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Car Review

Kia Niro EV review

£34,940 - £40,440
710
Published: 04 Mar 2024
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

It’s worth mentioning first up that we liked the old e-Niro. It was by no means the most exciting thing to look at, but it had an efficient electric powertrain and covered off all the basic electric car tasks with surprising competence. The wheel-mounted paddle shifters that changed the level of regenerative braking even made it ever-so-slightly fun to drive.

Thankfully, those are back for the Niro EV and allow you to change your regen levels for maximum efficiency in all driving situations. Or you can pull the left-hand paddle multiple times to select ever-increasing levels in regen as you head into corners on twisty roads, essentially like you’re dropping through the gears of a proper flappy paddle gearbox. 

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Worth noting that there’s also a one-pedal mode for max regen when you lift off the throttle – great for stop-start town driving, that.

So it’s fun to drive?

Woah, steady on now. This is still a 201bhp crossover that weighs over 1.7 tonnes, and clearly Kia’s time and effort has (rightly) been spent elsewhere. There are four drive modes – Eco, Normal, Sport, Snow – but you’re probably better off leaving the Niro EV in Eco and letting it do its thing. 

The steering is light without too much feel and the brake pedal is still a little snatchy at times. It does corner fairly flat, but it’s safe to say you won’t be hunting out interesting B-roads on a cross-country drive. 

Give me some numbers in terms of speed…

It won’t win any Top Trumps competitions any time soon, if that’s what you’re wondering. The aforementioned 201bhp means the Niro EV will hit 62mph from a standstill in 7.8 seconds. And it’ll run on to a top speed of 103mph if you really want it to.

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That’s fine. What I really want to know is... is it comfortable?

Ah yes, a far more sensible question. Kia seems to have improved the ride quality and refinement for the Niro EV, with barely any road noise transmitted into the cabin and a less bouncy ride than before. 

That may be down to the new third-generation K-platform which allowed the Niro to get longer, wider and taller than the previous generation, with an extra 20mm in the wheelbase too. This isn’t based on Kia and Hyundai’s shared E-GMP platform that underpins the Kia EV6, the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Genesis GV60 – all cars we very much like.

Is the 285-mile range estimate achievable?

Well, on a long journey of town and motorway driving we managed an impressive 4.3mi/kWh, and if you never leave the city you could up that to 5.0 or above. The Niro’s range indicator is pleasingly accurate too and changes depending on whether you have the air con on or what drive mode you’re in. Very handy.

Despite the boxy shape the Niro EV has a fairly low drag coefficient of 0.29, although don’t expect to get 285 miles from a single charge if you’re deploying its new ability to tow up to 750kg.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

150kW 2 Nav 64kWh 5dr Auto
  • 0-627.8s
  • CO20
  • BHP201.2
  • MPG
  • Price£37,240

the cheapest

150kW 2 64kWh 5dr Auto
  • 0-627.8s
  • CO2
  • BHP201.2
  • MPG
  • Price£34,940

the greenest

150kW 2 Nav 64kWh 5dr Auto
  • 0-627.8s
  • CO20
  • BHP201.2
  • MPG
  • Price£37,240

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