Kia e-Niro (2018-2022) interior, dashboard & comfort
The Kia e-Niro is a comfortable, easy-going car with a solidly finished and user-friendly interior
The e-Niro’s interior is conventionally laid-out and easy to understand, if a little dull. It does have some interesting mood lighting, digital driver readouts and a funky rotary gear selector at least, but rivals such as the Peugeot e-2008 are more interesting to sit in. The Kia's standard equipment list is hard to fault, though.
Kia e-Niro dashboard
The Kia’s dashboard is easy to use, with conventional buttons for the air-conditioning controls and a high-set 10.25-inch touchscreen (on the 3 and 4+ trim levels). You use this display to control most of the car’s other functions, including the standard smartphone connectivity. Less normal-looking is the rotary gear selector that sits at the foot of the dashboard, but it’s foolproof to use and looks good.
Although there are areas where the materials feel a bit cheap and scratchy, you have to look for them, as in most areas the switches feel well damped and the surfaces are quite tactile. Overall, it’s a well judged dashboard that’s both good to look at and easy to use.
Equipment, options and accessories
The Kia e-Niro is offered in three numerical trim levels: 2, 3 and 4+. Entry-level 2 is available with either the 39 or 64kWh battery, while 3 and 4+ only come with the larger 64kWh battery. The latter two are quite a bit more expensive than the 2 as of March 2021, as they're no longer eligible for the government's plug-in car grant.
All e-Niros come with 17-inch wheels, roof rails, a rear spoiler, privacy glass and foglights as standard, plus automatic wipers and headlights. Keyless entry and start is also standard, as are adaptive cruise control and a rear-view camera. Standard kit is genuinely impressive.
The step up to 3 adds leather upholstery, wireless phone charging, heated front seats and the larger infotainment screen; there's also a heated steering wheel, eight-way power adjustment on the driver's seat and aluminium scuff plates.
4+ cars get even more kit on top that on trims 2 and 3 – highlights include a sunroof, LED headlights and a JBL sound system, plus heated rear seats and ambient interior lighting. Unless you really want the extra luxury, we reckon 3 strikes a good enough balance between price and equipment, and even 2 is well-equipped by most modern standards.
Infotainment, apps and sat nav
The 10.25-inch touchscreen is the focal point of the e-Niro’s dashboard, and it’s one of the better systems out there. The graphics are sharp, the menus easy to figure out and – in keeping with the rest of the car – you get everything you could want as standard. The smaller eight-inch screen found on the e-Niro 2 is still good – it's responsive, packed with features and is easy to use.
That includes sat-nav with European mapping, two USB inputs, DAB and FM radio, Bluetooth hands-free and music streaming, wireless phone charging (for compatible phones), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The eight-speaker JBL sound system on '4+' cars finishes it all off. There are better systems out there to use, including Volkswagen’s and BMW’s, but the Kia system is still one of the best thanks to its straightforward interface and no-options-needed spec.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe first-generation Kia e-Niro was one of our favourite electric family cars. It's a great SUV with up to 282 miles of range, plus stacks of equipment
- 2Range, battery & chargingIf our experience of living with the Hyundai Kona is anything to go by, the longer-range version of the Kia e-Niro should do 260 miles in normal use
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe Kia e-Niro isn’t the cheapest compact SUV by a long way, but within the electric-car class it’s great value, despite a short service interval
- 4Performance, motor & driveMost importantly, the e-Niro is comfortable and smooth to drive, but it also has up to 201bhp for a surprising turn of speed
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingThe Kia e-Niro is a comfortable, easy-going car with a solidly finished and user-friendly interior
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThere are roomier and more versatile diesel or petrol options, but the Kia e-Niro is a practical car and well suited to family motoring
- 7Reliability & safety ratingGreat standard safety kit and a seven-year warranty are standard on the Kia e-Niro, but servicing intervals are surprisingly short
- 8Living with itThe e-Niro is a milestone electric car for its range and value, but how does it fare as a high-mileage family car? We ran one to find out...