DRIVEN: New Kia Niro EV. Is the replacement for the eNiro still a brilliant family electric car?
Youd probably think it was doomed right. Well, all of those things could be said to be true about the brand new kia nero ev, but the headlines they do not always tell the whole story. So here i am your intrepid reporter for electrifying.com about to give you the full lowdown so lets go, but before i get to the nitty gritty of a proper drive of the new nero ev on uk roads, please do give us your first impressions in the comments. Has the nero transformed from ugly duckling to beautiful swan, or has it just had an embarrassing, mid life crisis Music? This is the brand new kia niro ev, the car previously known as the kia e nero its a very small name change, quite a big difference, not least in the way it looks now. Ginny previously met this car in a studio and was kind of slightly concerned that it gone a bit too far in trying to shed its previously frumpy image. Gone is the slightly froggy face of the last one, and in is a much more technical. Looking much more aggressive front end its got this kind of chunky, mono brow along the top and then low mounted headlights and a big wide gaping mouth. Its certainly got more attitude than before and kia believe it or not calls this tiger face along the sides. Theres. Some contrast, colored plastic, which starts just here in front of the front wheel and ends just before the rear wheel, and you can have that in one of three different colors by the way and then the bit that everybody talks about these big sort of whacking side.
Blades now i have to say they do remind me slightly of an audi r8 if i squint and have taken a lot of drugs now ginny wasnt sure, but having now seen it in the metal, although that is plastic, i actually really love it. It makes the nero ev not boring and not boring is good also, they are not just for show because they actually house these wicked big, boomerang rear lights and they are technically flying buttresses because theres a gap here that helps smooth the airflow around the back of The car and make it more slippery im impressed also they only come in contrast, silvery, grey or black if you pay 150 pounds so otherwise, their body color, which makes your nero ev, stand out a little bit less im, not arguing that it looks fresher and more Modern than it did before, but the e neros conservative looks were probably something that appealed to a good few people and its not so conservative, now its also a bit bigger than it was with a longer wheelbase you dont notice so much from the outside, but its Back here, where tall people will really appreciate the difference, because its the back seats, where the extra space has landed im about six foot tall – and this is me – sat behind my own driving position and ive got good headroom good, knee room and in fact, these front Seats are actually slightly thinner so that i have that extra knee room, and i need that because im tall also one thing that i really appreciate.
If you look in the back of the front seats, theres a couple of little usbc ports, thats good for people who game while on the move, theres also a bigger boot its up by a little bit over the old one, although not by much. Its also now got a frunk which the old one didnt have at all okay, so it is a little bit bijou, but at least you can store your charging cables away from the rest of your luggage. Although i would like to point out that i have never stored my charging cables that neatly in my entire life, but to be honest, theres only one place, im really interested in being no, not barbados, the drivers seat. First things: first, this does feel a hell of a lot more modern than the e niro ever did. For a start, this big swoop of digital dash kind of reminds me of the key ev6, which is in no way a bad thing, and you do get the same sort of pair of 10.25 inch screens up in front of you now its worth, remembering that in The lowest grade of this car, you only get an 8 inch version on this side, which does look a little bit odd in this big sweep of dash, but other than that it looks quite nice and then theres a set of oft used buttons on this bar. Underneath with the air con controls down here, weve got heated seats, heated steering wheel, the usual stuff.
The one thing i keep thinking is the niro av hasnt forgotten what useful looks like so its got a usbc, its got a usb. Its got a 12 volt output, a wireless charging pad now some of these things come as options on the higher grades, but its got some really nice sort of interesting shapes on it. I particularly like this bit in here and its lit in there so thats quite interesting. This car feels very nicely put together. The materials quality is good. The dash is all soft touch, its got lovely details. This has taken what was a fairly boring, plasticky e nero and taking it right into the 21st century. It feels really sorted apart from the fact that these leather seats, which arent really leather, feel a bit weird now that might be because theyre actually made of recycled material sourced from eucalyptus trees. There is, however, really good news on the driving front, because the new nero feels like its really evolved once you start moving. Why? Well, it just feels a bit more grown up. Its still got the same 201 brake horsepower motor as the old one, its been softened off and made more friendly, smoother. The other one felt a little bit aggressive and jerky for a 5c suv, and this one just feels a little bit more mature. When you pull away it, doesnt sort of leap about and scrabble its front wheels like the old version, its also quieter, listen with more supple suspension, okay, so its not night and day over the nero.
