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2019 Kia Niro EV First Drive Review

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2019 Kia Niro EV First Drive Review

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The Kia Niro EV rounds out the Niro trio, and is probably the most spectacular on paper. With the identical sixty four-kWh battery and 201-horsepower electric motor because the Hyundai Kona Electrical, it is rated at 239 miles of driving range between costs. Granted, 239 miles is lower than the 258 miles the Kona EV will get on paper, so we have been wanting to see what the variations have been between the same EVs. After spending an icy, frigid weekend driving (and falling in love with) the Hyundai Kona Electrical round Michigan we hopped on a aircraft, and headed to Santa Cruz to check out 2019 Kia Niro EV (and to flee the chilly).

With an extended wheelbase and longer general than the Kona, the Niro EV gives slightly extra rear legroom — about three inches additional. As a 6-footer, I did not discover it uncomfortable to squeeze in behind a fair taller driver. This bodes properly for these of us with car seats we have to set up behind our EVs. The Niro EV additionally boasts extra baggage area than the Kona, with 18.5 cubic ft behind the rear seats, and fifty three cubic ft with the seats folded down. We have been impressed by the massive rear opening and the spaciousness of the cargo area.

The driving force’s seating place took lots of adjustment to get snug in, an issue we did not have within the Kona. It doesn’t matter what we did, we felt like we have been sitting too excessive up within the vehicle, however ultimately it started to really feel pure as our focus shifted from the interior round us to the street in entrance of us. Nonetheless, each time we acquired again within the car, we felt the necessity to attempt to enhance the seating place. At the very least the seats have been snug and supportive.

Fortunately, Kia did not go overboard with the styling of the Niro EV, and that goes for the interior, too. The oddest factor is the large rotary gear selector. Whereas it seems to be like it will be in the best way of the cupholder, it did not intrude with grabbing our espresso, and it is extra intuitive to make use of than the Kona Electrical’s separate PRDN buttons. The remainder of the interior is about what you’d anticipate. There’s a variety of plastic, a middle stack that is perhaps just a bit too busy with buttons and controls, a properly-included touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster.

2019 Kia Niro EV

It is quiet whenever you flip it on and start to drive away, as you’d anticipate. Pay attention rigorously and you will hear the spacey hum of its pedestrian warning system at low speeds, which shuts off as you strategy 20 miles per hour. From there, you’ll hear the whine of the electric powertrain as you speed up. There’s a bit of extra noise than within the Kona, which aside from the seems to be is the primary clue that the Niro EV is just a little sportier feeling than its subdued sibling. Mash the throttle, and the Niro is pleased to spin the entrance wheels with its 291 pound-ft of prompt torque. It can push you again into your seat in a good 7.eight-second zero-sixty two mph hustle, nevertheless it feels even faster than the said determine because of ample torque and linear acceleration.

The Niro EV presents 4 ranges of regen really feel, selectable from the paddles on the again of the steering wheel. The settings range from free coasting to just about sufficient regen to permit for one pedal driving. You possibly can maintain the left paddle to deliver the Niro to a cease for those who’re dedicated to bypassing the brake pedal utterly. There’s some creep if you take your foot off the brake at a cease, like a traditional car, however in case you introduced the car to a standstill utilizing the regen paddle, it’s going to stay stationary till you get again on the accelerator.

Just like the Kona, the Niro EV has Eco, Regular and Sport driving modes. Eco is already fairly responsive. It is onerous to make an EV like this really feel sluggish with a lot twist down low. Sport mode actually sharpens the response from the correct pedal. It features and maintains velocity with ease, and we discovered it simpler to get excited behind the wheel of the Niro than the Kona EV. The longer wheelbase and low middle of gravity make it really feel secure and planted, whether or not rounding corners or aiming for a spot a mile down the freeway. Even the marginally stiffer suspension offers extra street really feel, which suggests the Niro is somewhat chattier and barely much less enjoyable than the Kona.

2019 Kia Niro EV

Our enthusiasm did not have a lot of a detrimental impact on sensible effectivity. Once we first obtained within the car, it confirmed a range of about 260 miles. After placing one hundred miles on it, it nonetheless confirmed slightly over one hundred fifty miles remaining. Positive, we misplaced a couple of miles of estimated range whereas hustling down the freeway, however we have been nonetheless pacing forward of the car’s EPA rated 239 miles of range.

There are in all probability quite a few causes for the distinction within the said range between the all-electric Kona (258 miles) and Niro (239 miles), however the one that stands proud when evaluating spec sheets is the ultimate gear ratio for the 2 automobiles. The Kona Electrical has a ultimate gear ratio of seven.981:1, whereas the Niro EV’s is larger, at eight.206:1. This might additionally assist clarify why the Niro feels quicker, torquier and usually sportier than the Kona. Weight might be one other issue, as the marginally bigger Niro EV (three,854 kilos) is heavier than the porkiest Kona Electrical, which ranges from three,715 to three,836 kilos.

2019 Kia Niro EV

Kia hasn’t introduced pricing for the Niro EV but, however we have been advised to anticipate a beginning price just like that of the Kona Electrical, which begins at $37,495. After the tax credit score, the Niro EV ought to be proper round $30 grand. Kia says it is going to solely be bought in 12 states — California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Washington — at a complete of 103 dealerships, the place it ought to be on sale by the top of the month. Kia informed us it does not have plans to promote past these markets, so that you should not maintain your breath should you hope to purchase one within the Midwest.

EVs have up thus far been obtainable and sensible for brief journeys, however basically have been a distinct segment vehicle for a really particular purchaser. The promise of EVs is that they could at some point escape of that area of interest, a future we’re optimistic about — impatient for, even. The Niro EV does not appear to be some stopgap vehicle whereas we’re ready for higher EVs; it is good by itself, the sort of car you’d anticipate to personal for a very long time. And extra necessary, it isn’t just a few chilly equipment. Just like the Kona Electrical and the Chevy Bolt, this new era of lengthy-range, comparatively reasonably priced EVs have a spark of life in them.

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Kia Niro

– 2019 Kia Niro EV First Drive Review –

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