MotorTrend Provides First Drive Review Of 2019 Kia Niro EV

FEB 25 2019 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 20

According to MotorTrend, “familiarity comes standard” in this “friendly electro-wagonoid.”

What in the heck does that mean? Well, in order to push EV adoption, OEMs figure they must make these cars as “normal” as possible. We’ve shared multiple reviews of the Kia Niro EV, as well as the Hyundai Kona Electric, which call them normal or “regular.” This makes perfect sense since they were both built on ICE car/shared platforms. The whole “electro-wagonoid” titling makes even more sense due to the fact that there is a major issue nowadays with automakers labeling cars as SUVs and crossovers, when, in reality, they’re not much more than toddler-sized, raised up hatchbacks or wagons.

MotorTrend finally got a chance to get inside the Kia Niro EV and give it a good once over. We’re sure, as usual, there’s much more to come for MotorTrend as it gets some more time with the car. Nonetheless, the publication says:

The 2019 Niro EV is like an old friend; step inside, and you’re greeted by a roomy cabin that seamlessly blends simplicity with modern technology. Kia’s UVO3 interface, even with its EV-specific menus, has no learning curve …

Essentially a wagon masquerading as a subcompact crossover, the 2019 Kia Niro EV offers generous passenger and cargo space …

With an EPA-rated 239-mile range on a full charge, the 2019 Kia Niro EV matches the Chevrolet Bolt EV and beats the Nissan Leaf.

Per MotorTrend, the car is energetic in the city and the regen is smooth. It offers a respectable balance between solid handling and cushioned ride quality. To top is off, its standard equipment list is unparalleled. Not only do you get a fantastic touch-screen infotainment system, but also a full set of advanced safety technologies. MT concludes:

With satisfying road manners, generous range, and an easy user interface, the Niro EV is approachable. Combined with its conventional exterior, the Niro EV is far from a menacing space ship like some of its competitors, even with the funky sounds it makes. Unless you’re a one-car family with an affinity for road trips, the Niro EV is a great daily driver; the level of simplicity it brings helps the average consumer ease into all-electric motoring without getting overwhelmed in the process.

Source: MotorTrend

Categories: Kia

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20 Comments on "MotorTrend Provides First Drive Review Of 2019 Kia Niro EV"

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Please tell me which (production) cars are “menacing spaceships”? I hear this crap all the time. And, also, what is it with car people endlessly lobbying for “normal”? What’s wrong with some actual design? What’s wrong with something new?

I almost always assume they are talking about Prius with its beautiful RocketShip design.

The Prius is one of the ugliest cars on the road. It looks like they used a heat gun on a perfectly good old style Prius.

I think Toyota is desperately trying to clean up and tone down the new Prius, borrowing some features from the Prius Prime …. I have no idea how could they have so badly misread the public taste.

Ugliest car ever(Prius)

Majority of readership is definately not millenial or below. Publications like these are becoming increasingly irrelavent so if you don’t like something and you want the attention of people outside your demographic, trolling is the only way to do it.

w.r.t. bad future function that doesn’t work then you’ve never been subjected to driving a Ford with that abomination of Sync.
https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/10/polished-turd-lawsuit-docs-reveal-ford-engineers-really-thought-myford-touch-sync/

And with nasty ugly spaceship design….I’d go with the Prius.

“What’s wrong with some actual design? What’s wrong with something new?”

Hear hear! It’s so depressing seeing all the criticisms of a minor bit of new styling, such as the headlights on Rivian cars. Seriously, such a minor change to the norm sets off an avalanche of negative comments?

Thank goodness many or most auto designers ignore such complaints about new styles. If they didn’t, we’d still be driving motorcars that are open buggies with steering tillers, an exposed gas motor mounted above the rear axle, and a steering tiller instead of a steering wheel!

As the EV revolution advances, I hope to see much more radical experiments with new car styles. The BEV skateboard platform should free up auto designers to try a wide variety of shapes.

I have seen quite a few new models, mostly Toyota/Lexus and Honda, that are definitely inspired by some people’s idea of “menacing alien tech”. I think everyone’s little darlings are the Civic R and the CHR

“Road and tire noise get excessive on uneven pavement due to the eco-minded Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires.”

This is nonsense. I put Primacy MXM4 on all my cars. They are pretty much the best tires for quiet, smooth ride and outstanding traction in three seasons. They are definitely not “eco-minded” tires.

If the Niro EV is noisy with Primacy MXMs, it is plain noisy. Which is a shame, since the old Soul EV is actually very quiet, quieter than a Model X.

or: “Road and tire noise are more noticeable without the engine noise to drown them out.”

Exactly. Robert Llewellyn of “Fully Charged” fame has been pointing that out for many years now. It’s not a matter of BEVs being noisier, it’s a matter of road/tire noise being more noticeable without the hum or roar of an internal combustion engine drowning it out.

This idea that BEVs are “noisy” is mostly or entirely subjective.

I love “Wagonoid”. Great to see someone call out all the stupid marketing nonsense. I just wish someone had done that when the term “Sport Utility Vehicle” was coined. Claiming that something like a 1990s Suburban was “sporty” was complete nonsense. The torque and horsepower of my Bolt pushing around a 6000 lbs vehicle with the aerodynamics of a strip mall.

Let’s face it, the SUV was just Detroit’s replacement for the station wagon from the 1970s.

Well okay, you changed my mind on that. If they are ridiculing the marketing trend of finding new labels for cars, then I entirely agree; “wagonoid” is a good parody label.

I entirely agree that the term “Sport Utility Vehicle” is ridiculous nonsense… or any of the other acronyms, such as “CUV” or “SUT”, that include the term “utility” or “sport” a label for a mainstream car.

How about BMW’s, “Sport Activity Vehicle”?

Auto manufacturers know the value of labeling. The “minivan” label pretty much killed the multi purpose vehicle. MPVs aren’t so mini anymore and have twice the UTLITY of tall station wagons the car boys tagged, SUVs.

My question: Wheres the SPORT?

Finally someone said what this vehicle really is. It’s a small wagon. It doesn’t really have the height clearance of a Sportage or a Ford EcoSport

…except that it’s a hatchback; it’s not by any stretch of the imagination a “station wagon”, which is taking a sedan and stretching the roof to the end of the car, plus extending the overall length somewhat.

Along with the trend of calling smaller and smaller cars “SUVs” and “CUVs” has come the trend of shorter and shorter station wagons, to the point that many or most of them aren’t noticeably longer than the sedan version of the model.

Glad to see yet another new BEV get a positive review from professional reviewers!
🙂 🙂 🙂

But one quibble: Really, “wagonoid”? The confusion with automobile marketing departments trying to paste the “CUV” or “SUV” label on all their hatchbacks and/or liftback sedans isn’t bad enough; now an auto review magazine decides to throw in yet another label for the same type of car? 🙄

It seems most of the old “rules” are getting thrown out theses days… it’s more the case vehicles are designed for purpose and location, regardless of the applied labels. Case in point, a Mazda 6 wagon is actually shorter than a Mazda 6 sedan. Why? Because the wagon was designed for Europe where short is good, whereas the sedan was designed for North America where trunk space is important and length is not a constraint.

It’s probably better this way because designers now have more flexibility to create unique and interesting vehicles for narrower niches. Hopefully we will be spoiled for choice… assuming they get built in volume (looking at you, Hyundai).

Niro EV is nothing to look at but it is a very practical little EV. Kona and Niro EVs pass the Bolt by and bring along with them the full $7500 tax credit to boot.

Too bad these compliance buggies will get their prices jacked up due to “supply and demand”. Aint compliance plays fun? ☹