But this is a car that feels like its basically gone to finishing school and ended up with better manners and nicer posture, its not perfect. It still will thump a little bit over bigger lumps and bumps, but the faster you go, the better it gets and generally its just got a nice feeling of calm and serenity. The body control is good. The steerings good the brakes are good, thats, a good thing for a family, suv, surely and im liking the fact that we still get three different drive modes, just like in the old inero, so theres a little drive mode button down here and you can go from Eco to make the most of your range into normal, which is basically what i drive in mostly and sport, which makes the car just that little bit more responsive, although its not a sports car, it does help. You feel like youre, getting a little bit more energy out of the battery its fun, but i wouldnt drive it round in sport, ecos more my things quite soft, quite gentle and also its got wonderful kia brake regeneration accessed by these paddles behind the steering wheel. So if im approaching a roundabout, its like changing down a gear in a manual gearbox with a normal internal combustion engine, so you pull the left hand one and you can feel the brake regeneration, increasing clawing that energy thats lost during braking and putting it back into The battery and then, when you come away, you can decrease it with the right hand, paddle its really useful, its very intuitive once youre used to it.
Something has changed, because this is slightly more firm than it was in the inero, which makes it a better one. Pedal drive car. It always feels good to have very positive brake regeneration because its one of the best things about having an ev. In my opinion, it just makes you feel, like youre clawing back as much of the energy possible thats usually lost during braking. To put back into the battery – and it means this car will be as efficient as possible – whats that oh, it does like to do bing bongs whenever it thinks youre, not slap bang in the middle of your lane, which is a little bit annoying. If you drive in the countryside a lot because you basically never are slap bang in the middle of your lane, its really hard, sometimes not to see an electric car through the prism of your own use. And this is the kind of thing that would fit into my family really really well its not a scary electric car, its not full of gimmicks that make you think youre driving a spaceship. One thing to remember, though: the nero ev isnt a bespoke electric car, so there will be hybrid and plug in hybrid neros, knocking around on the roads. So that means its never going to be quite as complete at being a pure electric car as it could have been, but you know what it gets pretty close and thats a massive compliment.
All in all, i have to say that this is exactly what i was hoping for: its a more mature, more resolved electric nero its got all of the sharp edges knocked off without losing sight of what this car is actually going to be used for its gone. Very dark by the way, because theres lots of trees so its like driving down a green tunnel which is handy because were not killing the trees as were driving past them, were killing them somewhere else. Where the power station is that produces the electricity thats, a joke by the way underneath is a fractionally larger battery than the old car at 64.8 kilowatt hours. So not a massive jump and a slightly slower dc fast charging system of 72 kilowatts. The old version managed 77, but all is not as it seems, because the new neros electronics are more efficient. The new nero can charge at a higher speed for longer. As a result, a 10 to 80 charge will take around 9 minutes less than the old car. At about 43 minutes, all cars should have an 11 kilowatt ac charger on board too, but home charging will take about 10 hours on a normal 7 kilowatt wall box, and the range is up slightly too kia claims a jump of only four to five miles. At 287 miles wltp, but we know how good kias are at energy efficiency and with a new sat nav based battery heating system that pre conditions, the pack prior to charging wed expect that to translate to a solid 240 to 250 miles of real world ability.
Thats a useful amount and speaking of cost, the nero ev will start at 34 995 pounds for the 2 model, so no government grant with the 3 costing 37 745 up to 44.95. If you want a flagship, 4 model like this one, with the fancy options like remote, smart parking assist that allows you to park the car with the key highway driver, assist and forward collision avoidance, as well as a load of other advanced driving assistance systems vehicle to Load that makes it possible to run household appliances from the car is standard on the three and four and an efficiency aiding heat pump is optional. That seems about right in pricing, although, as ever not exactly cheap, but kia needs to get this car on point over the course of 2021. It increased sales in europe by more than 20 percent as a brand and at some points nearly half the cars it sold were electrified. So a good, nero ev is vital to keirs success. Well now i have driven it and you know what i actually really love it. I even dig the side blades, although you do have to be a little bit careful which colourways you go for, or you can end up with a bit of a mishmash. But there is no doubt that what kia has done to this car has made it a really rounded vehicle. In fact, everything that companys done has made it more desirable, more functional, more practical than the car that went before it on paper.
It might look like it stayed still or gone backwards slightly, but it really hasnt and the thing is once you wind in that monster seven year, kia warranty things are looking decidedly rosy, so kia e nero to nero ev. There may have been changes, but this remains an electrifying.com favorite. If you want to know more about any of kias other pure electric models or any of the nero evs competition. Please do log on to electrifying.com where we will help.