Electric Dreams - Kia e-Niro First Drive
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
The Kia Niro has been on sale for a few years now and in tune with the times, came equipped with a clever eco-friendly hybrid powertrain.
The promise of sub 100g/km CO2 emissions and up to 76.3mpg on the combined cycle from the 104bhp petrol engine and 43bhp electric motor, bettered most diesel offerings of the day.
Over a week behind the wheel I achieved a little over 50mpg without trying very hard.
Today a Niro ‘2’ can be on your driveway for a very reasonable £23,845 and with a high level of standard equipment, there is little need to spend more.
Never a company to rest on its laurels, Kia has now introduced a fully electric Niro and at recent drive events I have had the opportunity to spend some time behind the wheel.
The e-Niro First Edition costs £32,995, after the deduction of the government’s £3,500 grant.
The main barrier to electric car ownership has been limited range and at long last we are seeing electric cars coming to market with 200+ miles of usable real-world range.
In the e-Niro up to 282 miles in ideal conditions should be possible, enough for all but the very high mileage daily driver.
The e-Niro can be charged from a domestic 13amp plug, though patience will be required as this is likely to take 24 hours plus.
Owners will of course have a home charger unit installed which will see this time fall to less than ten hours.
Out and about, the latest 50kW fast chargers should be able to boost the e-Niro’s battery from 0%-80% in one hour and fifteen minutes.
There are a wide variety of companies offering charging points and each has their own payment/connection methods. Be prepared therefore to download a variety of apps to your mobile phone and fill your wallet with plastic cards. It will improve as more and more people make the move to fully electric cars and the infrastructure develops.
What is striking about the e-Niro is how normal it feels to drive. Press the ‘start’ button, engage drive and go. Step off from rest is brisk and 60mph can be reached in just 7.5 seconds. That’s good enough to leave many a car with more overly sporting pretensions in its wake…
With no gears to change, the acceleration is seamless and top speed an academic 104mph.
Peace and quiet is the order of the day, with a little wind and road noise the only intrusive sounds. It’s all very relaxing which makes returning to a combustion-engine powered car seem so very last century…
A comfortable ride and safe and secure handling are what I expected from the e-Niro, though driving thrills are few and far between – unimportant though I guess.
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There is ample space for four large adults to travel in comfort with head and leg room aplenty. The 451-litre boot offers ample space for luggage.
The list of standard equipment is exhaustive, with leather upholstery, automatic air conditioning and 8” touchscreen with satellite navigation among the highlights.
The e-Niro comes with Kia’s class-leading 7 year/100,000-mile warranty which should allay any fears about venturing into pure electric motoring.
So why not head down to your local Kia dealer and put this attractive electric car to the test? But don’t hang about as sales are buoyant and the waiting list growing rapidly and for that there is good reason!
Kia e-Niro 64kWh ‘First Edition’
Price £32,995 (after govt. grant of £3,500)
64kWh electric motor
0-60mph in 7.5 seconds
Charging (50kW) 75 minutes (0-80%)
Charging (100kW) 54 minutes (0-80%)
Combined driving range 282 miles
7 year/100,000-mile warranty
Electric Dreams - Kia e-Niro First Drive, 12th June 2019, 18:03 PM