Kia Niro EV Test Drive Notes: Range Indeed Impressive


Let’s see how the Kia Niro EV fares in this newest test drive.

We’ve published quite a few takes on the all-new 2019 Kia Niro EV as of late. This particular one deals with the SUV’s impressive range. The Niro EV finds its energy from a rear-floor-mounted 64-kWh lithium-ion battery. Interestingly, as a few German automakers are finally bringing EVs to market that somehow can’t touch Tesla on range, Hyundai/Kia continue to release more and more battery-powered cars that are set to do away with range anxiety, all while having reasonable pricing and offering decent performance.

Yes, all in good time and as the market warrants it these companies will be in a more positive position to produce electric vehicles in higher numbers and offer them in more markets, but wow, what a solid start.

The Kia Niro EV is officially rated with a driving range of 385 kilometers (~240 miles), yet it can still pull off a zero-to-62-mph sprint in some 7.8 seconds. Before we have to deal with endless Tesla fanatics’ denouncing of this vehicle, 240 miles for an entry-level SUV and 7.8 seconds are truly outstanding for those not in a financial position to buy a Tesla. If you really want one of these limited availability EVs that cost less and are very promising, do your homework early and place an order. Also, plan a road trip or a shipment to your home state.

Let’s all be on the same team here as EV advocates and give Hyundai the credit it deserves for bringing competitive long-range vehicles to market with excellent range, good performance, and a decent price. This is very unlike what is happening as the European automakers continue to make us wait, and also are coming to market with expensive EVs that just don’t fit the bill.

Driving says the Niro EV’s power rating of 201 horsepower and 291 lb.-ft. of torque is noticeable. The Niro EV is fast off the line and that continues through the midrange. Even passing time on the highway is beyond acceptable. As far as real-world range is concerned, Driving notes:

The drive started with a range of 445 kilometres showing in the instrumentation. At the end of the 101-kilometre test route, the range was still showing 363 kilometres to “empty.” This was due to the amount of otherwise waste energy recaptured and fed back to the battery. The 19 kilometres of bonus driving range is significant, and speaks to the fact the driver is wise to use the top level of regen. Had the highway section of the test route been run with the same sort of eye to battery preservation, the recouped energy could have been a lot more.

To check out the full 2019 Kia Niro EV review, follow the link below.

Source: Driving

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Kia Niro EV

Categories: Kia

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66 Comments on "Kia Niro EV Test Drive Notes: Range Indeed Impressive"

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If Kia starts producing these in significant numbers they could be real game changers in the “affordable” segment of the market. I might replace my 2018 Leaf in 2022 and it would be nice to have some competition at the lower price points. If EVs prove as durable as ICE cars (I have a 19 yr old gasser in good running order) my next car could be my last …………sigh.

Agreed. Price point of this vehicle (and the Hyundai was well) could be a real game changer. They are both decent looking, good specs (especially range), and could fill the entry level EV void. Hopefully they start around $30k.

I expect it will be more than a Chevy Bolt. Maybe $30k after federal and local EV incentives.

That’s still not bad.

I bet they will try to undercut the Bolt…
It’s not price that matters the most here, we know it will be competitively priced….it’s the production that worries me.

By the time the Niro shows up in any numbers the Bolt credit may be down to $3750.

If they started producing them in significant numbers, they’d probably have to raise the price, to avoid significant losses…

Does anyone know if the battery module features active cooling?

They do

445km / 278 mi with a 64kWh battery? That’s pretty great stuff, just wish I knew what North America pricing would look like, odds are the volume for year one will probably be too low for them to be sold here.

If Trump puts a huge tariff on them because they are not made in the U.S., there will be more for Canada.

I know that korean workers have refused to expand production and expand factories. (From 2017 news) Even here in Korea, we have to wait more than a year. There will probably be only a limited time supply.

I think In the Hi 30’s Before incentives will get you a Nicely Equipped Niro Or Kona…………Btw………..Does anyone know if the battery is entirely Under the floor ? …

Yes it is

Yes. Extremely low position.

“Let’s all be on the same team here as EV advocates and give [Kia] the credit it deserves for bringing competitive long-range vehicles to market with excellent range, good performance, and a decent price.“

Think you meant Kia in that sentence, though Hyundai gets some credit for the Kona, and GM should get more credit from the EV community for the Bolt.

Will see if they are available.. that’s the thing with non-Teslas, they look OK on paper but good luck finding one (ie. Honda Clarity EV).

not hard to find a Leaf. The larger battery version could be a solid option

Sweet !

