2019 KIA e-Niro Review; Range, Performance & Features
Here is 2019 KIA e-Niro. After the hybrid and the plug-in hybrid, this 100% electric version of the Kia Niro completes the Korean manufacturer’s crossover range. It remains family and quite versatile and is by far the most fun to drive in its variant 204 hp.
Even though it was polished by the Hyundai Ioniq, the Kia Niro is today one of the first vehicles to be available in both hybrid, rechargeable hybrid and now 100% electric. It is also the only one in its class: that of family crossovers. This exclusivity can be considered as an asset but it is especially his engine, which he shares with his cousins Hyundai Kona Electric and soon Kia Soul EV which should ensure him some success.
The electric drivetrain is articulated, as on the Kona, around two battery offers, each associated with a powerful engine
- a “small battery” of 39.2 kWh and a power of 136 hp.
- a “big battery” of 64 kWh and a power of 204 hp.
2019 KIA e-Niro On The Road
If aesthetically it is less virile than the stars of the segment like Peugeot 3008 & Volkswagen Tiguan, the e-Niro reverses the trend when driving. We had been seduced by the scent of Hyundai Kona Electric, and it’s the same here, notwithstanding a larger size and a respectable weight of almost 1,800 kg in this high-end e-Premium finish.
With the 395 Nm, available from the start, it grows, as evidenced by the lapse of 7.8 s to go from 0 to 100 km / h. The good news is that the tire mounts (Michelin Primacy 3, 215/55 R17) cash the cavalry well. It does not cringe too much on acceleration or cornering even if torque effects are felt in the steering wheel. Because the e-Niro is able to support a high pace on small roads: precise direction, powerful and progressive braking (almost a tour de force for an electric vehicle), no roll. There is only the coquettish weight that tempers the sporting ardor in the pins. The beauty is that this car was not designed for this. Remember that his primary vocation is family! And on this point, the contract is perfectly fulfilled.
For starters, the silence is remarkable, even at 130 km/h on the highway. The body, 20% stiffer than the Hybrid Niro can also curb any vibration. The suspension finally found a subtle balance between handling and softness. Even the speed bumps, which are the Achilles’ heel of electric vehicles, are swallowed without a too dry reaction. And what is valid for the front seats is also for the rear seats, which is not the case, for example, for the Renault Zoe. At the pace of “good father”, the e-Niro is also very pleasant to drive. A kind of quiet strength
As on other electric vehicles in the group, you can set the driving. First by adjusting the energy recovery level deceleration through the paddles located on either side of the steering wheel. Zero is freewheeling, 3 is true electric braking (0.25 G) which makes it almost impossible to do without the brake pedal.
You can also select 4 driving modes: sport, normal, Eco and Eco +. The last two reduce the available torque, limit the power consumption of the devices, the response of the pedal of the “gases”, as well as the top speed (90 km/h maximum in Eco +). The goal is obviously to increase the range, which is already one of the strengths of this electric vehicle.
2019 KIA e-Niro Range, autonomy and Recharging
Initially, Kia communicated about a 485 km WLTP cycle autonomy. It was a little optimistic and due to an error during the homologation simulations. In fact, the official radius of action is 455 km in the mixed cycle and 615 km in the urban cycle with 64 kWh battery. It’s perfectly realistic. On our test track with the motorway, the city, and the small mountain road, without sparing the car, we consumed exactly 16.1 kWh/100 km of average, which corresponds to a real autonomy of 397 km.
On the highway, at 130 km/h, the average consumption is 24 kWh/100 km or 266 km of autonomy. For those who find this high, remember that this corresponds to 2.2 l/100 km of diesel! Which diesel is better on the highway? Moreover, without pollution.
The 2019 KIA e-Niro also offers interesting charging possibilities. Thus on a single-phase ac terminal with a power of 7.4 kW, it recovers (power consumption 7.2 kW) 100 km of autonomy in 2 hours 30. On a terminal Ionity, the load rate climbs to 77 kW, which makes it possible to recover 100 km of autonomy in 15 minutes. In the end, the engineers told us that the battery could handle a power of up to 170 kW, which means “full” (20 to 80% charge) in less than half an hour.
2019 KIA e-Niro Interior
The dashboard does not shine particularly by its originality but the ergonomics are good and perceived quality rather superior to that of other electric vehicles “general public”. The electric version is also adorned with mood lighting with six customizable colors. Designed from the ground up for the integration of the battery, the 2019 KIA e-Niro keeps the same dimensions of habitability as the hybrid versions. Rear seat dimensions are important for an electric vehicle: 957 mm of roof clearance and 914 mm of legroom. Whatever a little firm, the seats offer good comfort.
The central touch screen, 7 or 8 inches depending on the finish, integrates TomTom Live connected services. Their update and mapping of the navigation are offered for 7 years. The features of the information system specific to an electric vehicle (location of terminals, control of consumption, range) are less effective than those of the competition.
The trunk is the most generous of all-electric models currently available on the market, excluding premium: 451 l. The 2/3, 1/3 functionality of the rear seat has been retained. It increases the volume of the trunk up to 1405 l. The e-Niro comes standard with a household cord and Type 2 cable (32A). The housing under the floor is not practical. The instrumentation uses a 7 inch LCD screen but the counters are not customizable.
2019 KIA e-Niro Competition
There is currently no other 100% electric family crossover on the market. The Kia Soul EV and Hyundai Kona Electric, equipped with the same traction chain, are smaller and the Volkswagen ID Cross, positioned in a near niche, will not arrive until 2020.
The only family alternative available today, at a similar price, is the Nissan Leaf 2. The Japanese is longer (4.49 m vs 4.37 m) but is inclined however in habitability (especially in the rear seats) and in trunk volume (435 l vs 451 l). The Korean also offers the choice of two engine powers, associated with two different battery capacities when the Nissan offers a single power (150 hp) and a battery of 40 kWh.
However, even in its basic configuration, the e-Niro makes paying its charms more expensive. With the small battery, the offer starts at 38 500 € in the e-Active finish while a Leaf 2, a little better equipped, claims only 35 900 € in Acenta version. The walk is even higher with the 2019 KIA e-Niro 64 kWh which is displayed from € 42,500 for benefits, it is true, much better.
The Kia e-Niro demonstrates with a brilliance that the electric vehicle is not renunciation. With him, the family does not give up practical aspects, comfort or habitability. The driver does not give up either driving pleasure or performance, on the contrary! Neither do you need to burden your budget with the plug-in hybrid version thanks to the ecological bonus? Finally, with 270 km (motorway) to 600 km (city) autonomy and ultra-fast load, it will not give up the vast majority of trips