The Kia e-Niro was a significant launch. Why so? Well, because Kia just stepped up their game as they produced an electric vehicle with a difference.
They also in the process had their competitors design teams looking up from their drawing boards when they announced the e-Niro would have a range of over 280 miles, (and with some smart driving you will get even more), making it one of the best of many mainstream models.
This put its like-for-like competitors on the back foot, because to achieve this sort of miles between charges you would be looking at far more expensive models.
So Femalefirst decided to put the e-Niro through its paces and see what all the hype was about.
Powerpack - Femalefirst had the 64kWh battery with a 201bhp electric motor that was clocked going from 0-60mph returned in 6.7sec, although with e-cars it’s not just about 0-60s it’s more about how far you can go between charges, and how well it handles, but we will come to that later.
Outside - At the front of the Kia e-Niro there’s the eye-catching blanked-off grille designed to reduce drag, unique 17-inch alloy wheels and blue accent highlights all giving it a smart quality look.
Inside - The Kia e-Niro is seriously spacious thanks in the main to its high roofline with a driving position that is higher than in most hatchbacks. You get an eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat complete with powered lumbar adjust. The top specification models also have memory recall settings. The steering wheel is manually adjustable for height and reach with a full range of adjustments.
The interior is packed with leather, soft-touch plastics and piano black trim; the dashboard layout is standard meaning you get plenty of easy-to-operate, buttons and switches for features such as the climate controls.
In the rear there is ample head and leg room for your passengers, and the rear seats split and fold 60/40.
Infotainment - Depending on the trim, the e-Niro comes with either an 8.0in or a larger 10.3in touchscreen on the higher specification models that operates the DAB radio, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring, built-in sat-nav and wireless phone-charging.
Both screens come with responsive software that's as simple to use. The 10.3 screen has sharper graphics and larger icons that are easier to find while you're driving. There’s also a six-speaker stereo, but the top trim gets an eight-speaker JBL sound system.
Boot – The Kia e-Niro has a square-shaped 450 litre boot and although the batteries are under the floor there is still extra under floor storage space.
We at Female First are more interested in how the Kia e-Niro performs during everyday running, so we took it from our base in Manchester through the city, on the M62 across to Leeds returning via the normal roads through East Lancashire back into Manchester. Its official range is 282 miles and our driving returned an average of 271 miles with all types of driving situations from a single charge, which was pretty impressive.
First up the e-Niro is great around the city, quick to accelerate from traffic lights, in and out of gaps and easy to park. Perfect for the school run, as it’s easy for the kids to offload and quick to move on. But best of all it means you avoid any pollution charges when entering the city limits. In town and in the city it was a pleasure to drive, quiet, manoeuvrable, and just plain fun.
Heading out of Manchester along the M62 motorway, the Kia e-Niro is quiet and comfortable, gripping the road well and, although you could pick up a bit of noise from the tyres, this was no discomfort. The handling is sure and positive, easy to slow and stop and quick to accelerate out of traffic hold-ups.
When we returned via the ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads of East Lancashire, along with the odd quiet country road, we couldn’t help but grin to ourselves as the e-Niro, with its surprisingly sharp acceleration and grip made cornering at speed oh so much fun.
In conclusion we think the Kia e-Niro is one of the best electric vehicles out there that addresses the issues that surround many other models. Great around town, comfortable on the motorway, roomy, and there’s that impressive 280-mile plus range between charges. The Kia e-Niro comes with a high specification, excellent running costs and has the Kia seven-year warranty. Most of all, it knows how to look after its passengers.
For more details on the Kia e-Niro visit the Kia website
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