Another Euro point of view

Very curious to see the end of year production number of this car as selling them should not be a problem, production capacity might be the limiting factor.

I’d be waiting in line to buy one if it had 3rd row seats. EV’s are super safe, so let’s not make any that can hold a family…

Mid-size 3 row SUV with dual motor and 100 KWH battery for about $50K will be ideal. Plus if there is a pickup version of the same car with decent towing capacity. Maybe something like the Honda Pilot/Ridgeline. I think such a vehicle would be the ICE killer.

I hope that’s what the Model Y is. Musk has 5 kids, so maybe he’ll insist on the Model Y being able to seat 7 in some configuration.

If it’s not available with that many seats, then I suppose I’ll be in the market for a used Model X.

Why would Musk’s family size have anything to do with Model Y configuration? His family wouldn’t fit in a Model 3, but he released it anyway.

Model Y will be based on Model 3. Both Model S and Model X are capable of 7 passengers.

X is for 7. That will cannabolize the X sales

X is the roman numeral for 10.

X is also a Letter of the alphabet,,,,Musk wanted to spell S E X & Then add the Y Model To Spell SEXY ,But Ford Threatened a Law Suit If they Used The “E” because Ford Has Patent rights to “E” ….So Tesla Dropped “E” & Used “3” Instead…

Trademark, not patent.

You can’t patent a letter. You can’t trademark a letter either, but you CAN trademark “Model E”.

The average family in the western world is less than 4 persons. Having 5 seats makes it suitable for most families, including a grandparent/kids friend or two.

“The average family in the western world is less than 4 persons”

I thought US averages 2.2 kids per family. That is 4.2 per vehicle which leads to a 5 seater as minimum. With grandparents or kids’s carpool trip, 7 is almost a must these days.

Just about all families with kids should have a larger vehicle with 7 passenger and a “commuter” car with 5 passenger capability.

Average household in the US is 2.54 people.
There are a _lot_ of single-parent household, no-kids couples (who don’t want any), older couples whose kids have left home, singles/divorced people whose kids if any don’t live with them etc.

Most households need only one 4-wheeled vehicle, and would do fine with a 2-wheeler (e-motorcycle, bicycle (electric or pedal) or scooter) as second vehicle.

Average number of births per woman in the US = 1,8
Average household in the US = 2,6 people
Average family size in the US = 3,14 people
Percentage of families having 3 children or more below 18 years old = 8%

I’m not sure I know anyone with a 7 passenger car. I know lots of families with kids and 5 seats are more than enough. More important is to have a decent trunk space for things like strollers or hockey trunks. 😛

I do understand that there are a few huge families that would need or want a 7-8 seater EV but that is very niche…

We have one buts only decorative unless we take our friends to outings

You have one decorative kid?

Lol. An Explorer Sport SUV

Regardless of the stats on “average” which is very deceiving as many couples who don’t have children at all.

Either way, the midsize SUVs are all about 3rd row with 7 passenger capacity. That is one of the largest segment of auto sales.

“I’m not sure I know anyone with a 7 passenger car.”

Unless you are strictly talking about sedans, You don’t know anyone with one of the following?

Honda Pilot
Toyota Highlander
Toyota 4Runner
Ford Explorer
Mazda CX-9
Kia Sorento
Hyundai Santa Fe
Mitsubishi Outlander
Subaru Ascent
Dodge Durango
Nissan Pathfinder
Chevy Traverse/Buick Enclave/GMC Arcadia
VW Tiquan
VW Atlas
Acura MDX
Audi Q7
Volvo XC90
Mercedes GLE/GLS
Lexus RX350L
Infiniti QX60
Infiniti QX80
Lexus GX/LX
Chevy/GMC Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon, Cadillac Escalades
Toyota Sequoia
Nissan Armada
Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator
Land Rover Discovery
Ford Flex
Tesla Model X
Tesla Model S

Just about every automaker has at least 1 row CUV/SUV. Popular brands have more than 2-3. That is more than 30 models, probably closer to 50 brand/models on the market today.

At my kid’s school pickup/drop off, easily 2/3 of the vehicles are 3 row CUV/SUVs.

Minivans seat seven or eight. A five seat SUV isn’t good for three kids in car seats. Even if you can find child seats thin enough to fit three across, your front seats will be in the dashboard if you have a rear facing child. It’s also a major PITA to climb over seats to strap the third kid in the middle. I’d love to trade our Sienna for a model Y, but I wouldn’t dream of doing it until all three are in booster seats.

