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2019 Kia Niro EV Pros and Cons Review: Big on Range, Not on Style

Pros: Not a funny-looking EV Compliant ride Roomy interior Cons: Expensive at higher trims Joyless to drive Conservative styling With a 239-mile range on a single charge, the 2019 Kia Niro EV eases range anxiety and gives you a genuine all-electric daily driver that you probably wont need to plug in every night. Like its hybrid and plug-in hybrid siblings, simplicity and familiarity are the key themes with the Niro EV. No wacky layouts or futuristic styling flourishesjust traditional gauges, buttons, and a touchscreen wrapped in a practical package. Transparency helps sell EVs to a public that doesnt want to have to learn some goofy new interface. Read about Car, SUV, and Truck of the Year contenders HERE . The spacious interior fits average adults without issue, and the cargo area is respectably sized, especially with the rear seats folded. Like most Kia models, the Niro EVs user interface remains one of the easiest to use. The straightforward layout keeps complication to a minimum. The infotainment system even has some cool tricks to help save battery energy and maximize range, like a driver-only mode for the climate controls. Some judges commented on the Niro EVs feeling of solidity. Technical director Frank Markus appreciated the lack of buzzes, rattles, and wind noise even at 80 mph. Road test editor Chris Walton liked its high-speed stability and was surprised that a basic EV could hit triple digits. On broken surfaces, the Niro EV easily dispatched imperfections. --> There were mixed opinions regarding how the 2019 Kia Niro EV drove. Markus observed grinding understeer and found the brakes and steering unsatisfying. Detroit editor Alisa Priddle didnt appreciate the cars jerkiness when accelerating and was disappointed that she couldnt perform one-pedal driving because the regenerative brakes wont bring the car to a complete stop. Walton, however, liked the unobtrusiveness of the electronic nannies and found the Niro EV to have better than expected handling for an efficiency-minded hatchback. News editor Alex Nishimoto found the Niro EV livelier than the Nissan Leaf and liked the linear handoff from regenerative to mechanical braking. Our example, an EX Premium with the Launch Edition package, also came equipped with nearly every option imaginable. A full active driver assistance suite? Check. Heated and ventilated front seats? Got those, too. However, among the four EVs we had this year, the Niro EV was on the expensive end of the spectrum. $47,405 seems rich for this car, Markus said. Even with the black perforated leather upholstery and blue trim, Priddle said the Niro EVs interior does not look overly high end. At least the active driver assistance features work well; the Niro EVs lane keeping assist and lane centering didnt ping-pong between the lane lines and even activates by itself once it detects dividing lines. The Niro EVs biggest problem? It came a few years too late. With the Tesla Model 3 now coming standard with similar range at around the same price as a base Niro EV and the Chevrolet Bolt EV adding 20 miles of range with its latest update , the Kias only advantage is that it still qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax credit. In its least expensive form, the 2019 Niro EV gets a long list of standard features, which helps bolster its value proposition, especially with national and state incentives. The higher you go up the trim levels, however, the less compelling the Niro EV becomes. Its designed to be a quiet and clean urban family wagon and commuter, and for that the performance and range are spot on, international bureau chief Angus MacKenzie said. The one downside? Price. The base Tesla Model 3 isnt as roomy, but it goes farther, goes faster, and costs less. And its way more fun to drive. 2019 Kia Niro Electric (EX) Base Price/As Tested $39,545/$47,405 Power (SAE net) 201 hp @ 3,800 rpm Torque (SAE net) 291 lb-ft @ 0 rpm Accel, 0-60 mph 6.2 sec Quarter Mile 14.8 sec @ 95.7 mph Braking, 60-0 mph 123 ft Lateral Acceleration 0.80 g (avg) MT Figure Eight 27.1 sec @ 0.66 g (avg) EPA City/Hwy/Comb 123/102/112 mpg-e The post 2019 Kia Niro EV Pros and Cons Review: Big on Range, Not on Style appeared first on MotorTrend .

http://www.motortrend.com/cars/kia/niro/2019/2019-kia-niro-ev-pros-and-cons-review/

 

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