New Kia e-Niro vs Hyundai Kona Electric

Two months ago, we named Hyundai’s Kona Electric as the best car of its kind. But has fellow Korean brand Kia made better use of the very same battery and motor with its e-Niro?...

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What Car? team
23 December 2018

Hyundai Kona Electric back seats
Hyundai Kona Electric back seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Even those who are more than 6ft tall will have room up front in both cars, although they’ll find the Kona gives the most head room by a small margin, while the e-Niro has seats that slide a bit farther back and more width to its interior. 

Move rearwards and the e-Niro proves far more spacious. There’s more than 100mm of extra rear leg room, as well as a bit more head room. It’s the difference between the tallest of people feeling restricted or perfectly comfortable.

Kia e-Niro back seats

What’s more, you can squeeze more luggage into the e-Niro; its boot can take five carry-on suitcases, versus the Kona’s four. Should you need to do some DIY, the e-Niro also has the longer, taller extended load bay when the rear seats are down.

Neither car features particularly flexible seating; both have a 60/40-split folding rear bench with no ability to recline or slide. Their rear seats don’t lie perfectly flat when they’re folded down, either, but you could still easily slide in a big box.

Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric boot

The Kona is a fair bit shorter than the e-Niro, and it shows. Rear leg room is tighter, so although six-footers can fit, they won’t be particularly comfy. Factor in its smaller boot and the Kona gets the wooden spoon in the space race.

Boot 332-1114 litres Suitcases 4

Kia e-Niro

Kia e-Niro boot

The e-Niro’s we're testing has a sunroof that eats into front head room, but there’s still enough space for six-footers and a UK-spec cars won't even get the option of a hole in the roof. Those in the rear have plenty of leg room and there’s only a small hump in the floor for the central passenger to straddle.

Boot 451-1405 litres Suitcases 5

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