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.
KIA NIRO EV
Gallery: Autocar Drives 2019 Kia Niro EV