Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photos by Adrenaline Lifestyles
As the nation is working to spur sales of battery-powered rides, the 2019 Kia Niro EV steps up big. The Niro EV launched at the International Electric Vehicle Expo in Korea and shares the powertrain and battery with the Hyundai Kona Electric and the coming 2020 Kia Soul EV. I received a vast amount compliments about the vehicle and how Kia is steadily changing the narrative on how the company and the vehicles were once viewed.
The 2019 Kia Niro EV has a nice exterior design. I love the revised front fascia and the closed-off grille. The blue accents over the lower air intake, with the blue accents around the fog lights, are a nice addition. These accents matched the Deep Cerulean hue of the Niro supplied to me. Kia upgraded the Niro with LED daytime running lights and LED taillights. I do wish the Niro had more of a sportier look, with sleek and sharper angles. It doesn’t have to look like the Stinger, but I feel it would grab more attention if it broke away from the normal crossover look.
The interior of the Niro is decked out with leather upholstery, including the heated steering wheel. The seats and door panels have the same blue accents that are placed on the exterior of the Niro. The heated and ventilated front seats are extremely comfortable with spacious legroom for the riders to stretch their legs. The Niro’s cabin is wide enough four adults comfortably, but five adults is pushing it. I absolutely loved the upgraded eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. Nothing better than riding around to your favorite tunes with studio quality sound.
In the EV is the liquid-cooled lithium ion polymer batteries that is available in the 64 kWh version. It has a CCS charge port which enables DC fast charging at up to 100 kW. The on-board charger power is 7.2 kWh. Kia claims a full recharge from a 240-volt level two charging station takes 9 hours and 35 minutes, which we were able to verify, while charging from the parking garage at my job. Kia has even partnered with Amazon for a no-hassle home installation service for a charging station. The 64 kWh version has a range of around 239 miles on a full charge in the city and 180 miles on the highway. The Niro EV brings 123 MPGe in the city, 102 MPGe on the highway and 112 MPGe combined. Under the hood is a 201 hp permanent magnet electric drive motor with 291 lb-ft of torque that is speedy.
The 2019 Kia Niro EV has a great infotainment system. I loved the 8.0-inch touchscreen equipped with Navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a 4.0-inch TFT instrument-cluster display. The touchscreen is backed up by an array of analog buttons. The UVO eServices Infotainment System is offered, which is a subscription free OEM infotainment and telematics service. USB, auxiliary, and 12-volt ports are in the vehicle along with the wireless charging pad offered. I love all the techie features in this ride.
The 2019 Niro EV is not a sports car but has a great response upon acceleration. The suspension did a great job in tight corners and turns, I didn’t feel as if I was being tossed around in the vehicle. The performance of the Niro is decent It is a perfect ride to get out and about in the city.
The Niro EV comes with great safety features such as the autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, driver attention alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and parking sensors.
The 2019 Niro EV qualifies for a $7,500 federal income tax credit the year it’s purchased. It also earns state purchase rebates of $2,000 in New York and $1,500 in California, among other states, in addition to numerous regional and corporate incentives.
I was excited to get the chance to get behind the wheel of the 2019 Kia Niro EV. Kia offers the Niro in a wide array of selections for consumers to choose from. The 2019 Niro hybrid trim levels are the FE, LX, EX, S Touring, and Touring. The plug-in hybrid comes in LX, EX, and EX Premium trims while the Niro EV models come in EX and EX Premium trims.
The 2019 Kia Niro EV is offered at a respectable price. The Niro EV EX is $39,495 without any options and the EX Premium comes in at $44,995. Residents of only 12 states can purchase the Niro EV. Those states are California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. Key competitors that the Niro has to go up against are the Tesla Model 3, Chevrolet Bolt EV, Hyundai Kona EV and the Nissan Leaf Plus.
I am convinced that Kia’s unmatched warranty is the way to go for budget friendly consumers. Kia is so confident in their new products that Kia offers a five-year, 60,000-mile basic warranty that includes roadside assistance and a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranties for the powertrain and battery pack. I believe the Niro will do well attracting younger buyers and perform as a great daily driver. All in all, it works. Enjoy the photo gallery.