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KIA NIRO EV REVIEWS | 2019 MODEL

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Read and compare reviews on the Kia Niro EV 2019 Model from top New Zealand automotive journalists on trusted websites.

2019 Kia Niro EV Review – Niro Amped

2019 Kia Niro EV Review - Autocar

SOURCE: AUTOCAR | YEAR: 2019 | WORDS: KYLE CASSIDY | PHOTOS: TOM GASNIERZ

We’ve driven an electrified Niro previously but not one with this much voltage running through its drivetrain. This is the pure EV Niro which, at $76k, is Kia’s most expensive car. So is it worth it?

While some believe an EV needs to look futuristic to accentuate its electric creds, we’re glad Kia doesn’t think so. Its Niro is a vehicle designed with electrification at its core, yet it’s a relatively conventional crossover sort of thing, even this BEV version.

You can have Niro one of three ways, a petrol/electric hybrid, a plug-in or the BEV, Kia covering its bases on the CO2-conscious front. We rate the regular hybrid; it’s practical, drives well enough, nurses its fuel reserves and is reasonable value at $40k. The Niro EV offers two model choices, the EX 289 and EX 455, the numbers relating to the maximum range in kilometres.

The 289 is $69,990, the 455 is $75,990, and if you’re going to make the leap, you’d be mad not to pay the 8.5 per cent premium to get a 57 per cent increase in range. And it is a massive leap from the $40k hybrid to the EV, but then most of us understand why electric vehicles are so expensive, even if they only have a little wee motor, eh Judith?

Road test review: Kia Niro EV EX 455

2019 Kia Niro EV Review - Stuff

SOURCE: STUFF | YEAR: 2019 | WORDS AND PHOTOS: DAVID LINKLATER

One day, when New Zealand’s plug-in New Energy Vehicle (NEV) market is completely mature, we’ll compare Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs, or those that rely solely on electric power) with other vehicles of a similar type and size.

Until then, when there’s limited choice in the BEV market and very high capital cost, it’s inevitable that electric cars are compared with other electric cars – whether they’re the same type of cars or not.

Because of that cost, people who currently want to buy a BEV really want to buy a BEV; the electric powertrain is the main consideration.

So while you wouldn’t cross-shop a Mazda3 hatchback with a Toyota Highlander SUV just because they both have petrol engines, you probably would compare a Nissan Leaf to a Jaguar I-Pace – because electric power is the thing you’re interested in.

In that context, it seems reasonable to ask: what do you reckon is the best BEV on sale in NZ right now?

“Best” is a relative thing, but with BEVs it’s surely a balancing act of range, price, practicality and driving pleasure.

Especially those first two, because the former dictates the latter. BEV batteries are expensive and so the bigger they are, the more the car costs.


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