Kia e-Niro: owner review
Andrew Till bought a Kia e-Niro to go on a long-distance holiday. He reveals what he was thinking and how it worked out...
Car: Kia e-Niro
Owner’s name: Andrew Till
"After driving – and loving – an old 24kWh Nissan Leaf for about a year, my family and I decided to drive to Italy for our summer holidays, and knew that to do that (whilst retaining our sanity) we’d really need something with a better range.
"I had pre-ordered a Tesla Model 3 but it was looking increasingly unlikely we’d get that in time for August, so I placed an order for a Kia e-Niro the moment I could. I was fortunate enough to get one of the first in the country in April 2019.
"The e-Niro is a great car to drive and even the most stressful school runs are a pleasure. Slip it into Sport mode, put the stereo's volume up, and you can even leave boy racers at the lights. On the motorway, using cruise control, it is effortless even when stuck in a jam. The fantastic range and efficiency is a breath of fresh air, too; the Leaf only managed about 60 miles on the motorway in the winter. By comparison, the e-Niro comfortably manages 220.
"The thing that has surprised me the most is actually just how practical it is as a long-distance family car. With a range that easily lasts longer than my bladder ever could on a journey, plenty of head and leg room for passengers, oodles of space in the boot and a cargo box we fitted to the roof, we’ve found travelling a pleasure and a long way from the will-we-make-it stress of the Leaf.
"In terms of reliability, the only real niggle so far is the charge flap sticking – something I’m sure that Kia will fix once it goes in for the service.
"The biggest issue is not strictly Kia’s problem: motorway charging. Ecotricity chargers are notoriously unreliable, and Ionity – which should have been the white knight coming to rescue us from Ecotricity’s stranglehold – has increased its prices to such a degree that charging with them is now more expensive than filling with petrol. I live in hope that Kia will announce a subscription plan as Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen and others have but, until then, it’s best to use motorway chargers as a last resort.
"My lease expires in another year and I honestly can’t imagine finding a better EV for the money. Kia has done an amazing job and I imagine I’ll still be smiling on every journey for the next 12 months – so much so, that I have even chronicled my experiences on my own YouTube channel."
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here