Kia e-Niro (2019-2022) Review
The Kia e-Niro is a family-friendly electric SUV with a long driving range and lots of standard equipment included
Strengths & weaknesses
The Kia e-Niro is a small SUV that uses electric power only. It’s closely related to the normal Kia Niro, which is available with hybrid or plug-in hybrid power, and you can read more about that model in our separate Niro buying guide.
The e-Niro is also related to the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia Soul EV, both of which use the same battery and electric motor technology. There’s a choice of battery size, and the smaller, lower-range version costs less and is aimed at people who don’t do long trips very often.
The sizes are 39kWh and 64kWh, offering 180 miles and 282 miles per charge respectively. The e-Niro went on sale in 2019 and there is now a new version on sale. This article covers the first-generation model that was on sale until 2022.
The e-Niro doesn’t benefit from the rapid charging tech available in newer Kia electric cars, but it can still charge at 50kW public charge points from 0-80% in around an hour and a quarter. The smaller-battery model charges even faster, but you get less range from it.
The e-Niro is one of the best family cars around if you are after an electric car. It’s comfortable, easy to drive, has a lot of standard kit and the punchy electric motor means it’s even quite fun to drive. It should be reliable too, and the long warranty means it’s an excellent used buy.
Read on to find out more about the Kia e-Niro and see if it’s right for you.
Should I get a Kia e-Niro?
✔ Long driving range
✔ Well equipped
✔ Practical and well-designed interior
✘ A little expensive to buy
✘ Bland styling
✘ Charging speed not as good as newer models
The Kia e-Niro is one of the best electric cars of the last five years, so it makes a great buy for families looking to cut their emissions and fuel bills. It’s good to drive, comfortable and practical like all the best family cars, yet it’s also powered only by electricity and is ultra-quiet and quite fast as a result.
The interior isn’t luxurious but it does have loads of standard equipment and is easy to live with, plus the long driving range means that even long trips are fine in the bigger-battery model. It’s not a cheap car, but if you can afford the asking price then it’s a great electric car to choose.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Batteries and range
- Charge time
- Best e-Niro for...
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
The Kia e-Niro is a small SUV with five doors - there’s only one body style and all versions are electric only. There are two battery options, one 39kWh and one 64kWh version, giving a range of 180 and 282 miles respectively. You can read more about the motors and batteries in the relevant sections below.
One of the impressive aspects of the e-Niro in our experience is the efficiency of the setup. While many electric cars don’t reach their claimed range if you drive anywhere other than in a city or in traffic, the e-Niro was able to reach its 280-mile range even on the motorway.
The e-Niro is easy to spot if you are looking for one because it doesn’t have a grille like the hybrid versions - there’s just a blank panel instead, as less cooling is needed for the motors than with a petrol engine.
|'2'||From £18,350: Even the entry-level ‘2’ model comes with dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, auto lights and wipers, keyless entry, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors and a reversing camera. There’s also an eight-inch touchscreen media system with smartphone connectivity.|
|'3'||Limited stock: The mid-spec ‘3’ model has the same equipment as the ‘2’ plus leather seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging and a larger 10.3-inch screen with all the media system features.|
|'4+'||Limited stock: The top-spec version is called ‘4+’ and gets everything above as well as a sunroof, LED lights, heated and cooled seats, an upgraded stereo and blind spot monitoring.|
|First Edition||From £19,500: Early versions were sold in ‘First Edition’ trim which is almost the same as ‘4+’ - it has heated leather seats, the bigger touchscreen, wireless phone charging and adaptive cruise control with lane assist.|
The two versions of the Kia e-Niro have different motors as well as different batteries. The 39kWh model is sometimes called the ‘Mid-range’ version and has a 136hp electric motor driving the front wheels. This version has plenty of performance for around town and goes from 0-62mph in 9.5 seconds.
The 64kWh model is more powerful, though, and is much better for motorways and rural roads. This version has 204hp and goes from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds, plus it has much more driving range, so this is the version we’d pick unless you are expecting to only drive the e-Niro in the city.
The 39kWh version of the e-Niro has 180 miles of range per charge and the 64kWh model has 282 miles of range - and in our experience, these figures are pretty realistic, at least in summer (as winter temperatures reduce range on all electric cars).
As you might expect, the bigger battery takes longer to charge up. At a normal home wallbox charger the 39kWh model takes just over six hours to charge, while the 64kWh model takes nine and a half hours.
At a 50kW public rapid charger - found commonly at service stations - the former takes an hour to go from 0-80% charge, while the latter takes an hour and a quarter to do the same.
