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Kia e-Niro driven: Will the second-generation SUV still be an electric bestseller? Reviews 2022

Kia e-Niro driven: Will the second-generation SUV still be an electric bestseller?  Reviews 2022

Well, this looks… different.

Ssh, don’t tell anyone, but in the metal it actually looks a lot like a MkII Ford Focus at the dead back. But de Niro has certainly been enjoyed from generation to generation. In fact, this new version of the car looks so space age and different that it looks like they skipped a model altogether.

That contrasting back cover is an option, by the way, in case the sight already fills you with dread. We drove the new electric version of the best-selling SUV in final pre-production form before deliveries started at the end of July.

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Prototype, you say? What are they going to change?

The car’s hardware is all set – styling, interior stuff – but Kia’s engineers are still finalizing the software that the car will use. All the boring stuff like dash graphics that need tweaking and signing off. Yawn, etc.

So the headline numbers won’t change anytime soon?

No. Kia is aiming for an official WLTP range of 485 miles from its 64.8 kWh battery (slightly bigger than the old car’s), and you should be able to get more than 250 miles on a charge on mixed roads . Unless you wear particularly heavy shoes.

The 201 hp e-motor provides a 0-100 km/h sprint in 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 210 km/h, both of which are best left unexplored.

How does the new e-Niro drive?

It’s all very refined – if Kia had nerves for this second-generation EV, they don’t show up on the car. It’s smooth and quiet right up to the highway, where the wind noise permeates a bit. The car has three driving modes (Eco, Normal and Sport) – Eco is best for a mix of slightly understated performance and maximum range, and is the one you’ll probably be using most of the time.

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Is it ready for heroism?

In a word, no. It’s fast in that way that all electric cars seem to make it, but as you progress into Sport mode, the car’s composure starts to fall apart a bit. It gets a little twitchy and hectic… this isn’t a sporty car, it’s a pleasant runabout with impressive economy: we got 5 mpkWh on our mixed road ride, although heavy traffic is a delight if you’ve got the rain turned on max. .

We have no idea how we turned it on, but the i-Pedal system adjusts its auto-regeneration based on how the vehicle in front slows down, and will bring the car to a complete stop for a bit of good one-pedal driving.

The car we tried out was top spec 4 equivalent (£40k) with all the bells and whistles, but on relatively small 17-inch wheels for an impressively serene ride.

So which toys go with it?

Everything except the sink, actually. Heated and ventilated seats (and heated outdoor rear seats), heated steering wheel, 10.25 inch infotainment screen with phone mirroring, wireless phone charging, front and rear sensors, as well as a parking camera, acoustic windshield, sunroof, fashionable vegan leather upholstery, etc. , etc.

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There are USB-C charging points in the front seats for the kids’ devices, as well as a three-prong plug under the rear seats, which uses interesting V2D (vehicle to device) electrical technology to power external things using its large battery. the car . Luxury.

There is also an optional heat pump, which is worth considering as it allows for more efficient winter driving. If you’re looking to save £5,000, the entry-level ‘2’ isn’t terribly equipped, and all e-Niros can tow 750kg of your best trailer.

How is the e-Niro inside?

It’s not what you’d call chic, but the inside of the e-Niro is pleasant and practical, with some interesting materials over the interior that brighten it up a bit and add a touch of style. There are some good places to stash things, but you can’t really hide anything in the center console as it’s all open.

There is decent space in the back and the boot is a good size too. The good news is that Kia has cleared room for a 20-litre frunk to carry your cables, so the 475-litre boot is all yours. The parcel shelf is made of the same material as a pop-up festival tent and is just as unusable.

Will there be other versions?

If the £35k-40k EV is a step too far for you, then Kia has you covered – the new Niro also comes in at £28k-33k for the hybrid and £33k-38k for PHEV flavour, both with 1.6 -litre petrol engines under the hood and six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A direct combustion option will not be available, as is increasingly the case today.

The PHEV should be able to drive up to 40 miles in EV mode, and the hybrid will come with a nice new “Green Zone” feature where you can point out certain areas on the map and the car will automatically switch to electric mode, provided you pay the charge.

If, on the other hand, the £35-40k EV bracket isn’t enough one step ahead of you, then you always have the swoopier, a larger EV6. That adds a bit of the fun that has always been missing from the e-Niro’s repertoire, although you’ll pay handsomely for it.

Should I take the plunge on the e-Niro?

We’d say that for sure – okay, it’s not the most exciting car, but the original e-Niro was a brilliant first toe in the zero-emission water and so is the MkII. With the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Peugeot e-2008, Volkswagen ID.4, Skoda Enyaq iV and Renault Megane E-Tech Electric all occupying the ‘small electric crossover’ segment of the market, buyers are spoiled for choice.

Practical, accessible and economical, the e-Niro has a maturity that shows Kia’s commitment to upping its game and going electric. And thanks to the company’s latest styling efforts, you’ll be less embarrassed to be seen in it.