2023 Kia Niro EV First Drive Review: Everything We Like About Kia
So how does Kia bring an electric vehicle to people who are more price conscious? They make an all electric version of the Nero compact crossover and its been updated for 2023. Music. Now I get a chance to get behind the wheel of the 2023 Kia Niro EV and theres, not much changed really from the previous generation. To this. One Kia claims its all new its a little sus. I think it makes 188 foot pounds of torque and 201 horsepower thats comparable ish to a entry level id4 and in a lot of ways, this kind of feels and drives a bit like an id4, its quick off the line. I mean 200 horsepower with no transmission, and pure torque right away is great, its definitely not as fast as an ev6. Nor is it supposed to be. This is this is really designed to be that more price, conscious entry level accessible to more people electric vehicle – and in that case I think the Nero does a really nice job. It looks new for this year, theres this new side blade design down the side which, if you get it with the the more muted colors, especially like on a darker color, with with the satin or darker color side blades. I think it looks pretty good um. We were told that the colors the Europeans get are not coming here unless fans really want it. So if you happen to sneak onto the Euro spec Kia website and notice them like Ill, send them an email and theyre like send them here.
But basically, if youve been in one of these cars before not much has changed, acceleration obviously is brisk theres a bit of torque steer. If you put your foot down thats sort of just the nature of this, this front, wheel, drive, architecture and um, you can even roast the tires a bit. If you put your foot down hard from a stop, theres more space this year vehicles longer its got more cabin space. Um Kia really likes the idea of comparing this vehicle to a RAV4 and inside. I can kind of see what theyre on about, especially with with a flat floor in the back, makes it easier to fit somebody in that middle seat, and there is a decent amount of leg room. Some more significant changes to sort of the powertrain this year. Is there is an optional heat pump, its part of a package that comes with the heated outboard rear seats? The heat pump is more efficient in cooler weather, so you should see better range or less less battery degradation when its cold theres, also a battery heater, and that battery heater will work when you pre condition the car in the morning, so that when you leave – and You have youre up to temperature youre at your most efficient State when you take off the one other thing itll do is, if you do set a destination for a DC fast charge or an Electrify America charge plane whatever it will actually start to heat the battery.
As you approach the station so that when you arrive the batteries in Tip Top shape for receiving the most juice as quickly as possible, they upped the charging speed a bit for this new generation of the car itll Peak at 85. Kilowatts, where I believe the last one peaked at 50., honestly CS charger, which isnt amazing compared to some of the other vehicles that are out on sale. But at the price point that were expecting this to come in its its an appropriate trade off uh Kia is claiming uh. I believe 40 minutes from a 10 to 80 state of charge which, compared to an egmp car like the ev6, is nearly as its more than double the time. Its 18 minutes on ev6, but most people dont drive that much youre not driving 250 miles a day. Youre not needing to DC fast charge and when you do need the DC fast charge with this as long as you time it with you know, a lunch stop or an extended restroom break or something youre youre not going to notice it, especially if youre not doing It a lot EPA range key is estimating 253 miles to a full charge and its a 66 ish kilowatt hour. Battery pack well put the full number on the screen below, but through sort of normal driving. Its really hard to tell on these first drive launches because we all Drive differently theres a theres. Actually somebody in the car with me right now the drives different than the way that I do um.
You should also go read: ours Technica its a great website um, but we all Drive different. You know its hilly and so hard to get a good number. So take this with a grain of salt, but we were seeing about an average of 3.5 miles per kilowatt hour, which actually is pretty good um. I really liked the previous generation of the Nero the plug in the regular hybrid as well as the EV. I think thats whats interesting about the Nero EV compared to it doesnt make sense necessarily to compare it to a Tesla Model 3, but it kind of does in a way that theyre both the entry level versions of the products you can go both get them with Either a single in the case of the Tesla rear wheel drive, but that car is almost 46 Grand now, and I would argue that the hatchback design of this vehicle, especially with the new Power optional power liftgate, gives you a better way to handle the storage. I think its a better use of space than the way the Tesla Model 3 handles it with a with a trunk and its a good size trunk, along with the front trunk having just this massive hatchback storage area, I think, is more practical for for more people. So, overall Im a fan, it should be on sale. You know, Kia is telling us towards the end of the year. Itll be a 50 state car. All 750 Kia dealerships are now EV, certified and um.
You know if youre looking for something entry level – and I dont know maybe the leaf doesnt, do it for you. You dont want to deal with the chat emo charger, which I really wouldnt, uh and youre. Looking for something with more range than like a mini SE, then I dont know the key might be a good choice for you, its not a GTI, its, not a GTI competitor. That way for what most people are going to use this for its its a really solid choice at the time of this recording, we dont know how much the Nero EV will cost. Obviously that plays a big factor into its recommendation, but we do know that it comes with more standard features than the ev6 and should start a few grand cheaper than the higher position model. But lets take a quick look at how the new Nero EV compares to other entry level. Evs range is obviously extremely important right now to Evie buyers, and the Nero has a lot of it. Considering its size and price point. The 2023 Nissan Leaf plus has a maximum range of 212 miles, which is down a tiny bit from previous years. The 2023 Chevrolet Bolts euv has an EPA estimated range of 247 miles. The 2023 Kia Niro EV is rated at 253 miles slightly eeking out the wind. Here for DC fast charging, the Nissan Leaf uses an Antiquated Shadow mode connector. That Nissan claims supports a 100 kilowatt Peak, but in the United States weve, yet to find a chatimo charger.
Thatll do better than 50 kilowatts. The Chevrolet bolt uses the much more common CCS connector with a peak DC fast charging rate of 50 kilowatts. The Nero winds here with a CCS connector peaking with an 85 kilowatt charging rate. If performance is your thing, there is also not much difference between the group. The Nissan Leaf plus makes 214 horsepower the Chevrolet bolt. Euv is down a little bit against the leaf with 200 horsepower. The Kia Niro EV splits the difference ever so slightly with a horsepower rating of 201.. We would compare pricing but, like we said, we dont know that yet for the narrow EV. What we do know is that recently, both Nissan and Chevrolet have been very aggressive in pricing on its products, especially with the uncertainty of the federal EV tax incentive. We wouldnt be surprised if the Nero EV is the more expensive of the three vehicles. Ultimately, the Nero EV is a competent family hauler, with a surprising amount of space and practicality, predictable driving Dynamics and a nice set of standard features. It doesnt set the world Ablaze with performance or design, but it does exactly what it needs to do with few complaints.