Motoring journalist, Sue Cooke, reviews the Kia e-Niro all electric crossover
Facts at a Glance
Model: Kia e-Niro all electric crossover First Edition | Price: £32,995otr (after £3,500 Government grant) | Engine Motor: 64kWh electric motor | Charge time: 0-100% 9 hours 50 mins AC 7.2kW / 0-80% 1 hour 15 mins 50kW DC charge time / 0-80% 54 mins 100kW DC charge time | Performance: 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds | CO2 emissions: zero g/km
I thought I had found the perfect excuse not to make the annual Christmas trip down South to see relatives. Any previous all-electric powered car which I have road tested could not easily take me and my family on a 200-mile journey. And at the start of a holiday I certainly didn’t want the worry over the range, finding a charging point and then working out how to charge it. Then I road tested the Kia e-Niro.
This family crossover has a class leading driving range of 282 miles on a single charge and it is linear, so when the information on the dash states that the remaining range is 55 miles, it really is 55 miles. And charging is so easy.
I plug one end of a lead behind the grille at the front of the car, and the other end into the socket in my garage and overnight from nought, the lithium ion polymer battery will take 9 hours and 50 minutes to fully charge. But using a fast charger to 80% the charge takes 54 minutes.
More than 14,000 e-Niros have been sold in the UK and adding to an already expansive list of awards this year, the five-door, five seater has won best electric car at the Business Car Awards 2019.
The futuristic design does not obviously shout that this is an all-electric car but the blue trim highlights at the front and rear and a bold LED rear light distinguish the e-Niro from its hybrid and plug in hybrid siblings.
In the modern interior, the cabin has generous space and technologies. To select the gear, there is a raised circular button which you turn to Drive, Neutral or Reverse. There is an electronic parking brake and an Auto hold function. There is blue trim around the air vents and a wireless charger.
An 8-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard enables owners to locate nearby charging points and monitor the level of remaining charge and range. I like the fact that I can set an approximate departure time for a journey I will make the following day and then the car heats itself to a set temperature before I get into it. That’s very attractive with the cold weather at this time of year.
There is a whole page of other technology on this crossover but the features I enjoy the most are the halogen headlights with bi-function projection which with earlier darker nights provide excellent visibility and the heated front seats!
Boot space is not compromised and is actually enhanced from 324 to 451 litres.
There are three modes to select, according to the driving experience wanted. Normal, Eco and Sport. The latter enhances throttle responses and enables maximum acceleration reaching 60mph in 7.5 seconds.
On one of my driving routes I took to the Chiltern Hills to see the impressive regenerative braking technology at work. When I coasted downhill or braked, the technology recharged the battery pack!
This is a refined and very quiet crossover, particularly at low speeds. A pheasant wandered into the middle of the road and looked a little befuddled at the large machine which had suddenly stopped in front of him because he hadn’t heard a thing!
I never thought I would say this about an electric car, but I will really miss the Kia e-Niro. The crossover caters for every family need, with the advantage of zero emissions, no road tax to pay and the usual 7-year, 100,000 mile Kia warranty. What a roadworthy Christmas present!