New e-Niro is KIA’s ‘Electric Car Hero’.
The all-new KIA e-Niro , the first fully electric crossover utility vehicle (CUV) produced by KIA has arrived in Ireland . With a range of 455 kilometres on the WLTP combined cycle, the all-electric e-Niro combines driving enjoyment, eye-catching design, crossover utility practicality, and a zero-emissions powertrain – to create one of the most capable electric vehicles on-sale worldwide.
It is hard to keep up with the progress in electric vehicle (EV) technology of late, with many car manufacturer’s making their EV’s an appealing prospect for the average motorist. The recently launched KIA e-Niro is a prime example of this progress. The amazingly capable e-Niro is a spacious five-door family car that offers the performance, range and charge times to make electric motoring viable to the majority of motorists travelling throughout Ireland, at a price that matches that of a high-spec petrol alternative.
The e-Niro’s electric powertrain and platform are wrapped in a conventionally-styled package, and looks very similar to its hybrid and plug-in hybrid siblings – with the exception of some subtle design changes. These changes consist of little more than new 17” alloy wheels, fared-in front grille, and a sleeker front bumper. The rear of the car features revised trim to match that at the front, helping to contribute to a more aerodynamically efficient shape. Designed at KIA’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea, the e-Niro incorporates the practicality and appeal of a crossover in a sleek, aerodynamic body with subtly sculptured surfaces. The car demonstrates that, in seeking greater on-road efficiency, electric vehicle buyers need not sacrifice emotionally engaging design or crossover versatility.
The really big news for the e-Niro is its 455km (real-world) range, which should be enough to eradicate range-anxiety from the minds of electric-car sceptics. In fact, the e-Niro can go further than some petrol cars can on a single tank. The new e-Niro has a large 64kWh battery, and is one of the most efficient EV’s on the market, which results in drivers being able to achieve more km’s per kWh than in rival models. Thanks to its 100kW rapid-charge capability, the e-Niro is future-proofed in terms of charging technology. While 100kW rapid chargers are currently relatively uncommon, the more common 50kW rapid chargers can charge the e-Niro’s battery in just over an hour.
KIA Motors Ireland are marketing one generously equipped trim level for e-Niro with a choice of either mid range or long range power plants . The e-Niro with the mid range power plant (35kw/289kms) sells at €33,495 (including VRT relief and grants) with long range version (64kw/455 kms) with the same reliefs costing €37,495. Both models come with the same generous package of styling, comfort and technology features including 17”Alloys, Leather Upholstery, Heated front seats and steering wheel , 7” touchscreen featuring Android Auto/Apple Car Play and Tom Tom Navigation. Safety features include LKAS, Smart Cruise Control, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and Autonomous Emergency Braking.
My time behind the wheel of the new KIA e-Niro (64kWh) proved to me that it is a terrific car in its own right, with great visibility, light steering and a spacious interior making this a very easy car to drive. All occupants of the e-Niro will enjoy the excellent leg and headroom on offer, while a generous 451-litre boot can be made even more practical by dropping the rear seat backs to reveal a whopping 1,405-litres of space. On the road, the car excelled in terms of comfort, build quality and driving dynamics, while it is refined and quiet at low speeds thanks to its all-electric powertrain. The e-Niro boasts an even lower drag co-efficient (0.29 Cd) than Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models (0.30 Cd), suppressing wind noise and enhancing its aerodynamic efficiency. This is aided by laminated windscreen glass, a cowl over the front windscreen wipers, specially-profiled door mirror casings and covers over the holes in the roof rails – which sit flush on the bodywork. Road noise is minimised further by high-insulation rigid bushes in the front subframe, high-strength steel in the rear wheel arches, to reduce high frequency vibrations around the rear of the car and additional sound insulation material in the A- and B-pillars. With 201bhp and 395Nm of instant torque available, my test car was capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 7.8-seconds – all in a serene and relaxed manner. Range anxiety never once entered my mind when driving the e-Niro, as the range quoted on the car’s on-board computer is extremely accurate, and in urban driving, the official figure climbs higher – thanks in no small part to a super user-friendly regenerative braking system which can be adjusted by way of paddles located behind the steering wheel.
Advanced Driver Assistance;
Matching the next-generation nature of its powertrain, the e-Niro offers drivers a range of KIA’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, supporting motorists in a range of driving conditions and scenarios to mitigate the risk of collisions. The car is equipped, as standard, with KIA Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) for maximum stability under braking and cornering. If VSM detects a loss of traction, it uses the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system and the electric motor-driven power steering to help the driver retain control. Other active safety systems available in the e-Niro include Forward Collision Warning with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, and Lane Following Assist. Lane Following Assist is a ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology which tracks vehicles in front of the car in traffic, and detects road markings to keep the e-Niro in its lane on the motorway. The system controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the convoy of vehicles in front, using external sensors to maintain a safe distance. Lane Following Assist operates between 0 and 130 kph.
Comprehensive 7-Year Warranty;
The e-Niro is covered by KIA’s quality promise, with the brand’s industry-leading 7-Year/150,000-kilometre warranty as standard. The warranty also covers the battery pack and electric motor for even greater peace-of-mind motoring. Having already won several awards, the KIA e-Niro is destined for huge success due to its genuine likability, long battery range, excellent level of standard equipment, affordability, low running costs and practicality.
Visit www.kia.com for further information.