Check out the Pacifica Hybrid. Not a pure EV, but really capable in EV mode and a very comfortable 7-seater.

A 5-seater will do just fine for most people. You will need to purchase a Model X or Pacifica PHEV.

No third row

Why no? you have the X already

3rd row seat would be hard. Niro is the size of a Leaf, actually a bit shorter and lower. Imagine putting a 3rd row in aLeaf

“Before we have to deal with endless Tesla fanatics’ denouncing of this vehicle, 240 miles for an entry-level SUV and 7.8 seconds are truly outstanding for those not in a financial position to buy a Tesla”

What about the Bolt with 238 miles of range and 0-60mph time of 6.3 seconds?

So, what is the price of this Niro EV?

What about it? They are both good options. The article is about the Kia Niro EV, so don’t expect all options to be mentioned as they come to the market.

So, what is the price of Niro?

I agree with what you are saying. It won’t be as cheap as many people here are thinking. I’ve heard 500000 EUR in Portugal. If true, that will be ridiculously expensive. Same for Kona.

The Niro recharges in a reasonable time.

I hope it will be available in some non-CARB states at launch.

It’s certainly more in line with what newer ev efforts should be.
I think to an extent the European makers thought, well we will get something out there and it will have BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc… on the badge and people will buy it. But a badge is not a car. It’s a new ball game and you’ve got to prove you can make a decent ev.

I would pay more for this than a Tesla Model 3, and I’m a first day reservation holder. The technology and Supercharger access are appealing, and the brand isn’t entirely irrelevant- but even more important to me as a buyer is every day practicality. I won’t use Superchargers but maybe a few times a year. Needing something more than a sedan is a weekly occurrence for me. I like the Niro- a lot. But if it remains a complaince car, like it sounds like it will, I may have little choice but to get the Tesla. There are a lot of unknowns in the near future.

Does the Niro actually have more passenger/cargo space than a Model 3?

Yes more suitable for bulky stuff. Bjorn Nyland made several videos out of it. When the 2nr row is folded down it has a 1.65 meter long trunk space

The Model 3 has more than that… Something like 1.90 m IIRC? Though the height is of course a major limitation for really bulky stuff.

If front seat is in its rearmost position (as it must be for a tall person), then the trunk depth is 150 cm. Björn probably took the measure after setting the front seat for himself. I took the measure last weekend from HEV Niro, as I’m interested in the EV version and need cargo space for bulky objects (dog crate).

M3 Owned- Niro EV TBD - Former 500e and Spark EV,

It certainly can accommodate our golden retriever in the back that our Model 3 can’t.

Do not expect much from Kia and Hyundai’s first product. The current performance is good, but questionable a few years later. Here in Korea, it is very popular because of the big incentive and car resaler

What country is Driving publish?

.ca would suggest Canada?

Ok thank you

Oh come on, I haven’t seen “Tesla fanatics” bash the Niro’s range or acceleration. These are clearly more than decent at the expected low price point… The major criticism continues to be an expected severe lack of availability.

I wish they would make more of these — many, many more!

The range tested from Bjorn Nyland , all tests at constant 90 km/h :

Kona – 500km in Norway at 25C
Niro – 500 km in Korea at 20C
TS- P100D – 500km in Norway at 13C (tested 3 days ago, same road like Kona test)

This is a smart move by Hyundai/Kia. Make it fast enough, go far enough, handle well enough, ride well enough, have enough features and a quieter ride than most ICE vehicles. That should be every manufacturer’s goal in an EV with a price under $35,000.

I like this car. I do not know if it or short range m3 will be availanle first for me (reserved 1st day and am on west coast). If both become available at the same point the Niro might be a better fit fir my crew.

Each manufacturer ought to have something like this by now.

Hey moderator,
Thanks for taking my advice/comment and correcting your article on the 240 miles Kia quoted but you somehow missed for the past month. Would’ve been more transparent/honest if you actually published the comment, but I guess that’s where you’re at now (you didn’t even add a correction to the post lol). Y’all are absolute hacks.

All EV’s are great. I own a Tesla Model X and Hyundai/Kia have seen the light way ahead of the Other manufacturers. We need to stop fossil fuel use. Hyundai/Kia will sell a bunch. China is also pushing EV’s with its 10% mandate. China buys 30 million cars/year. All the manufacturers want some of that action.