For those sceptics of EV’s, there’s a new kid on the block that could change your mind. The new Kia e-Niro tackles two of the most common issues that people have with; range and charging speed.

With a listed range of 282 miles, tested against the rigorous WLTP standards, and a fast charging to 80% in just 54 minutes, it seems it could help to pacify even the biggest cynics.

Family-friendly crossover

The e-Niro is a family friendly car, designed in a crossover style, allowing it to take a particularly unique stance in the market. However, it’s most appealing features aren’t the sleek and smooth design, instead, they come from the 382-mile range on the WLTP urban cycle.

Design-wise the car is a futuristic dream, with elements of practicality. The blue highlights on the front of the car help to emphasise the electric but also the ‘Clean and High-tech’ overarching plan for the car. With the drawn-back headlights, to an almost cat eye silhouette, the side profile of the car looks elongated and aerodynamic. A far cry for some from the rectangular look of the Skoda Karoq.

The charging port is cleverly camouflaged in the front closed “tiger-nose” grille and blends seamlessly into the overall look of the car. The de-bossed Niro logo is the only giveaway as to where the charging port is.

In terms of in-car storage, the boot is an impressive 451 litres, bigger than the majority of similar cars, and even comes with a storage spot for the charging cable below the boot itself.

Range and performance

The notoriously harsh WhatCar? Real Range tests showed that the Kia e-Niro matched the performance of the far pricier Jaguar I-Pace with a range of 253 miles. Saying that the listed WLTP tests for the e-Niro are higher than the I-Pace, making it much better value for money.

The range for the e-Niro is listed as 282 miles for combined driving on the WLTP, and on the urban cycle, it lists at a huge 382 miles. This is for the long-distance 64kWh battery, which as far as anyone is aware is the only battery available in Europe for the e-Niro, but there is a lower range 39.2kWh battery available in Korea, and other countries.

When it comes to speed, the e-Niro is much quicker off the blocks than other similar models. The 0-62mph is 7.5 seconds, but those who have tested have said that even the lightest touch on the accelerator can send the wheels spinning on the dryest of roads.

The range is one of the biggest purchase factors of this car, it’s the first relatively cheap electric car that can directly compete with some similarly priced combustion engines. For families who are looking at a more affordable electric car, or who have been put off by the lower range can now make the move to electric.

Charging it up

Charging has been another big concern for many people, but using a 100kw charger can take the battery to 80% in just under an hour, which is equivalent to around 250 miles, so all apart from those doing multiple miles a day can suffice for up to a week on one charge.

Like all electric cars, using a fast charger all the time isn’t the best for the battery, but every now and then it won’t harm the car. 100kw chargers are often found in public pay to charge spots, so it might cost you a bit to get to a good spot, but overall, it shouldn’t be too bad.

The e-Niro has regenerative braking so when you are decelerating or coasting you get some of the power back into the battery, meaning the car can maintain charge while driving. Predictive driving assistance looks at the navigation system and determines the level of energy regeneration needed based on upcoming road conditions.

Our view

Over Christmas, we released a report that we had written on electric vehicles and whether they were worth it. While this data was collected last year, the core issue we found was the peripherals weren’t ready for electric cars. This was reflected in a recent statement in response to the news that an electric car had been awarded Car of the Year, by the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). They said “While it is great news that an electric car has been awarded Car of the Year, the UK needs to develop a truly visible, national charging network to help more drivers make the switch from petrol and diesel. Our National Infrastructure Assessment includes recommendations to achieve just that and make sure the UK is ready for this growing market, including offering subsidies to support rural and remote areas and getting councils to allocate a portion of their parking spaces for potential future charging points. This would ensure that this growing demand for electric cars isn’t halted by a lack of the charging infrastructure needed.”

For those living in urban or suburban areas, the Kia e-Niro is the perfect first electric car, with a reasonable price, range and charging capabilities. However, for more rural areas, it doesn’t look like it’s ready just yet, through no fault of the car makers, simply the infrastructure.

The Kia e-Niro is released for sale in the UK in April, but if you want to start enquiring about test drives, quotes or brochures, then why not have a look at one of our partners CarKeys. They can save you up to £3000 on the cost of a new car, and are sure to have some great deals on the Kia e-Niro when it is launched in a few months, with a starting price of £33,000. If you’re interested, have a look here:

What do you think of the Kia e-Niro? Would the range and charging points convert you to electric? Let us know below

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