Kia e-Niro long-term test review: report 8

What's the first-ever electric winner of our Car of the Year title like to live with? We find out...

Kia e-Niro at an Ecotricity charger

The car Kia e-Niro First Edition Run by Jim Holder, editorial director

Why it’s here To find out just how good the first fully electric What Car? Car of the Year really is

Needs to Do everything a conventional SUV can do, without compromises

Price £32,995 (after grant) Target Price £32,995 (after grant) Price as tested £33,560 Miles covered 10,201 Official range 282 miles Test economy 301 miles Options Premium paint (£565)

29 August – The highs and lows of public charging

I’ve owned or run an electric car for almost four years now, but last week, on holiday in Wales and covering 800 miles in six days, was the first time I’ve ever used public chargers.

The results were largely positive; even with our minds more on days at the beach than trekking around looking for chances to charge, we were able to top up our Kia e-Niro regularly, easily and relatively cheaply, especially compared with the cost of petrol or diesel.

Ecotricity app failure

Aside from some other drivers not respecting the electric car charging bays, the only glitch came – twice, and a week apart – when we tried to use the same rapid charger at a motorway service station. Ecotricity has a near-monopoly on motorway charging but a poor reputation for reliability, and alas it let us down.

The first time, the smartphone app you need to use the charger crashed and froze, but by re-downloading it we eventually got the thing working. On our return, however, the charger refused to link to the e-Niro and then declared itself permanently broken.

A scan online soon revealed working chargers from rival firms nearby, and the e-Niro’s long range meant we weren’t desperate for mileage, thank goodness.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more on our long-term Kia e-Niro >

See more long-term test reports >