Six years after the launch of the first Niro, Kia’s crossover gets a makeover this summer. It remains one of the only models on the market to offer a choice of three electric motors: hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric. Available with the old model since 2018, the electric version is far from making the numbers. It has been the best-selling version of the Niro for the past two years and the best-selling Kia on the French market in 2021. So it is at the wheel of this 100% electric version – now called the Niro EV – that we have. we have been selected for our first laps in this new Niro.
The new Niro which has stretched almost 7 cm in this new generation to reach 4.42 meters in length. It is only 10 cm less than its big brother Kia Sportage, which takes the design. If the old Niro was more prudent on this point, the new one shows a daring and unusual style. Low-profile optics, boomerang-style taillights, large grille: the Niro leaves no one behind. It can be fitted, as an option, with a rear fascia in a color different from that of the bodywork.
When we enter, we find the world of the Kia EV6 – another electric model of the Korean brand – with two screens placed next to each other and a flying moose with two voices. The presentation is modern and the multimedia system – also carried over from the EV6 – is easy to use. On the other hand, the small screen under the windshield, which allows you to adjust the weather or navigation, is not practical to handle while driving. If the quality of the equipment leaves something to be desired in some areas (especially at the level of the storm doors), we appreciate the presence of a large storage bin between the front seats. This compensates for the limited capacity of the glove box and door bins.
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In the back, three people can take place in the absence of a service tunnel. Legroom is important and it is even possible to tilt the backrest for more comfort. We would have appreciated a slightly less stable bench seat and the possibility of a panoramic roof (not available on this model) to let in a little more light.
In terms of the trunk, the Niro EV is one of the best students in the segment with a load volume of 455 liters and the presence of a double floor that allows a flat floor by folding the bench seat. Icing on the cake, the small front trunk (20 liters) can carry the charging cable.
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The Niro EV has a 204 hp electric motor, powered by a 64.8 kWh battery. Features similar to those of the old electric Niro that result in near-freedom. Indeed, Kia advertises 460 kilometers in the combined cycle, just 5 kilometers more than the old e-Niro. If this quick trap did not allow us to prove real freedom, on the other hand, we saw the use of reasonable force. On our test route, which took us through the city, highway and highway, the on-board computer showed less than 19 kWh/100 km. At 130 km/h, consumption remains even below 20 kWh/100 km.
It must be said that it is easy to save energy at the wheel of this Niro thanks to its many ways to recover energy during braking. It has four, which are adjusted through the paddles on the steering wheel, as well as the “One Pedal” function allowing the car to be braked to a stop, while charging the battery. It is very practical in urban use.
Speaking of charging, the Niro EV now has an 11kW charger on board as standard. What to save time at the stations located in the city center. On the other hand, the charging power at fast stations (Ionity type) is limited to only 72 kW, where the competition today exceeds 100 kW. “A choice to reduce costs”, explains Marc Hedrich, boss of Kia France. Note however that, for the first time with the brand, the Niro has the original battery condition. Obviously, the system will pre-heat the battery if you enter a charging station as a GPS destination so that it gets the maximum power from the start of charging.
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Fun electric car
You can easily find your marks behind the wheel. The slightly higher driving position is reminiscent of SUVs. Like all electric cars, Niro EV is a real pleasure to drive in the city: the absence of noise and vibrations, a unique pleasure. The Niro adds good handling and light handling in “Normal” or “Eco” drive mode.
The third “Sport” mode provides a direct response from the accelerator pedal. The Korean provides good acceleration and good lift, despite the low torque of the engine for the electric model (255 Nm). On the other hand, ride comfort is not its main quality. In the city, the suspension is a little firm to a fault despite our test version’s 17-inch rims.
This durability allows him to show agility. In the turn sequence, the Niro EV offers dynamic handling, much better than the old model, even if it is far from being as pleasant to drive as the electric Renault Mégane. It must be said that it does not weigh more than 1,800 kg. Other features include excellent brake feel with a 100% electric design and adequate sound insulation, even on fast roads.
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Original appearance, generous space in the dashboard and trunk, driving pleasure, practicality in normal use… the arguments in favor of the Kia Niro EV are not lacking after this first contact. But like all electric models sold today, it fishes for a high price: a minimum of 44,490 euros (not including the ecological bonus).
And at this price, driving aids, heated seats or even a heat pump are optional or not available at all on the entry-level version. Then it is necessary to return to the top versions, sold between 46,490 and 48,090 euros. This doesn’t seem to scare off customers as Kia claims that the electric version already represents 55% of orders for the new Niro in France.
Amazing design and modern presentation
A true family car (shelter, trunk)
THE LITTLE ONES
Advanced tax policy and options
Comfort is quite consistent
Driving aids are available everywhere
Kia Niro EV 2022 technical sheet
Motor & Battery
Motor type: permanent magnet synchronous motor
Maximum power: 150 kW (204 hp)
Maximum torque: 255 Nm
Transmission: to the front wheels
Battery capacity: 64.8kWh
Battery weight: 443 kg
Performance and Autonomy
Top speed: 167 km/h (minimum)
0 to 100 km/h: 7.8 seconds
80 to 120 km/h: 5.0 seconds
Combined consumption: 16.2 kWh/100 km
Freedom in the combined circuit: 460 km
Onboard charger capacity (AC): up to 11 kW (standard)
Maximum load direct current (DC): 72 kW (CSS)
Minimum switching load current: 6h20 (0-100%)
Minimum DC load: 43 minutes (10-80%)
Dimensions & Weight
LxWxH: 4.42 x 1.83 x 1.57m
Trunk: 475 to 1,392 liters
Front trunk: 20 liters
Weight: 1.757 kg
Budgeting and Manufacturing
Price: from 44,490 euros
Financial horse power: 4 CV
Ecological bonus: from 2,000 to 6,000 euros
Release date in France: August 2022
Country of manufacture: South Korea
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