and junction crossing, plus Smart Cruise Control. Moving up to '3' grade gets you the clever 'V2D' 'Vehicle to Device' functionality which allows you to power external electrical devices from the vehicle's plug socket - say an electric scooter, a drone or camping equipment. From this grade upwards, you can also specify a heat pump that will preserve driving range in colder weather. The top '4' grade gets you a Head-up display, a larger 10.25-inch centre touchscreen, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, a Harmon Kardon premium sound system, a power operated tailgate, an electric sunroof and extra safety kit.

Cost of Ownership

We gave you the driving range figure for the Niro EV in our 'Driving Experience' section - 285 miles. Recharging from 10 to 80% takes as little as 45 minutes - up to 9 minutes quicker than the previous generation e-Niro model. In the winter months, when temperatures are typically low, the system in the Niro EV uses navigation-based conditioning to pre-heat the battery when a charge point is selected as a destination, which helps shorten charge times and optimise battery performance. Avoid entry-level trim and a heat pump is optional to extend driving range in colder weather. You can also remotely interact with your Niro EV of course, via Kia Connect and its downloadable app. Using this, owners can view and control vehicle charge status, in addition to planning a route using online navigation, syncing calendars and accessing on-board features such as charge station proximity, live weather and real-time traffic alerts. Echoing the eco-friendly powertrain, there's plenty of Enviro-conscious design in the cabin. The headlining is made from recycled wallpaper, the door panels are finished with VOC-free paint and the PU vegan leather seat coverings contain Tencel from eucalyptus trees, plus the cargo screen's knitted material is made of 75% recycled fibres.

Summary

Is the Niro EV the most significant global product that Kia makes? That's about the size of it because the size of this car is the one that'll really drive electric vehicle sales forward over the next decade. We'd like to have seen bigger steps forward in battery technology and driving range from this second generation model. In truth though, all its predecessor was really lacking was a more interesting look and a high quality cabin. With the Niro EV, Kia has provided both of those things, then embellished this product further with better handling, extra refinement and added neat touches like the V2D system allowing owners to charge external devices from the vehicle's plug socket. And overall? Well we'd have liked the end result to be a little more affordable, but if you're not put off by that, there's lots to admire about the way this car has finally found spark.

  • Rear wiper
  • Heated rear window with timer
  • Solar glass
  • Rain sensing front wipers
  • Automatic defog system
  • Windscreen Washer Level Warning
  • All round electric windows with drivers and front passenger auto up/down function
  • Privacy glass - Rear windows and tailgate
  • Acoustic windshield

  • Electric parking brake with auto hold function
  • Hill start assist control (HAC)
  • Electronic stability control
  • Anti-lock brake system
  • Traction control

  • Wireless Smartphone charger
  • Apple car play/Android Auto with voice control
  • Charging indicator on dashboard
  • E-call

  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) - City/Pedestrian/Cyclist/Junction turning
  • Adaptive smart cruise control function (SCC) with stop and go
  • Intelligent speed limit assist
  • Blind spot collision avoidance assist
  • Highway Driving Assist (HDA)
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Drive mode selector
  • Lane Following Assist (LFA)
  • Motor driven power steering
  • Reversing camera
  • Front parking sensors
  • Lane keep assist
  • Emergency stop signalling system

  • Tailgate
  • Vehicle-to-device (V2D)

  • 10.25" TFT LCD cluster
  • 10.25" touchscreen satellite navigation
  • Kia Connect (UVO)
  • Trip computer with distance/fuel consumption/average speed
  • Digital clock

  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Electric heated door mirrors
  • High gloss black door mirrors
  • Electrically folding door mirrors

  • Metal chopped carbon centre fascia

  • Battery heating system

  • Bluetooth with music streaming
  • 2 USB ports in centre console including 1 type C
  • 2 type C USB ports on front seats
  • DAB Digital radio
  • 'Shark fin' mobile antenna
  • Steering wheel mounted controls
  • 6 speakers

  • Body colour bumpers
  • Roof rails
  • Rear spoiler
  • Black grille with chrome surround
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Front and rear skid plate - chrome
  • Black beltline mouldings
  • Body Colour Exterior Door Handles
  • Gloss Black Cladding
  • Standard door scuff plates

  • Dual LED headlights (low and high projection)
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Rear fog lights
  • LED third brake light
  • LED rear combination lights
  • Welcome and follow-me home light functionality
  • Front fog lights
  • Automatic headlight control system

  • Ventiliation ducts to rear compartment
  • Dual zone automatic air conditioning
  • Air filter

  • Tilt/telescopic adjustable steering wheel
  • Centre console cupholder
  • 12V socket in luggage compartment
  • Front and rear door storage
  • Interior door lock/unlock function
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Artificial leather steering wheel
  • Artificial leather centre console storage box
  • Paddle shifts
  • Chrome coating interior door handles
  • Cloth / Artificial leather upholstery
  • Luggage area load cover
  • 12v socket in front
  • Luggage board
  • Shift by wire SBW

  • Bulb type overhead console lamp with sunglasses case
  • Luggage area lamp
  • Illuminated glovebox

  • Towing pack - Niro

  • Twin curtain airbags with roll over sensor
  • Rear seat alert system
  • Dual shell horn
  • Manual rear child locks
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • 3 point seatbelts on all seats
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Twin front and side airbags
  • Automatic unlocking of doors in case of impact
  • Front passenger airbag cut-off switch
  • Drivers knee airbag

  • All-round height adjustable headrests
  • ISOFIX Child seat top tethers and anchor fixings
  • Driver's power adjustable seat
  • 3 seat bench in 2nd row
  • 60/40 split/folding 2nd row of seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Passenger seat height adjuster
  • Seatback pocket - front passenger
  • Seatback pocket - driver
  • Drivers seat power lumbar support
  • Single front passenger seat

  • Alarm system and engine immobiliser
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Visible vehicle identification number
  • Deadlocks
  • Engine Start/Stop Button with Smart Entry System
  • Speed sensitive auto door locking

  • Warranty - 7 Years/ 100,000 miles

  • Driver/passenger sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors

  • Front Grille Charging Port
  • 11 kW AC onboard charger

  • 17" alloy wheels

  • Tyre mobility kit

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 1650
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 2.3
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 565
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 7.2
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 0-100
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): 65
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: 50
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: 0-80
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): 45
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: 100
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: 0-80
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 7
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 64.8
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: 70
  • Charging Port Location: Front

  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6

  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • CC: 1

  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 7
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 100000
  • Coin Series: 3
  • Coin Description: N
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Generation Mark: 2
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Service Interval Mileage: 10000
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 201
  • Badge Engine CC: 0.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 26
  • Engine Power - KW: 150
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 188
  • Engine Torque - NM: 255
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 6000
  • Engine Power - BHP: 201
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.8
  • Top Speed: 103

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Front: 215/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Rear: 215/55 R17
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 17" ALLOY
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Length: 4420
  • Width: 1825
  • Height: 1570

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 475
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 461
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2200
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1739
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1392
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 10.6

  • Metallic paint: Included
  • Premium paint: £595

  • Heat pump: £900

  • Metallic - Orange flame: £0

  • Premium paint - Midnight black: £595
  • Premium paint - Steel grey: £595
  • Premium paint - White pearl: £595
  • Premium paint - Runway red: £595
  • Premium paint - Mineral Blue: £595
  • Premium paint - Interstellar Grey: £595
  • Premium paint - Cityscape green: £595

  • Cloth/Artificial leather - Black: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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