The new fully-electric Kia e-Niro will be priced from £32,995 when it goes on sale in the UK from 1st April 2019.
At its heart, the e-Niro is driven by a 150 kW (201 hp) electric motor producing 395 Nm of torque, enough to achieve 0-60 mph acceleration in just 7.5 seconds.
The motor is powered by a 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery that, on the recently re-certified WLTP combined cycle, is capable of providing for 282 miles of electric-only travel on a single charge. On the WLTP city cycle, that range increases to 382 miles, during which of course the e-Niro produces zero emissions.
Recharging the battery occurs both during regenerative braking – whereby the kinetic energy of the moving vehicle is harvested during deceleration – and via a charge port mounted within the ‘tiger nose’ grille, through which an 80% charge can be achieved in 54 minutes.
Although the e-Niro does not feature a conventional transmission, the driver can use a pair of steering wheel-mounted paddles to select between three levels of regenerative braking.
Cleverly, the e-Niro also features a system dubbed Coasting Guide Control that, in conjunction with the satellite navigation, offers suggestions to the driver as to when to lift off the accelerator and coast towards a junction in order to optimise energy efficiency.
In addition, a Drive Mode Select system offers three choices – Normal, Eco and Sport – that alter the responses of the steering, accelerator pedal and, in the case of Eco mode, limits the maximum torque delivery in order to maximise range.
A battery heating system is included and works while the vehicle is plugged in to help mitigate the effects of cold temperatures on the battery’s range.
From the outside, the new e-Niro is differentiated from the more conventional hybrid Niro by redesigned air intakes in a re-profiled bumper, arrow-shaped LED running lights with blue trim, and new 17-inch alloy wheels.
The interior is largely unchanged except for a new rotating drive selector in place of a conventional gear lever, an enlarged central storage cubby, wireless smartphone charge-pad, and new gloss black and blue trim around the air vents and on the doors.
The infotainment system includes various functions that are unique to the electric Niro, including the ability to pre-set a departure time for their next journey, allowing the e-Niro to heat the cabin in advance.
A charge light mounted on top of the dashboard allows owners to see at a glance the charging status when plugged-in.
Offered initially in a well-equipped ‘First Edition’ model, the e-Niro includes keyless entry, automatic headlights and wipers, climate control, satnav, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 320W JBL sound system, black leather upholstery, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and driver attention warning.
Produced in Korea, the new Kia e-Niro goes on sale from 1st April 2019 priced from £32,995 after the government’s £3,500 plug-in car grant.
Like all Kias, it is covered by the company’s seven-year, 100,000-mile transferable warranty, which includes cover for both the battery and electric motor.