Autocar Drives 2019 Kia Niro EV


Suggests it will appeal to enthusiasts

It may be time to start getting excited about the Kia Niro EV. Expected to arrive on our shores next year, it could be the all-electric crossover to buy for people who need a bit more space than what the Hyundai Kona Electric offers but don’t want to spend Jaguar I-Pace money. And, according to the latest review from Autocar which just had a go in a Korea-spec example, it will put a skip in the step of auto enthusiasts.

Is the publication being too kind? Perhaps it’s using a liberal definition of the word “enthusiast,” but their experience does point to some decent performance. With a 0-to-60 time of 7.8 seconds, it may seem like their standards may be a bit low in this case, but as they say, it feels faster than the numbers suggest. Interestingly, the zippiness doesn’t seem relegated to the traffic light Gran Prix, either. Check out this line.

Look for a bit of extra poke to make a pass on the motorway, and it’s all there before your right foot has barely touched the pedal. We even managed to spin the wheels accelerating out of a 30mph zone into a main A-road.

Sounds promising, yes? They had good things to say about its handling as well. Despite the fact that their test route wasn’t geared to testing how it dispatches the twisties, they go as far as calling the handling inspiring. That’s high praise. They continue, ”

There’s a pleasing heft to the steering, though, even more so in the Sport mode where the urgency of the drivetrain is increased further.

One feature they seemed to (mostly) enjoy was the 4-levels of regenerative braking that can be accessed through the paddles on the steering wheel. They did, though, express some disappointment that the “system seems to default to an auto mode for the most time even if you try to set it to the level you’d like.”

When it comes to range, Autocar found the Niro EV lives up to its billing, saying they expect owners should get 250 miles on a charge. Of course, range varies with different drivers and the environment a vehicle is driven in, but we’ve already seen YouTuber Bjorn Nyland get over 310 miles on a charge at an average speed of 56 miles per hour.

While we’re still waiting to learn when, exactly, the Niro EV will arrive in the U.S., it seems the Brits expect it to show up there early in 2019. When it does, the base price on the island nation should be just under 30,000 Pounds ($39,479). That bodes well for expectations here. With the only competition in its segment coming from its Korean corporate cousin, Hyundai, its success may be limited only by how many the can ship to our shores.



6 photos
Kia Niro EV

Source: Autocar

Categories: Kia

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16 Comments on "Autocar Drives 2019 Kia Niro EV"

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At our NDEW event, Kia dealer stated they would get their first shipment in December (Oregon, so a Section 177 State)

Did they gave you a price?

Hell ya! (WA resident)

Another Euro point of view

Saw one in real few days ago. obviously not the EV version yet. Probably an hybrid. Kona appears as small but the Niro is ok on that front. Body form is fine too. a bit of a cheaper and smaller version of the Porsche Macan with some imagination. I am sure it will do fine IF Kia makes enough of them which I doubt.

Let’s hope they do a LOT better than corporate sibling Hyundai has done with the barely available Ioniq EV.

Looking forward to this car. Will beat the Bolt (we just bought one) in just about every area if they actually make them available. Charging speed, interior style and quality, cargo space, range, standard and available features, built-in nav.. it looks like an angry guppy but the Bolt looks like an engorged one. Like the Niro’s blue exterior too.

Agree with all of that apart from the cargo space. Be prepared to be disappointed in the Niro. Take a tape measure to its trunk before buying one!

Or look at Bjørn Nyland’s videos where he measures it for you.

It’s got a pretty decent boot, and when the rears are folded there’s tons of space. Much more usable than the Bolt’s thanks to the floor being level with the opening.

Surprisingly the opening in Kona is actually slightly taller – the boot floor is lower by a little more than the roof. Which also means loading stuff into it requires slightly less lifting.

I contacted my local dealership (non-CARB state) and was given a generic response of late 2018 to early 2019 availability. Hopefully that happens. I’d strongly consider getting one over a Model 3 SR.

For international comparisons of price, you need to know that the £30,000 UK price takes account of a 20% sales tax (“VAT”) and a £2,500 government grant. So, to get at a rough unadjusted price, take off 20%, and add on £2,500. Also note that I think £30,000 is likely to be an underestimate, because the equivalent price for the Kona electric is £29,495; I’d expect the premium for the Niro to be a bit more than £500.

Correction to my previous comment: The UK government’s electric car grant is £4,500, not £2,500. Sorry.

It will offer nice competition for the Bolt. Interesting to see where the base Model 3 availability will be when this comes out. After seeing the German and Jaguar EVs I really feel that it is clear that Tesla is a full generation ahead of everyone else. If the legacy car makers want to seek these the price is going to have to come down.

Does it seat 4 or 5?

It can seat five.

The auto regen level selection can be turned on and off in the settings. When enabled, the car does indeed attempt to automatically choose the level, using the front radar data.

If it’s priced reasonably, they will be able to sell as many as they want to sell. This would dwarf Bolt sales numbers. The big question is… how many to they WANT to sell. They have not had any real interest in selling the Ionic PHEV or BEV.