Kia e-Niro: long-term take a look at assessment
Effectivity: 3.6 miles/kWh
Spring has sprung, and that appears like an appropriately inexperienced time of 12 months to get our fingers on the brand new Kia e-Niro.
It is a mannequin that might signify a brand new starting for mainstream electrical vehicles – much more so than its sister, the Hyundai Kona Electrical, and the ever-popular Nissan Leaf. In any case, the Kia’s wonderful 282-mile WLTP mixed driving vary is on par with the 64kWh Kona’s, however the e-Niro is a bit cheaper and usefully extra spacious.
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My life-style needs to be a great problem for it. I are likely to do a jaunt into central London each week, involving a 60-mile spherical journey of round 70 per cent motorway and 30 per cent very sluggish city stuff. On high of that I’m typically off on longer journeys for enterprise or to see family and friends, which is able to put a highlight on the general public charging infrastructure, regardless of the Kia’s vary.
I’m additionally eager to search out out what impact battery upkeep could have on how far we will go. In my function as affiliate editor for DrivingElectric.com – Auto Specific’s sister title – I get a great deal of queries about one of the simplest ways to take care of batteries, and we all know from varied skilled engineers that conserving the automotive between 20 per cent and 80 per cent charged is greatest apply. Apparently, doing so may even enhance the driving vary, so we’ll strive that and learn the way it goes.
On high of that, temperature can be a priority, given its big affect on battery efficiency. So we’ll be paying shut consideration to how the bungeeing climate circumstances of a British spring have an effect on the Kia.
Presently we’re seeing what I think is a worst-case situation, with a variety of roughly 230 miles in chilly climate and driving an unusually great amount on the motorway within the first few weeks. We’ll see how time, higher climate, extra measured charging and a bit extra city use change that.
Our e-Niro is a First Version. That is the one trim at the moment accessible and comes with every part you may need, together with leather-based, heated seats, and the wonderful nav and media touchscreen, full with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wi-fi telephone charging, local weather management, and even adaptive cruise with lane-keep help (which give a semi-autonomous mode) are additionally fitted.
The one possibility now we have is premium Graphite metallic paint, at £565, and the one options I think I’d miss are LED headlights and a head-up show. Nonetheless, that’s hardly an enormous drawback on a automotive that guarantees such nice worth for a long-range EV.
And sure, I do know you in all probability can’t pay money for one for a 12 months; the Kia is all offered out for 2019, due to battery-supply points. Nevertheless, firm sources inform us that the issue will start to ease subsequent 12 months and provide needs to be again to regular by the top of 2020. With different companies – notably Peugeot, Citroen and Vauxhall – launching electrical vehicles within the subsequent 12 months utilizing batteries from the identical supply, let’s hope that’s proper.
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Except for the main cloud of a 12-month wait on present e-Niro orders, the keenness and enthusiasm for the automotive are exceptional. There’s such goodwill for it from each quarter, and we’ve already been stopped a couple of occasions by random events who wish to know extra. It feels just like the Kia actually is making a dent within the wider shopping for public’s conscience, somewhat than merely intriguing the electric-car lovers.
On a non-electric, however equally vital, notice, I even have an enormous canine and a two-year-old daughter, so I would like an enormous boot and a sturdy inside if the Kia is to face the take a look at of many months of muddy boots and paws.
So there’s the crux of it: how a lot will the vary differ, and might we enhance it simply by taking care of the battery rigorously? How does the general public charging infrastructure stand as much as common lengthy motorway journeys? And is that this a great household automotive?
In any case, regardless of how far it goes, if it makes your child sick and the canine depressing (or vice versa), no quantity of saving the planet or our cash shall be value it.
Lastly, whereas the Kia e-Niro already appears like a flat-out game-changer, it nonetheless must justify its price. And you will get spectacular diesel or petrol household vehicles for a similar worth, not least of which is the Skoda Kodiaq.
*Insurance coverage quote from AA (0800 107 0680) for a 42-year-old in Banbury, Oxon, with three factors.