I’ve just driven 340km in a Kia Niro EV GT-Line electric car around Sydney as well as on a day trip and these are my top 3 likes and dislikes.
I drove most of the time in ECO mode with i-Pedal maximum regeneration (one pedal driving) turned on, which is one of my favourite features of this car.
In NSW the driveaway price for the top spec Kia Niro EV GT-Line is $77,939.75 and the standard Kia Niro EV S is $70,799.75.
Disclosure: The car was loaned by Kia Australia for 11 days to review. I agreed to meet all the associated running costs e.g. tolls, charging etc.
What I Liked
Efficiency – this is really excellent which means the Niro EV manages to go further for every kWh of battery storage (64.8kWh total) compared to many other electric cars.
As an example during my return day trip from Marrickville to Kiama south of Sydney I used 10.8-16.9kWh/100km on different segments of the trip which is great mix of flat, winding, steep uphill and steep downhill sections of road. if you exclude the steep uphill section the usage was well under 14kWh/100km.
Stress free driving experience – Since it’s based on a ICE car platform the interior of the Niro EV featuring plenty of useful buttons and physical controls doesn’t feel like too much of a shock from the future for someone driving their first electric car.
There is no range anxiety as the car has a 460km WLTP range and is so efficient. When charging the car the port is conveniently located at the front of the car so you can drive into a charging bay without needing to reverse.
The generous 7 Year Warranty unlimited km warranty includes free KIA Connect remote access app and free roadside assistance for the full length of the warranty.
Driving Screens and Software – The car software with two large screens is really well designed and user friendly. As are the many buttons and toggles (yay for physical controls) in the centre console and on the steering wheel.
So much so that most of the time I used the built in KIA HERE Maps rather than connecting my phone to use Android Auto. Apple Carplay is also available for iPhone owners.
What Could Be Better
Lack of 360 degree cameras – It’s hard to park on my street as it is really old, slopes down to crumbling edges of asphalt, there are big trees growing along the edge within the road boundary and most people have no driveways so we have to park street side.
There is a good reverse camera and on the other sides of the car there are parking sensors but not having 360 degree camera coverage is a weakness at this price point because competitors include it.
DC Fast Charging – the Niro EV only has a top DC charging rate of mid 80kW which is similar to much cheaper EV’s like the BYD Atto 3 and MG ZS EV. It really needs to be more than 120kW so owners can save time during long journeys by using ultra fast DC chargers.
Price – while the car is excellent in many ways the price (NSW driveaway $77,939.75) of this GT-Line model is competing with a lot of other great EV’s around the same price point from Polestar, Hyundai and Tesla which have much faster DC charging speeds etc.