Review: Kia E-Niro (2019 First Edition)

Review Date: 29 November 2020
Current Mileage 15,000 Miles

Reviewed by Nina Flower

General Overview

Prior to buying the E-Niro we already had a Renault Zoe as our second car. The E-Niro was bought to replace our main family car, a diesel Renault Grand Scenic.

We have owned our Zoe for 3 years and were very happy with having an EV as our second car but had been thinking about replacing our Scenic with an EV for some time. However, this decision was complicated by having 2 small children in rear facing seats, and needing a large car to carry all the junk you need with small children without being able to afford a Tesla model X!

Once our eldest was big enough to sit in a high backed booster seat we were able to think about downsizing to a 5 seater car where there were more options.

EVs had definitely moved along in the 3 years between buying the Zoe and the E-Niro with more manufacturers and improvements in battery range and life. This made changing our main family car for an EV now achievable as we wanted a car we could drive longer distances without worrying about charging.

We looked at the MG EVs, Audi E-Tron, Hyundai Kona, Peugeot e2008, and Polestar options but it was clear that the E-Niro was the only car that could provide the range and space for what we were willing to pay. We test drove it and pretty much immediately decided that it was the car for us. Our E-Niro is second hand but we bought from a Kia dealership.

The E-Niro feels like a premium car. It is fast, quiet and refined. It has all the gizmos you could want from reversing cameras to heated seats. It is very comfortable and easy to drive. The range can get you 180 miles down the road, and by then, stopping to charge is a necessary break rather than an unwanted hindrance! It has CCS rapid charging so it only takes 45 minutes to 80% charge, just enough time for a family to stop at the services! Our only issue with the E-Niro is the number of buttons and the amount of ‘bonging’ sounds it emits! This is probably more due to mine and my husbands preference for more straightforward cars, but it does seem to have a ‘bong’ for everything including a chirpy little song it plays when you switch it on and off.

Interior review

The inside of the E-Niro is without doubt a nice place to be. It has very comfortable, electronically adjustable leather heated seats which are standing up well to family life.

The leather heated steering wheel is a real treat in the winter months and heats up rapidly.

The dashboard switches and dials also feel chunky and robust, but there are a lot of them! The touchscreen is clear and responsive but is not the most intuitive. It has Android Auto and Apple Carplay connectivity. I do prefer the Apple sat nav system over the Kia option as I find it clearer. The plastics feel of surprisingly good quality for what is a very affordable EV. It feels spacious inside without being a ‘big’ car to drive.

The interior carpets are of a good quality and there is a robust plastic back to the front seats which seems to protect them nicely from children’s feet!

The boot is reasonable and probably larger than most EVs but I do feel space is wasted in the underneath compartment.

In summary: It feels much more ‘Premium’ inside than the Kia badge on the outside may lead you to think.

Interior Rating: 5/5

Exterior review

It is a very understated car from the outside but that was part of the appeal for myself and my husband. We didn’t want a car that screamed ‘Look at me, I’m electric!’

I do like the blue accents, particularly against the black. The quality of the paintwork seems very good and it has no obvious chips or dints. The panel work is of a high quality.

I do like the aesthetics of the alloy wheels and they seem fairly well protected preventing scuffing.

The only issue is the lack of LED headlights which is slightly disappointing, but the lights it has seem to be powerful enough.

Exterior rating 5/5

Any Issues with the Car?

We have returned the car for a recall but this was very easy to arrange and was a software update rather than anything mechanical. 

We have had no other issues with the car but have only owned it for a relatively short period. The Kia servicing department appear to be efficient and courteous.

Driving Pleasure

I absolutely love driving this car. One minute you can be taking advantage of the fantastic handling and seamless acceleration, the next you can be having a relaxing, smooth, quiet drive.

Sport mode is phenomenal for a family EV, the acceleration is very rapid, beating pretty much any sports car off the lights. However, it does make the wheels spin if you are not careful. Even Eco mode can be fun!

On a longer journey it is quiet and refined with adaptive cruise control and lane assist making it effortless. The DAB radio also has very good sound quality and it feels like the miles effortlessly pass by.

The only issue is the relentless ‘bonging’ sounds and the fake engine noise but we have found ways to switch most of those off. This said, the reversing ‘bonging’ does prevent the occasional pedestrian wandering behind the car when it is moving, something that does happen in our other EV.

Driving Pleasure Rating: 5/5

Running Costs

It is our feeling that the E-Niro will be a much cheaper car to run than the Scenic it has replaced. We are lucky to be able to charge for free at my husband’s work and we also have an Octopus Agile energy tariff which means much cheaper power at off-peak times. Plugging in to charge on windy weekends often fully charges the car for a few pence.

With our first EV, it was noticeable that the longer servicing intervals combined with fewer consumables like oil meant it was far cheaper to run and we are hoping this is the case with the E-Niro.

Overall Running Cost Rating: 5/5

The future

We are now a 2 EV household and will not be going back to internal combustion engines! EVs are the future. This is becoming obvious to all who make the jump.

As early adopters we have seen how far EVs have come on in a short period of time with significant improvements in battery range and technology. More and more manufacturers are bringing out EVs but I feel they still have a long way to go to beat the Kia E-Niro in terms of affordability, range and refinement. I feel it still remains class leading in those areas.

The only issue is the need for more investment in rapid charging facilities, particularly along the main motorway routes, but this has improved over the 3 years we have been EV drivers and will continue to improve as more people join the movement.

Once you have driven and lived with an EV for a few days, you will wonder why you didn’t make the jump sooner!