2019 Kia Niro EV - Love the car, Question the Technology.

If you read my opinion piece about electric vehicles (https://www.theautochannel.com/news/2020/01/13/793560-end-internal-combustion-engine-really-special-guest-editorial.html) you might question why I'd write a positive review of an electric vehicle. It does seem a little hypocritical doesn't it? Too bad; I claim my right to be contrary. So yes I liked the 2019 Kia Niro EV but I still question the mad rush to electrification. 

It may also seem odd that I reviewed a 2019 Niro in 2020. What can I say? I review what is available to me.

Let's start with the size of the Niro EV (It's also available as an internal combustion engine or a hybrid vehicle). It is comparable in size to a Honda CR-V, a little shorter but close enough. I think it's a nice size, not too big, not too small. 

There's one thing that puzzles me with electric vehicles, and the Niro EV was no different; the ride is stiff. Not stiff in the way a race car is but more like what I imagine a low-rider is - stiff and over dampened. 

According to the Niro EV specs it has a range of about 239 miles. That's good. There was no suffering from "range anxiety" in the week I had the Niro EV. I did suffer from "where the heck is a fast charging station." The test Niro EV came with a credit card to use at fast charging stations. I went to two different stations, both in shopping centers, and all the stations were in use. Both places had only three charging stations. There are different size/style charging plugs out there and that too is a problem. 

The charging port is behind this door where a grille would be on a gas engined Niro.

There are two plugs behind the door - 220v (top) or 110v (bottom)

I did charge up at home using 110v. According to Kia's specs it would take 59 hours to recharge a fully depleted Niro EV using 110 volts! 

I drove the Niro EV around town and on the highway. It was fine wherever I drove it. Kia says it will do 0-100 kph (62 mph) in 7.8 seconds and top out at 103.8 mph. 

I'm still on the fence about electric vehicles. There are the problems I wrote about in The Auto Channel article above. On the plus side there is little vehicular pollution. Electric vehicles are nice to drive; their smooth, linear acceleration is nice. The Niro EV has a good range, not spectacular but good.

I guess I did fairly well - 95% economical and 5% normal driving.

I like Kia's vehicles and wouldn't hesitate to buy one. The quality is superb. There are two trim levels of the Niro EV, EX and EX Premium. The EX has a base price of $38,500; the EX Premium, like the test vehicle, starts at $44,000. The test Niro was listed at $47,155 with options and delivery. That's pricey in my book.

If you're considering an electric vehicle I think the Niro EV should be on your list. But regardless of what EV you decide on get a 220v charging station installed at your home - fast charging is the only way to go.


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