The Kia e-Niro range isn’t that wide, so there aren’t too many choices to make when buying one. Nevertheless, we’ve put together a few different options below for some different kinds of buyers. Read on to find out the best Kia e-Niro for you.
|Kia e-Niro 39kWh '3': The smaller-battery model is good value for money in '3' trim, as you get all the kit you really need including the larger media screen. This version is best for those who plan to stick to shorter trips.
|Kia e-Niro 64kWh '3': If you are planning to use the e-Niro for longer trips then the 282-mile range of the 64kWh model is really useful. We’d still stick to '3' trim as it’s better value than the higher-spec models.
|Kia e-Niro 64kWh: All versions of the e-Niro in 64kWh form are the same in terms of performance. With 204hp, it’s actually quite a nippy car and can get from 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds.|
|Kia e-Niro 64kWh '4+': If there was one version to avoid it would be the top-spec '4+' version, but if you really want all the extra kit it adds then there’s not really any reason - aside from price - to avoid one.|
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The Kia e-Niro is joined by the Kia Soul EV - which has the same battery and motor tech - and the Hyundai Kona Electric as these models are all very similar and all are great options.
Other electric SUVs that you might consider include the Vauxhall Mokka-e, Peugeot e-2008 and perhaps also the MG ZS EV, which is a cheaper option that’s rather good value but doesn’t have the quality or technology of the others listed. The Nissan Leaf is another rival - it’s not an SUV but it’s still an electric family car.
Kia e-Niro practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Kia e-Niro is 4.4m long, 1.5m tall and 1.8m wide (excluding the door mirrors), about the same as the Kia Niro in hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms. The Niro was designed from the start to accommodate batteries as a hybrid and electric car, so there’s a lot of space inside even though it’s not a big car on the outside.
Even taller teenagers will be fine in the back seats, as there’s a good amount of headroom and legroom in the outer seats. The middle seat is tight, but at least there’s no lump in the floor so space for your feet is still quite good.
|Length 4,375mm||Width 1,805mm|
|Height 1,535mm||Weight 1,667kg - 1,812kg|
The e-Niro has even more space in the boot than in the hybrid Niro model, so it makes an even better family car than that version. There’s 451 litres in the boot with the rear seats up and 1,405 litres available if you fold them down.
This means it’s roomier than a Nissan Leaf for luggage but also the Hyundai Kona Electric. The boot is a good shape, so bulky items like moving boxes can fit in easily enough, although the edges are a bit of an awkward shape as the wheel arches intrude somewhat.
|Seats up 451 litres||Seats down 1,405 litres|
The Kia Niro came in 15th place in the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, and while this represents the whole model range and not just the e-Niro, we still expect the electric model to be very reliable. In fact, the electric version has less to go wrong than the versions with a petrol engine, so it should be one of the most reliable cars around.
Kia came in second overall in the 2021 survey manufacturer poll, so owners of Kias in general rate the ownership experience very highly. We’d have no issue recommending a Kia e-Niro as a reliable family car.
The Kia e-Niro comes with one of the best warranties available on any new car - seven years and up to 100,000 miles. This means that even the oldest used examples still have some time left on their factory warranty, and it also shows how confident Kia is in the reliability of its cars.
Only Toyota offers a warranty that’s longer - up to 10 years - but since that maker doesn’t have a rival model for the e-Niro, the Kia has the best warranty in its class.
|7 years||100,000 miles|
If you want an electric family car then the Kia e-Niro is one of the best possible options right now. It’s likely to be incredibly reliable and so makes even more sense as a used car than as a new one, plus it comes with all the modern tech you need and it’s practical enough for family life.
The long driving range means that even people moving from a petrol car will have a gentle transition to electric power - you can easily do long trips with the 280-mile range of the 64kWh model. Prices are still high, as demand is strong, but if you don’t mind that then the e-Niro is a fantastic choice.
The Kia e-Niro is at its best in terms of value for money if you choose the cheaper 39kWh model, although you’ll need to be more careful with charging as it has a shorter 180-mile range. In '3' trim it’s really well equipped and it’s just as good to drive as the more expensive models.
Choose a 64kWh version if you don’t live in a city or want to do longer trips fairly often. It has a range of up to 282 miles, so it’s fantastic for people changing from a petrol car. Choose the 3 trim if you want to get the best value, as it comes with everything you really need.
Consider an early First Edition model if you want all the top equipment but don’t want to pay more for the later '4+' version. These models have largely the same equipment but as the First Edition models are a bit older, they tend to be more affordable.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.