The new Kia e-Niro 64 kWh
The new Kia e-Niro 64 kWh

Caroline drives the new Kia e-Niro 64 kWh!

As electric vehicles begin to come in from the periphery and demand grows, Kia turns out to be one of the brands that has the right models at the right time. In 2019, the Korean brand launched not one, but two electric vehicles and both are sized and packaged as fashionable crossovers. The subject of this review is the Kia e-Niro, however you might also be interested in this review of the Kia e-Soul.

The Kia Niro is a relatively new model in its own right for Kia. The brand already sells a popular Niro Plug-In Hybrid. Now it also comes in electric. The Kia e-Niro is sold in two flavours in Ireland: the mid range 35 kWh and the long range 64 kWh. My test car was the e-Niro 64 kWh with a range of up to 455 km on a single charge according to WLTP figures.

So how much is it?

Pricing starts from €37,495 for the Kia e-Niro 64 kWh, including VRT relief and government grants. The Kia e-Niro 35 kWh is available from €33,495 with a range up to 289 km. Standard features include 17” alloys, leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, 7” inch screen featuring Android Auto/Apple Car Play and Tom Tom navigation, lane keep assist, smart cruise control, forward collision-avoidance assist and autonomous emergency braking.

If the e-Soul is the funky one, then the e-Niro is the conservative one. The e-Niro is a roomy five seat crossover with a raised ride height. The Kia has a closed ‘tiger-nose’ grille with an integrated charging port and the electric Niro also has blue trim and arrowhead LED daytime running lights to differentiate it.

The interior of the new Kia e-Niro
The interior of the new Kia e-Niro

Inside the new Kia e-Niro

The interior design is plain but the cabin quality is good. The dashboard features bright blue trim around the vents, echoing the trim highlights found on the outside of the car. A digital instrument panel displays key data on the EV system including range and battery power. The central touchscreen shows where the nearest public charge points are and connects to Apple Car Play and Android Auto. However, the e-Soul has a more modern infotainment system and interesting cabin to this reviewer’s eyes! The e-Niro does get the same new ‘shift-by-wire’ rotator dial drive selector, which looks good, is easy to operate and frees up space for a large storage area beneath the centre console.

But the e-Niro wins hands down on space and practicality, making it more suitable for family buyers. When the Niro was first launched in 2016, its new platform was engineered to accommodate a variety of advanced powertrains so the introduction of a battery-electric powertrain has had minimal impact on packaging and versatility.

The rear passenger compartment is more generously sized, while the boot is also bigger and more practical. At 451 litres, it beats also many other mainstream electric vehicles and there is a dedicated storage area beneath the floor, providing space for owners to store the charging cable.

The e-Niro 64kWh has a 150 kw motor giving the car a power output of 204 hp and 395 Nm torque. The e-Niro accelerates from 0-to-100 kph in 7.8 seconds. The battery pack is located low down in the body to improve handling and the relatively wide stance also improves vehicle behaviour in cornering. The car is equipped with fully independent rear suspension, tuned to deliver high stability and immediate handling responses and filter out small vibrations at higher speeds when travelling over poor surfaces.

The Kia e-Niro is one of the more practical electric vehicles on the market right now
The Kia e-Niro is one of the more practical electric vehicles on the market right now

Driving the new Kia e-Niro 64 kWh

The e-Niro feels natural on the move and makes brisk progress, however the e-Soul feels a bit more fun to drive.

Thanks to a number of new measures to make the car more aerodynamic, there is very little wind noise entering the cabin.

I tested the car during a spell of cold weather in October. The environment certainly has impact on the range. When I got into the car with a full charge my range was 375 kilometres. That’s plenty for a lot of hassle-free driving if you are charging your car nightly at home, where it will take about 9 hours using a wallbox charger.

On the motorway the e-Niro holds on to its charge well but it really excels in this regard around town and at speeds up to 80 km/h. There’s also regenerative breaking with three different ‘strengths’, which the driver can toggle between using the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Cool!

Right now Kia Ireland is experiencing huge demand for a limited number of Kia e-Niros and e-Souls. The brand sold their 2019 allocation very quickly and are now seeking interest for 2020 deliveries.

The Kia e-Niro is a very welcome addition on the EV scene. Along with the new Kia e-Soul, these two really do offer a great package for buyers wanting to go electric.

The Kia e-Niro is reassuringly familiar with a tried and tested formula of space, practicality and simple styling that won’t raise any eyebrows! The 64 kWh battery gives an excellent range in excess of 350 kilometres. On the road the e-Soul is comfortable and refined. In fact, it feels just like a ‘normal’ car!

Right car at the right time and bound to do very well for Kia.

The new Kia e-Niro is available from €37,495
The new Kia e-Niro is available from €37,495

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Kia e-Niro 64 kWh
Battery: 64 kWh
204 hp
Torque: 395 Nm
7.8 seconds
Top speed: 167 km/h
Range (WLTP):
455 km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 
0 g/km
Motor tax: 
€120 per year