Kia e-Niro test: electric … and violent

Although he was politely provided by the Hyundai Ioniq, the Kia Niro is now one of the first vehicles to be available in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid technologies 100% electric, It is also the only one in its class: that of the Crossovers family. This exclusivity can be seen as an asset, but it is above all his engine that he shares with his cousins ​​Hyundai Kona Electric and soon Kia Soul EV, which should bring him success.

"For France, 3,000 Kia e-Niro are planned for 2019"

The electric pull chain is articulated around like the Kona two battery offers, each connected to a motor powerr

  • a "small battery" of 39.2 kWh and a power of 136 hp.
  • a "big battery" of 64 kWh and a power of 204 hp.

The latter will account for the majority of sales in France. Kia speaks of a market share of 95% to 98% in 2019 or at least 2,850 models 3,000 e-Niro planned in France. Logically, it is the 64 kWh version that we tried on the winding roads of the Côte d'Azur.

Drive the Kia e-Niro

Thanks to its rigid body, its battery (placed in the ground) which lowers the center of gravity, good suspension performance and performance tires, the behavior of the e-Niro is surprisingly dynamic for a vehicle of this weight.

If it's aesthetic, it shows less virile than the stars of the segment (Peugeot 3008, Volkswagen Tiguan), the E-Niro reverses the trend in driving. The scent of Hyundai Kona Electric has seduced us, and that is the case here, despite the larger size and the considerable weight of almost 1,800 kg in this high-end e-premium finish.

With the 395 Nm, which are available from the beginning, it grows, as evidenced by the time of 7.8 s from 0 to 100 km / hThe good news is that the tire (Michelin Primacy 3, 215/55 R17) collects good cavalry. While accelerating or cornering, it does not scratch too hard Torque effects are noticeable in the steering wheel, Because the e-Niro can withstand high speeds on small roads: precise direction, powerful and progressive braking (almost a feat of power for an electric vehicle), no grip roll. There is only the coquettish weight that triggers the athletic zest in the pins. The nice thing is that this car was not designed for that. Remember that his primary calling is the family! And on this point, the contract is perfectly fulfilled.

Kia e-Niro
The comfort of this electric version is remarkable. Bigger than Hybrid Niro

To start, The silence is remarkableEven at 130 km / h on the highway. The body, which is 20% stiffer than the Hybrid Niro, can also contain any vibrations. The suspension finally found a subtle balance between handling and softness. Even the speed thresholds, which are the Achilles heel of electric vehicles, are swallowed up without a too dry reaction. And what applies to the front seats, also applies to the rear seats, which is not the case for example with the Renault Zoe. In a "good father" is the e-Niro as well very pleasant to drive, A kind of quiet power …

"The increases are particularly strong at 80 to 120 km / h in 5 s."

As with the other electric vehicles in the group You can stop driving. First, the delay of energy recovery is set by the blades on both sides of the steering wheel. Zero is freewheeling, 3 is real electric braking (0.25 G), making it almost impossible to do without the brake pedal.

We can also choose 4 driving modes : Sports, Normal, Eco and Eco +. The latter two reduce the available torque, limit the power consumption of the devices, the response of the pedal of the "gases" as well as the maximum speed (maximum 90 km / h at Eco +). The goal is obviously to increase the range, which is already one of the strengths of this electric vehicle.

Consumption, autonomy and charging of Kia e-Niro

Kia e-Niro
As with many electric vehicles, the consumption on the highway is doubled compared to that in the city. Here 24 kWh / 100 km vs. 12 kWh / 100 km

Initially, Kia shared the autonomy of a 485 km WLTP cycle. It was a bit optimistic and due to a bug in homologation simulations. In fact, the official action radius 455 km in a mixed cycle and 615 km in the urban cycle with the battery 64 kWh. That is absolutely realistic. On our test track with the highway, the city and the small mountain road without sparing the car, we used exactly 16.1 kWh / 100 km on average, which corresponds to one real autonomy of 397 km,

On the highwayAt 130 km / h, the average consumption is 24 kWh / 100 km. 266 km autonomy, For those who find this high, be aware that this is equivalent to 2.2 l / 100 km of diesel. Which diesel is better on the highway? And without pollution …

Kia e-Niro
The charging socket (Combo 2 CSS) is located behind a hatch in the grill.
Kia e-Niro
The maximum charging rate is currently 77 kW in direct current

E-Niro also offers interesting charging options, So on a single-phase AC terminal with an output of 7.4 kWwe recover (power consumption 7.2 kW) 100 km autonomy in 2 h 30, At an Ionity kiosk (which does not yet exist), the load increases to 77 kW, allowing recovery 100 km autonomy in 15 minutes, In the end, the engineers told us that the battery could handle up to 170 kW of power, which means "full" (20 to 80% charge) in less than half an hour.

