2023 Niro EV Wind Evaluate: Kia’s Entry Degree Electrical Automotive Is Wonderful

I’ve pushed a number of totally different electrical vehicles and SUVs over the past 12 years, and owned a number of as properly. My first electrical automobile was a 2011 Nissan LEAF, and my present electrical automobiles are a 2018 Tesla Mannequin 3 and a 2022 Kia Sorento Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). I additionally owned a 2017 Chevy Volt for about 4 years. Getting behind the wheel of the brand new Kia Niro EV was without delay acquainted (the interfaces being similar to my Sorento PHEV) and a bit totally different (as a result of it feels extra like driving a peppy compact hatchback versus a lithe sports activities sedan, like my Tesla). These feels are factor, on each accounts, as a result of familiarity helps folks really feel snug and never everybody needs or wants to drive a sports activities automobile. The 2023 Kia Niro EV is simply an throughout wonderful car, that simply occurs to be electrical. Listed here are my impressions from my first driving expertise with the latest Kia EV.

All of the acceleration you really want, after which some.

Whereas the Niro EV isn’t going to win you bragging rights on the drag strip, it’s nonetheless capable of get to 60 MPH in 6.5 seconds in accordance with Motor Pattern (which is .6 seconds quicker than Kia advertises). That’s barely quicker than the common compact automobile or wagon (which the Niro may simply cross as), and positively quick sufficient for anybody that isn’t a velocity junky. Actually it handily beats vehicles just like the Honda Civic EX (which runs on gasoline after all) and the Nissan LEAF EV to 60, in accordance with Automotive and Driver, so it’s actually not a slouch. Dealing with smart the Niro has crisp steering, slight physique lean on tight corners, fairly comfortable suspension, and a pleasant, chunky steering wheel that simply feels good (although the middle cross member conjures nostalgic ideas of my finest buddy’s manufacturing unit steering wheel from his 1985 VW Jetta and or different import vehicles from the period). Attempt switching this automobile into Sport mode if you need a extra responsive driving expertise, or are simply feeling a bit frisky. You’ll use a bit extra juice to scoot round, thoughts you (the vary estimate dropped 10 miles as quickly as I switched it to Sport from Eco). Even in Eco or Regular although, you possibly can unleash the complete energy of the only electrical motor should you push the go pedal down far sufficient. In Sport mode although, the benefit of doing so is noticeable and feels as if the torque flows extra freely.

Roomy and comfy for tall people

I’m a bit over 6 toes tall, weigh about 195 kilos, and I discovered all seats within the Niro EV to be snug and spacious back and front (although sitting within the center on the rear bench did imply a slight hump to cope with). Three of me may have sat aspect by aspect on the rear bench, comfortably sufficient for a brief to medium size drive and leg room, even with the entrance seat moved again for my lengthy legged self to drive, feels beneficiant. It feels a category bigger than it’s.

Commonplace security and leisure options are nice

Whereas I really like my devices and tech, and I’d have almost definitely bought the highest of the road Wave model of the Niro EV if it had been my automobile, I used to be impressed by how a lot comes normal on the Wind mannequin of the Niro EV. All the security options are there (and that’s wonderful worth), irrespective of the trim. The twin screens are quick and responsive (they appear quicker and extra responsive than the same screens in my Sorento PHEV). Computerized wipers (one thing lacking from my prime of the road Sorento PHEV) are even a regular function! Different journalists make one thing of a stink concerning the HVAC and stereo controls (Kia makes you toggle the identical buttons to manage totally different features for every), I discovered it simply takes a bit apply and also you shortly get used to them. Nonetheless, I perceive why they may annoy some.

Vary and charging velocity are nice (don’t let different reviewers idiot you)

That is maybe the only most necessary little bit of my assessment, and if it’s the solely factor you bear in mind about all of the phrases I’ve spilled throughout your display screen, you’ve finished your self a service. Whereas this EV doesn’t quick cost as shortly as different, dearer EVs, the place it actually issues (charging at house or on degree 2, 240V stations) this EV is likely one of the quickest charging EVs round. Earlier than you accuse me of buffoonery and a comical lack of notion, hear me out. Most driving that individuals are going to make use of this EV for will probably be on journeys of lower than its most vary (253 miles). EV’s designed for lengthy street journeys all value greater than the Niro. Whereas the Niro has a most 85 kW charging price on 480V quick chargers, it may cost at as much as 11kW in your storage or at public 240V chargers one would possibly use whereas operating errands or having fun with a meal. That’s quicker than another EVs can cost on 240V, particularly among the many lowest priced and base mannequin EVs, and works out to one thing like 40 miles or extra of vary per hour of charging at a sustained 11 kW price. This implies, in each day use, it is possible for you to to extra shortly recharge your Niro EV (particularly helpful if maybe you have got a protracted commute to work and talent to cost when you get there or good, cheap to make use of public 240V charging choices). On days when it’s essential to drive loads round the place you reside, say shuttling household and mates all day lengthy, a cease for lunch or a few hours at house provides you sufficient vary to drive one other 40-80 miles. After all 480V charging is quicker nonetheless, however that may normally value extra and solely be essential if you’re driving 300 miles or extra in a day.

Keep tuned for a comply with up piece on my expertise with the Niro EV. Please depart any questions or feedback you have got beneath.

Photos courtesy of Justin Hart.

Justin Hart has owned and pushed electrical automobiles for over 15 years, together with a primary era Nissan LEAF, second era Chevy Volt, Tesla Mannequin 3, an electrical bicycle and most not too long ago a Kia Sorento PHEV. He’s additionally an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking lengthy EV and PHEV street journeys to stunning and serene locations with the folks he loves. Comply with Justin on Twitter for day by day KIA EV information protection.

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