The 2019 Kia Niro EV brings longer battery range and faster charging to the all-electric crossover SUV segment. Providing loads of new safety technology, sleeker design and smoother performance, it takes away the worry or anxiety of all-electric vehicle when it comes to getting and maintaining enough power for daily commutes. And it easily recharges overnight on a home outlet.
The 2019 Kia Niro was first introduced in 2016 as a Hybrid. The Plug-In Hybrid arrived in 2017. Kia came out with the all-electric model in 2019 in two EV trim levels: The Kia Niro EV EX four-door Front Wheel Drive (FWD), which starts at $38,500 MSRP, and the Kia Niro EV EX Premium four-door FWD, which starts around $44,000 MSRP.
I tested the 2019 Niro EV EX Premium, which offers the utility and functions of an SUV, with the benefits of an electric vehicle. Price as tested came to $47,155 with added options.
Keeping an electric vehicle charged without the luxury of a fast home charger has been a challenge until now. The charging time depends on whether you have a Level One or Level Two charger.
The new Kia Niro EV maintained a full charge on a Level 2 home 120V outlet during my one-week test drive. The Kia Niro EV has an estimated power range of 239 miles per charge. It generates 201 horsepower from a 64kWh lithium ion polymer battery, which takes about 30 minutes to charge 100 miles or 80 percent and only 75 minutes to get a full charge. A Level 2 charges takes about 9.5 hours for a full charge.
Features in the EX Premium model includes a 7-inch color touchscreen with navigation, AM/FM, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto smart phone integration and wireless charging. Other additions in the Premium edition include power tilt/slide sunroof, LED headlamps, 8-speaker Harman/Kardon premium audio system with external amplifier and subwoofer, auto-dimming mirror with Homelink, heated steering wheel, LED interior lighting, mood lighting, and forward/reverse parking distance warning.
Safety features include Kia Drive Wise, an advanced driver-assistance system, antilock braking, traction control, electronic stability control, hill-start assist control, tire pressure monitoring, forward collision warning and accident avoidance assist; lane departure warning and assist; and driver attention warning. Airbags include dual front advanced, dual front seat-mounted, side curtain with rollover sensor, and a driver side knee airbag.
In case of emergency, the panic alarm in the vehicle will send a notification to the server which dials 911, GPS identifies the car position, and a live microphone comes on so emergency operators can communicate with the driver.
The Niro is a smart vehicle that will adjust regenerative braking, air conditioning, and heat settings by managing speed levels. There are four driving modes to choose from – Eco, Normal, Sport or Eco plus which determine the amount of regenerative braking needed to improve recharging. There’s no interference from braking in the Sports mode and more in the Eco plus mode.
The Kia Niro EV is a futuristic vehicle that is loaded with the latest EV and safety technology. Unlike the silence found in many other EVs, the Niro makes a spaceship like sound, so you know it is running, which also allows pedestrians to hear it coming.