elmo Rapid Review #1: Kia e-Niro

Sometimes it’s fun to watch a presenter critique a car while driving it through peculiarly deserted, picturesque roads. But sometimes you just want to cut the fluff and find out what makes the car good or bad and whether it’s the right car for you.

We’re trying to do just that in our ‘Rapid Review’ series. In this bitesize review we will tell you everything you need to know about the Kia e-Niro. With no added fluff.

Either watch our video version or read on. Either way, it’ll only take about 3 minutes.

Kia e-Niro: What’s it like?

The Kia e-Niro comes with quite the reputation.

A Tesla-like range for a not so Tesla-like price. All wrapped up in the body of a pretty stylish compact SUV. 

The heavy battery means it doesn’t handle like a sports car, but it’s perfect for everyday driving. 0-60mph takes 7.5 seconds but feels much much faster. Especially if you switch to Sport mode...

It is compact, but you can still host a car-full of 6-footers without too much discomfort. And get 5 suitcases in the boot.

It’s also remarkably well-equipped with all the gadgets you’d expect from a mid-range modern car:

  • parking sensors
  • rear-view camera
  • Bluetooth
  • wireless phone charging
  • Sat-nav
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • heated seats to keeps bums toasty...

So far so good! Now for the important bits...

Range & Charging

The good folk at Kia say the e-Niro has an official range of 283 miles thanks to a 64kWh lithium-ion battery with an efficiency of 270Wh/mile.

Okay. But what does this actually mean for you?

Well, people who’ve actually lived with the car say that it does about 230-260 miles on a single charge.

This means you’ll probably only ever need public charging on long motorway trips where it’s easy to find rapid charging. For regular life, you’ll just need to top up your charge at home.

It’ll take you an hour to charge from 10% to 80% (198 miles of charge) on a 50kW rapid charger using the CSS cable ‘tethered’ to the charge point. It can also charge ever faster, accepting up to 77kW from ultra rapid 100kW or 150kW chargers, usually found on motorway routes.

At home you can plug in to a normal 3-pin socket if you’re not in a hurry (24 hours plus!). Or install a wallbox charger to charge overnight for everyday use. The car comes with both type 2 cables needed for these.

How does it compare?

With its price tag of nearly £35k and an official WLTP range of 283 miles, this is how the e-Niro compares to the other all-electric SUVs currently on the market:

It’s a bit larger and a bit cheaper than the Hyundai Kona but offers 18 miles less range.

It’s pricier than the Peugeot e-2008 and much pricier than the MG ZS EV. But it trumps the Peugeot for range by about 90 miles and the MG by an astonishing 120 miles.

And when we say pricey, it’s still significantly cheaper than the Teslas and other models like the Audi e-Tron and Jaguar i-Pace which offer similar range.

All things considered then, we think that the e-Niro is the one of the best available compromises on range, size and price.

Who’s this car for?

With its impressive range, stylish SUV-looks, versatile everyday performance and decent size, this car will tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people.

From school runs and weekly groceries to business trips and family road trips, the e-Niro allows you to have an electric car as your primary car. And to get that SUV feeling while keeping the planet green!

That said, if you don’t need all that extra range and only really use your car for local trips, there are plenty of more affordable options.

In our opinion, it’s the still first affordable electric car for living without compromise.

Like the sound of the Kia e-Niro? 

Try our Suitability Tool to see if it would suit your lifestyle: www.elmodrive.com/questionnaire