Kia Niro Electric Vehicle is a practical family-friendly electric vehicle.

Kia Niro Electric Vehicle is a practical family-friendly electric vehicle. Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE!

In the future, if we look back at the history of EVs, Kia’s e-Niro will be seen as a game-changer, being one of the first affordable EVs with a reliable range of more than 250 miles. As a result, it’s selling so well that, along with the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, the Niro is now Kia’s second most popular car in the UK after the Sportage.

But the pace of progress in the Electric Vehicle world is fast, which is why Kia is now introducing an all-new facelifted version of this second-generation crossover. But will it further help Niro succeed?

Significant changes to this new Niro Electric Vehicle, note that it’s no longer called the e-Niro, affect its exterior and interior. While the last model looked boring, this new model is a big improvement. But more on that later.

Using tech from the latest Sportage and EV6, Kia has worked hard to give the Niro’s cabin a more modern and upscale feel, while its larger dimensions help make more room for passengers — especially those sitting in the rear.

While Kia continues to offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Niro, our focus here is entirely on the Electric Vehicle model. Interestingly, despite all the changes elsewhere, the powertrain is pretty much the same as it was when it debuted four years ago.

Kia has dropped the entry-level powertrain, with all new Niro EVs now using a 64.8kWh battery paired to an electric motor producing 201bhp and 255Nm of torque. Drive is delivered to the front wheels, too.

Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph takes 7.6 seconds, and it’s on to a top speed of 103 mph. As far as range goes, the Niro Electric Vehicle is reported to be capable of 285 miles on a single charge, which is still a decent number, but not much higher than its predecessor. Fast charging isn’t the fastest, either — according to Kia, it takes 43 minutes to charge from 10 percent to 80 percent.

The Niro Electric Vehicle is a vehicle that focuses on ease of use. The drive modes on the steering wheel make it easy to switch between settings, but even in ‘Eco’ mode, the speed is adequate, but in the down-to-earth ‘Sport’ mode, this impotent Kia is especially creepy.

You can also use the paddles on the steering wheel like a brake pedal to fine-tune regeneration, the longer you press it, the car brakes harder and longer, and it works really well. There is almost no need to touch the brake pedal itself.

Our low-spec ‘2’ test car was comfortable and smooth on 17in alloy wheels, while the improvement in speed was impressive. It’s not quite as comfortable to drive as the Cupra Born, but it’s a very comfortable ride that would be excellent on a daily basis.

Inspired by 2019’s “Habaniro” concept, this latest Niro is a big step forward from a design standpoint. We mentioned the blandness of the old Niro, which only makes this model more compelling.

There are smart ‘heartbeat’ LED daytime running lights that add a real presence, while at the rear, boomerang-shaped taillights that extend to the side of the car look great, especially at night when you appreciate them the most. One minor gripe is that the front cargo cover on the front bumper looks like an afterthought while also being stuck on our test car, making it difficult to open. We hope this is just a bug with our particular vehicle.

The Niro’s interior is another area that has been greatly improved, especially from an aesthetic standpoint. There’s the cool two-spoke steering wheel, while a single panel houses both the digital dial and the touchscreen.

Other nice touches include a dual-function keypad below the hazard warning icons that can switch between climate settings or traditional media functions. While it looks noticeably more elegant, it wasn’t always like that. Low-priced areas such as door panels and parcel shelves were disappointing given the progress made in other departments.

What we can’t criticize about the Niro, however, is the interior space. Despite its increased size, the Niro isn’t a huge vehicle (it has a similar footprint to the Nissan Qashqai), but rear room is fantastic – even tall adults can sit comfortably in the back behind the front seat. The 475-litre boot is also large, even larger than the hybrid version.

The Niro Electric Vehicle comes in three easy-to-remember trims – 2, 3 and 4.

However, we suspect that at £36,795 for the entry-level 2, most people will be able to meet their needs. Highlights include automatic LED headlights, an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, adaptive cruise control and 17-inch alloy wheels.

3 Series models offer electrically folding mirrors, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, starting at £39,545. At the top of the line-up, Level 4 packs features like a head-up display, ventilated vegan leather seats and an electric boot, although it’s quite expensive at £42,295.

The Verdict

The latest generation of the Kia Niro Electric Vehicle makes this electric crossover more attractive than ever. It’s no longer just notable for its range and powertrain, it now also has interior space and a more interesting design. Combined with a huge interior and a wealth of equipment, this could be one of the easiest EVs to drive.

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Kia Niro Electric Vehicle is a practical family-friendly electric vehicle.