Kia Niro EV review: from Niro to electric family car hero
While it may not dominate in any area bar one, the Kia Niro EV is nevertheless a desirable and well-rounded electric family car with an unbeatable seven-year warranty
- Attractive styling
- Still supremely efficient
- Decent technology
- Average range
- Slow charging technology
- Some rivals more refined
Wallbox charging time
Rapid charge time
10hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)
45mins (10-80%, 72kW)
Kia Niro EV verdict
The Kia Niro EV picks up from where the old e-Niro left off. It remains a spacious electric family car choice, with a relaxed driving experience that’s ideal for the school run or simply pootling around town. An electric range of around 280 miles means the Niro EV is good for the occasional longer journey, too, although it is a little behind the curve in terms of charging speeds – we wish there was the option of a 300-mile range variant too, as in the mechanically-similar Hyundai Kona Electric. That said, stylish looks, a slick dual-screen infotainment set-up and an industry-leading seven-year warranty means the electric Niro will continue to be a popular choice for years to come.
Range details, specs and alternatives
The Kia e-Niro became one of the UK’s most popular electric cars following its launch back in 2018, offering refinement, range and practicality at an affordable price for a zero-emissions family car. But in 2022, the e-Niro was laid to rest and replaced by its all-new, sharper-looking replacement: the Niro EV.
The Niro is the sister car to the Hyundai Kona Electric, and is the Korean brand’s smallest SUV. Despite being offered with fully-electric power, it sits parallel to the Kia EV6 and seven-seater Kia EV9 in the lineup, instead positioning itself above the funky-looking Kia Soul EV hatchback.
Every Niro EV is powered by a 64.8kWh battery and 201bhp electric motor carried over from the old e-Niro, with range increasing ever so slightly for the new model from 282 to 285 miles. That’s a relatively healthy figure and slightly more than rivals such as the Smart #1, Renault Megane and Vauxhall Astra Electric, although we wish it could crack the 300-mile mark like the aforementioned electric Kona.
Another minor complaint we have is with the Niro EV’s 72kW maximum charging speed which, while it can charge the car from 10-80% in just 45 minutes when connected to a 100kW public rapid charger, is no improvement over the old e-Niro. Rivals top 100kW or more, which feels more fitting in this day and age.
Kia has, for a long time now, used numerals to designate its cars’ various trim levels. While this is mostly the case for the Niro EV, the trim line-up (somewhat confusingly) goes like this: ‘2’, ‘Horizon’, ‘3’ and then finally, ‘4’. Starting from around £37,000, standard kit on the entry-level Kia Niro EV 2 is pretty strong, with all cars getting a dual-10.25-inch infotainment set-up with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.
The newest addition to the line-up is the Horizon edition which, in our view, represents the best value for money. This adds, for only an extra £600ish, LED headlights, power-folding mirrors, leatherette upholstery, and electric front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, front parking sensors and tinted rear windows. The only downside is that you’re limited to only three colour choices – not a bad trade-off if you ask us.
This being the case, the mid-spec Niro 3 seems a little superfluous as, other than providing more colour options, it offers little to differentiate itself from the Horizon, while also costing around £3,000 more. Finally, the top-of-the-range Niro 4 gets luxuries like a head-up display, sunroof, faux-leather upholstery, Harman Kardon sound system and the option to have contrastingly coloured C-pillar ‘blades’. It’s just a shame a heat pump doesn’t come as standard and is only available as an option on the top-spec 4.
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In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingWhile it may not dominate in any area bar one, the Kia Niro EV is nevertheless a desirable and well-rounded electric family car with an unbeatable seven-year warranty
- 2Range, battery & chargingThe Niro EV should offer enough range for most, but the majority of rivals offer much faster charging
- 3Running costs & insuranceKia’s standard seven-year/100,000-mile warranty is sure to provide drivers with peace of mind
- 4Performance, motor & driveIt may be quite nippy in a straight line, but the Niro EV offers little in terms of driver engagement
- 5Interior, dashboard & infotainmentThe Niro’s interior looks rather futuristic and while top models are expensive, the new Horizon model represents good value-for-money
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityA spacious cabin and plenty of boot space position the Niro EV as an ideal electric family car
- 7Reliability & safety ratingKia’s performance in the latest Driver Power owner survey and seven-year warranty should put owners’ minds at ease