Kia e-niro

Fully elec­tric e-niro joins hy­brid and plug-in hy­brid ver­sions of this eco-friendly SUV Price from £30,000 (est)

What Car? - - Electric Car Special - Mark Tis­shaw Mark.tis­[email protected]­mar­

WHILE THE NUM­BER of elec­tric cars on sale in the UK is grow­ing fast, there are still few that have a range nudg­ing what you would ex­pect from petrol and diesel mod­els. The of cial 301 miles that the Kia e-niro can do be­tween charges is there­fore one of the most im­pres­sive gures yet – one that only the Hyundai Kona Elec­tric (with which the Niro EV shares sev­eral key com­po­nents) and much more ex­pen­sive, pre­mi­um­badged mod­els can match.

The fact that the e-niro uses the same 201bhp elec­tric mo­tor as the Kona Elec­tric also makes it a very quick car – al­most shock­ingly so. The rst time you put your foot down, you’re taken aback by just how ur­gent and rapid it feels, de­liv­er­ing its power more like a sports car than a Niro hy­brid.

It’s al­most at odds with the car’s ecofriendly brief but brings with it im­pres­sive drive­abil­ity, al­low­ing you to progress through traf c with con dence once you’ve learnt how light you need to be with your right foot to avoid spin­ning the front wheels.

The steer­ing has a nice weight and con­sis­tency to it, too, but don’t ex­pect a cushy ride; the e-niro tends to thump over bumps in­stead of iso­lat­ing its oc­cu­pants from them.

Rapid charg­ing is done via a CCS plug (see p24), while it takes 54 min­utes to get the bat­tery to 80% if you use a fast charger and just over nine and a half hours on a stan­dard charge.

Oth­er­wise, though, there’s lit­tle dis­cernible dif­fer­ence be­tween the e-niro and its hy­brid sis­ter mod­els, so in­side you get a solid, if some­what un­spec­tac­u­lar, dash­board, plenty of space for ve adults and a good-sized boot. In­deed, there’s no loss in us­able lug­gage space com­pared with other Niros.

Pric­ing will ob­vi­ously be cru­cial to just how big a suc­cess the e-niro can be, but Kia is aim­ing for less than £30,000, un­der­cut­ting the top-spec Kona Elec­tric.

True, the Nis­san Leaf can be had for £21,500 at the mo­ment through What Car? New Car Buy­ing, but you sacri ce a huge pro­por­tion of driv­ing range with that car.

‘Put your foot down and you’re taken aback by how ur­gent the e-niro feels’

At 301 miles, the e-niro’s of cial range is longer than that of most other EVS

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