Photo Credits: Kia, CarandDriver.com
Quality EV with Quality Range
2019 Kia Niro EV
Base MSRP: From $38,500
- EX – From $38,500
- EX Premium – From $44,000
Tax Credit: Up to $7,500
Battery Size: 64 kWh
EPA Range: Up to 239 pure-electric miles
Charging Acceptance Rate: 7.2kW
Performance: 201 horsepower
Mileage estimate: 102-123 mpge
Price estimate: From $38,500 -$44,000
Warranty: 5 years / 60,000 miles
Drivetrain Warranty: 7 years / 100,000 miles
Roadside Assistance: 5 years / 60,000 miles
Corrosion Warranty: 5 years / 100,000 miles
2019 Kia Niro EV Review
Following a successful debut last year with its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the folks at Kia didn’t wait long to improve the Niro.
The big news for the 2019 Kia Niro lineup is the inclusion of an all-electric vehicle. It’s an impressive one at that, rivaling some of its primary competitors with a huge range of 239 miles.
There was one major complaint regarding last year’s Niro PHEV, but it was a huge one. The compact crossover sport utility vehicle went only 26 miles in EV mode. Kia kept the Niro PHEV in its lineup (it also has a hybrid model) this year, but the range remains 26 miles.
Frankly, I’m not sure why anyone would pick the Niro PHEV over the EV model. The only major downside in terms of sales is the Niro EV is only sold in California and 11 other states.
Still, the Niro EV is a tempting buy. The 239-mile range places it among the best it that key department. Tesla still dominates other EVs in terms of range. The Tesla S offers the most range at 335 miles and is followed by the Model S (310) and Model X (295). But after the Tesla models there’s a real short list of vehicles that can exceed the Niro EV in terms of range.
The Niro is billed as a five-passenger subcompact SUV with a long roof, but due to its size and its exterior look, it can easily be mistaken for a hatchback.
The interior is solid overall. It is roomy and suitable for tall passengers. Even with a tall person driving the vehicle, an adult can still be comfortable in the back seat. There are good small storage areas and the Niro has 18.5 cubic feet of storage space behind the rear seats that expand to 53 cubic feet with the seat folded down.
Charging and Battery
The 2019 Kia Niro EV has a 64.0-kWh battery pack, the same one used by this year’s Hyundai Kona Electric and the 2020 Kia Soul EV. Note that Kia and Hyundai are both South Korean auto manufacturers that have been affiliated since 1998.
Hooked up to the Niro’s standard fast-charger port, the 64-kWh lithium battery can add 100 miles in about 30 minutes. It goes from zero to 80-percent charged in approximately 75 minutes. If home and plugged into a 220-volt wall socket, the Niro’s onboard charger can reach a maximum charge in about 9.5 hours.
Power and Speed
We’re impressed by the Niro EV’s performance. The electric motor generates 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to travel 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, a great time for any EV that’s not named Tesla. The mpge is estimated at 102-123.
Despite the performance, the Niro doesn’t deliver a sporty ride, so don’t look for any big excitement when behind the wheel. What one will get is a quiet and composed ride. A knock against the Niro is the braking system. The regenerative braking slows the vehicle down and gives the driver a choice of doing it in minimal to aggressive mode. Yet it’s not a smooth stop and the Niro has been criticized overall for grabby brakes.
The Niro features good safety technology with standard rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot detection, front collision mitigation, and lane departure warning. Also standard is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
Thanks to its terrific range, the 2019 Kia Niro should receive plenty of notice when car shoppers are out looking for an EV that can go a long way before needing a charge.
User Video Review: 2019 Kia Niro EV
Recommended Charging Stations = HCS-40
Recommended Power Level of Charging Station = 32A
Vehicle Acceptance Rate: 7.2kW
EV Charging Resources
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Manufacturer Details by Kia
2019 Kia Niro EV Is a Spectacular Entry-Level Electric by Car and Driver
11850 Kemper Rd., Auburn, CA 95603
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