Kia e-Niro pushed: will the second-gen SUV nonetheless be an electrical best-seller? Evaluations 2022

Nicely this appears to be like… completely different.

Ssh, don’t inform anybody, however within the steel it really appears to be like so much like a MkII Ford Focus on the useless rear. However the Niro has definitely loved one thing of a glow-up between generations. Actually this new model of the automobile appears to be like so area age and completely different it’s like they’ve skipped a mannequin completely.

That contrasting rear blade is an possibility, by the way in which, in case the mere sight of it fills you with dread. We drove the brand new electrical model of the best-selling SUV in ultimate pre-production type earlier than deliveries start on the finish of July. 

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Prototype, you say? What is going to they be altering?

The {hardware} on the automobile is all set – styling, inside stuff – however Kia’s technicians are nonetheless making the ending touches to the software program that the automobile shall be operating. All of the boring issues like sprint graphics that should be tweaked and signed off. Yawn, and many others.

So the headline figures will not be altering any time quickly?

Nope. Kia’s concentrating on an official WLTP vary of 285 miles from its 64.8kWh battery (barely bigger than that of the previous automobile), and you need to have the ability to obtain 250-plus miles out of a cost on blended roads. Until you’re carrying notably heavy footwear.

The 201bhp e-motor makes for a 0-62mph run of seven.8 seconds and a high pace of 104mph, each finest left unexplored.

What’s the brand new e-Niro wish to drive?

It’s all very refined – if Kia had any nerves about this second-generation EV then they don’t present by way of on the automobile. It’s clean and quiet all the way in which as much as motorway speeds, the place the wind noise begins to creep by way of a bit. The automobile has three drive modes (Eco, Regular and Sport) – Eco is finest for a mix of mildly restrained efficiency and most vary, and is the one you may in all probability default to more often than not.

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Is it up for any heroics?

In a phrase, no. It is swift in that method all electrical automobiles appear to handle, however as you ramp up by way of to Sport mode the automobile’s composure begins to collapse a little bit. It will get a bit jittery and frenetic… this isn’t a sporty automobile, it’s a nice runabout with spectacular economic system: we obtained 5mpkWh on our drive on blended roads, though heavy visitors is a delight whenever you’ve obtained the regen switched as much as most.

We’ve no concept how we turned it on, however the i-Pedal system adjusts its auto regen primarily based on how the automobile in entrance is slowing down, and can carry the automobile to a whole halt for a little bit of correct one-pedal driving.

The automobile we tried out was in high spec 4-equivalent trim (£40k) with all of the bells and whistles however on comparatively tiny 17in wheels for an impressively serene trip.

So what toys go together with it?

Every little thing however the kitchen sink, mainly. Heated and ventilated seats (and heated outdoors rear seats), heated steering wheel, 10.25in infotainment display screen with cellphone mirroring, wi-fi cellphone charging, entrance and rear sensors in addition to a parking digicam, acoustic windscreen, sunroof, trendy vegan leather-based trim, and many others, and many others.

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There are USB-C charging factors within the entrance seats for the youngsters’ gadgets, in addition to a three-pin plug beneath the rear bench, which makes use of attention-grabbing V2D (automobile to system) electrical tech to energy exterior issues utilizing the automobile’s large battery. Fancy.

There’s an elective warmth pump too, which is price contemplating because it makes for extra environment friendly winter driving. If you wish to save £5k, the entry degree ‘2’ automobile is not horrendously geared up, and all e-Niros are in a position to pull 750kg of your best trailer.

What’s the e-Niro like on the within?

It’s not what you’d name posh, however the within the e-Niro is nice and sensible, with some attention-grabbing supplies in regards to the cabin that brighten it up a bit and add a touch of favor. There are some good locations to stash issues away, however you’ll be able to’t actually cover something within the centre console because it’s all opened up.

There’s respectable room within the again and the boot is an effective measurement too. The excellent news there’s that Kia has freed up area for a 20-litre frunk that’ll carry your cables, so the 475-litre boot is all yours to take pleasure in. The parcel shelf is made out of the identical stuff as a pop-up competition tent and equally ineffective.

Will there be different variations?

If the £35k–40k EV is a step too far for you, then Kia has you coated – the brand new Niro additionally is available in at £28k–33k for the hybrid and £33k–38k for PHEV flavour, each with 1.6-litre petrol engines beneath the bonnet and six-speed dual-clutch autos. There gained’t be a straight combustion possibility accessible, as is more and more the way in which as of late.

The PHEV ought to have the ability to drive as much as 40 miles in EV mode, and the hybrid will include a flowery new “Inexperienced Zone” function the place you’ll be able to designate sure areas on the map and the automobile will routinely swap to electrical mode offered you may have the cost.

If then again the £35-40k EV bracket is not sufficient of a step for you, then you definately’ve at all times obtained the swoopier, rangier EV6 as a substitute. That injects a little bit of the enjoyable that is at all times been lacking from the e-Niro’s repertoire, though you may be paying handsomely for it.

Ought to I make the leap on the e-Niro?

We’d definitely say so – alright, it’s not essentially the most thrilling automobile, however the authentic e-Niro was a superb first toe within the zero-emission waters and the MkII is as effectively. With the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Peugeot e-2008, Volkswagen ID.4, Skoda Enyaq iV and Renault Megane E-Tech Electrical all occupying the ‘small-ish electrical crossover’ part of the market, patrons are spoiled for selection.

The e-Niro is sensible, accessible and economical, and there’s a maturity to it that reveals simply how devoted Kia is to upping its sport and going electrical. And the corporate’s newest styling efforts imply you’ll be much less embarrassed to be seen in it.

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