Kia e-Niro Awards

Kia e-Niro
Kia e-Niro

In France, the range is initially articulated (it is not excluded that the "small battery" version 2020 disappears from the catalog) two battery capacities and three versions,




39,2 kWh – 132 ch.

38,500 €

40 500 €

64 kWh – 204 ch.

42,500 €

44,500 €

46,500 €

At first, the rates seem to be high, but they need to be relativized. Equipped like this, the e-Niro is only € 2 250 more expensive than a Niro plug-in hybrid and benefits from one ecological bonus of at least 6,000 €. Compared to electric vehicles with a range of more than 400 km under real conditions, it is necessary to pay more than € 78,000 for a Jaguar i-Pace, in addition to its cousin Hyundai Kona Electric, for a € 89,000 Tesla S and the new Tesla 3 should cost no less than 55,000 euros in Europe. Kia France also offers one Long term rental offer attractive enough too 397 € / month over 49 months with 10,000 km per year and a contribution of € 1,150 (government bonus and conversion premium deducted).

Aboard the Kia e-Niro

Kia e-Niro inside
The dashboard does not really stand out because of its originality, but the ergonomics are good and the quality is seen as a "general" audience rather than other electric vehicles. The electric version is also decorated with mood lighting with six customizable colors.
Kia e-Niro inside
Designed from the ground up for battery integration, the E-Niro has the same dimensions of habitability as the hybrid versions.
Kia e-Niro inside
The dimensions of the rear seats are important for an electric vehicle: 957 mm roof clearance and 914 mm legroom.
Kia e-Niro inside
Whatever is a little tighter, the seats provide a good comfort. In France, the leather upholstery will be delivered in series from the second stage.
Kia e-Niro inside
A rotary switch (R, N, D) replaces the lever on the center console. It is easy to use.
Kia e-Niro inside
The central touch screen, 7 or 8 inches, depending on the version, integrates the services connected to TomTom Live. Their update and mapping of the navigation is offered for 7 years.
Kia e-Niro inside
The characteristics of the information system specific to an electric vehicle (position of terminals, consumption control, range …) are less effective than those of competitors.
Kia e-Niro inside
The trunk is the most generous of all currently available on the market electric models without premium: 451 l
Kia e-Niro inside
The 2/3, 1/3 functionality of the rear seat has been retained. It increases the trunk volume to 1405 l
Kia e-Niro
The e-Niro comes standard with a household cable and a Type 2 cable (32A). The housing under the floor is not practical.
Kia e-Niro inside
The instrument uses a 7-inch LCD screen, but the meters are not customizable.

Competition Kia e-Niro

Nissan Leaf 2
Nissan Leaf 2

It is currently No other 100% electric family crossing on the market. The Kia Soul EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric, which are equipped with the same pull chain, are smaller and the Volkswagen ID Cross, which is positioned in a niche, will not come before 2020.

The only family alternative available today for a similar price is the Nissan Leaf 2. The Japanese is longer (4.49 m vs. 4.37 m), but tends to habitat (especially in the back seats) and in the trunk volume ( 435 l compared to 451 l). The Korean also offers the choice of two engine powers associated with two different battery capacities when the Nissan offers a single power (150 hp) and a 40 kWh battery.

However, the e-Niro makes paying his charms even in the basic equipment more expensive. With the small battery starts the offer at 38 500 € in the e-Active finish, while a slightly better equipped Leaf 2 claimed only 35 900 € in the Acenta version. With the e-Niro 64 kWh, which is displayed from 42 500 € for the benefits, the way is even higher.

Test result Kia e-Niro 64 kWh

Kia e-Niro

The Kia e-Niro shows this with brilliance The electric vehicle is not a waiver, With him the family gives up no practical aspects, comfort or habitability. The driver gives up neither driving pleasure nor performance, on the contrary! Even with the plug-in hybrid version, thanks to the ecological bonus, you do not have to burden your budget. With 270 km (highway) to 600 km (city) of autonomy and ultrafast cargo, the vast majority of trips are not abandoned

We like

  • Motortonus
  • Comfort
  • 400 km of real autonomy
  • Ultra fast charging possible
  • Habitability / secure received

We regret it

  • Driving aids sometimes intrusive
  • Imperfect ZEV navigation

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