Kia e-Niro review

Category: Electric car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:electric
Available colours:
Kia e-Niro 2020 RHD infotainment
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  • Kia e-Niro 2020 RHD dashboard
  • Kia e-Niro 2020 RHD rear seats
  • Kia e-Niro 2020 RHD infotainment
  • Kia e-Niro 2020 RHD right panning
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  • Kia e-Niro 2020 RHD left rear tracking
  • Kia e-Niro 2020 RHD front seats
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RRP from£32,845
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Kia e-Niro is pricier for cash buyers than the Mazda MX-30 and MG ZS EV, which are both at the cheaper end of the electric SUV spectrum. It’s also slightly more expensive than its sibling, the Kia Soul EV. However, most versions of the e-Niro are still much cheaper than the Tesla Model 3. At the moment it's eligible for the government grant that reduces the up-front cost, but there are no discounts from Kia dealers. 

Because the e-Niro is a pure electric car, company car drivers will pay very little company car tax for the next few years. This, combined with the low cost of electricity compared with petrol – especially if you take advantage of discounted rates when charging at night – makes with e-Niro a seriously cheap car to run. If you venture into London’s Congestion Charge zone, you’ll also escape the usual fee, and there are various parking perks in cities across the UK.

You can charge the battery using a Type 2 cable (included as standard) from a regular 7kW home wallbox. A 0-100% charge takes around 6hrs for the 39kWh and just over 10hrs for the 64kWh. From a 50kW public CCS charger – the kind you find at motorway service stations – and a 10-80% charge takes about 1hr for both battery sizes. If you can find a 100kW charger, that time is cut to circa 45mins, but the e-Niro's maximum charging rate isn't as quick as that of some of its newer rivals – or a Model 3's, and Tesla's supercharging network is far superior to anything else. 

Equipment, options and extras

There's a choice of three trim levels on the e-Niro, and all are relatively well equipped. Entry-level '2' has dual-zone climate control, privacy glass, part-leather seats, automatic lights and wipers, adaptive cruise control, 16in alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and keyless entry, but it’s available only with the lower-capacity 39kWh battery.

We recommend '3' trim. Why? Well, we've already mentioned that the 64kWh battery has a longer range and better performance, plus extras such as an electric driver’s seat, a better 10.3in infotainment system, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera, but that's not all. It also adds full leather seat trim, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. '4+' trim is even more lavish, with ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a sunroof included, but it's as pricey as the Tesla Model 3. As for options, the only extra you can add to any e-Niro is metallic paint.

Should you want a more detailed breakdown of equipment levels, have a look at our versions and specs page.

Kia e-Niro 2020 RHD infotainment

Reliability

Kia, as a brand, came seventh out of 31 in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, one place behind Hyundai but above most other manufacturers electric car manufacturers. We don't have any data for the e-Niro itself.

Just like all Kias, the e-Niro comes with a class-leading seven-year warranty as standard (limited to 100,000 miles).

Safety and security

Although the regular petrol-powered Kia Niro has been appraised for safety by Euro NCAP, this electric version hasn’t been put through the test.

You get a reasonable number of active safety aids to help you avoid an accident in the first place, though, including automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance. If you want blind spot monitoring or rear cross-traffic alert (the latter warns you about approaching cars when you’re backing out onto a road), you’ll need to upgrade to '4+' trim.

As for security, you get an alarm, deadlocks and locking wheel nuts as standard.

Overview

The Kia e-Niro pulls off a trick that many newer electric cars still fail to do, and that’s being a fantastic electric car – one with a long range – as well as a good car full stop. It offers decent practicality, excellent performance, a comfortable ride, tidy handling and plenty of equipment. And the e-Niro does all of that for a sensible price if you go for our mid-spec trim recommendation.

  • 64kWh model’s 250-mile-plus range in real-world driving
  • Quick acceleration in 64kWh
  • Well equipped
  • A fair bit pricier than an MG ZS EV
  • Doesn't charge as quickly as a Tesla Model 3
  • No Euro NCAP safety rating

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