Actually, K ia pretty much done right with the E-Niro: Decent performance, ample battery, affordable prices according to Stromer standards and all of this packed in the stylish housing of a compact SUV. The only problem: the delivery time. Anyone who orders an E-Niro today has to wait at least a year for it. Kia puts the delay on the lack of availability of drive batteries, but has not caused much enthusiasm among German buyers. The audience obviously does not want to let an established, internationally active high-volume manufacturer get away with the charming startup sloppiness of a Sono Sion or Tesla Model 3, where several years pass between announcement and delivery.
Kia e-Niro in the practice check
That said, for all those who can and want to persevere, here is an extensive practice check of the E-Niro in everyday German car drivers. The first insight: this car is training you! For example, through constant analysis of the driving style. In green, blue and red, the on-board computer shows the percentage of the person behind the steering wheel who has just made it through the route in a particularly economical, halfway normal or indecent dynamic way. The latter in particular is actually a constant challenge, because the Kia E-Niro runs quite spectacularly in view of its extremely well-behaved appearance. Not with the irrationality of a Model S, but extremely efficient and thanks to the super-spontaneous acceleration that is typical for electric cars, it is also suitable for nibbling on nominally significantly more powerful combustion vehicles.
At the start of the traffic lights, a pubescent tire squeal can be generated or the crew lulled from the whisper-quiet cuddling with you to wake up with an unmediated intermediate sprint. Although it brings red percentages to the account, it is just as fun as the highly dynamic cornering. 453 pounds of battery in the underbody are literally a board and very beneficial to the unstable handling in tight bends.
Kia e-Niro promises a range of almost 450 kilometers
Educational measure two of the Kia E -Niro is the range calculator. It is not only based on the actual battery capacity, but also includes the previous driving style for the calculation. When the test vehicle was taken over, a fully charged 360 kilometers were still on the display. A few deliberately cautious journeys later (99 percent green!) The display welcomes you at the morning start with an announced range of 445 kilometers - that's a word.
Educational measure three, and that's actually perfidious, whispers to you all the time: heating is bad! Air conditioning is the devil's stuff! Each time the respective control buttons are pressed (the auxiliary heating function can, laudably, be switched separately to the ventilation), the range drops by 20 to 30 kilometers. Sweating and freezing in the service of reach, you have to get used to it. And then you notice that a half-open window at 80 km /h consumes much less energy than the air conditioning switched on for an interior temperature of 20 degrees - and you just leave it off.
So back to the origins of automotive air conditioning on the one hand. On the other hand, the test car (top version Spirit, from 45,790 euros) was also equipped with everything that makes modern car life pleasant. LED headlights with automatic high beam, Apple Carplay, air-conditioned seats, a powerful audio system - to miss any comfort feature here, you have to think for a while. With one exception: the navigation system has thePossibility to display charging stations in the vicinity of the vehicle. But to do this, it requires an Internet connection via the driver's smartphone via WiFi - that could be solved with less hassle. Also, the more modern version of the infotainment system is currently not being installed, via which the Niro HEV and PHEV since their Facelift in May .
The fourth educational measure of the Kia E-Niro happens almost imperceptibly and slowly. At first you plug the car into the power supply at every opportunity, half panicking. However, there is. At some point in day-to-day operations you will actually empty the 'tank' with a combustion engine as a matter of course and only refill it comfortably when the display drops below 1/4.
Kia e-Niro is fully suitable for everyday use
An exception are of course the free charging points that are (still) available, for example, in public parking garages or at retail stores. Of course you are happy to take them with you. But with the increasing number of e-car registrations, a certain amount of competition is gradually emerging for these, so that if you look at the topic honestly, there is no avoiding your own wallbox at the private (or business) parking lot of the Kia E-Niro. Because fast chargers along the highways are rarely an option in everyday life, which is why the E-Niro’s biggest shortcoming was unmasked relatively quickly: Because the Kia managers only allow it cost-effective single-phase charging on the Type 2 connection (a multi-phase charger costs in production significantly more), only 3.4 kilowatts per hour trickled into the traction battery of the Kia E-Niro on AC columns with 11 kW charging capacity, the typical 'wallbox'. The ones in the technical dataThe maximum 7.2 kW promised turned out to be the theory in the test car for actually 22 kW charging points and were never achieved even at public type 2 charging stations.
Charging for several hours during working hours or at home overnight is the only viable option. Public type 2 charging stations are only available to a limited extent and only with volume-based billing. If the respective charging network provider adds a time component to the billing at its charging points, as is not uncommon, you can actually completely forget about the E-Niro because of completely excessive costs. The only faster way is with direct current quick chargers with CCS plugs, where the E-Niro with an effective charging power of up to 75 kWh can ideally be brought back to 80 percent capacity in under an hour.
One -Pedal driving is possible
Another special feature of the E-Niro is its recuperation (energy recovery in push mode), which can be set using the shift paddle behind the steering wheel. You can switch between “sailing” and very strong recuperation in several stages, but the setting is in its original state after every system start. With the strongest recuperation, so-called one-pedal driving is possible without any problems, and the vehicle is then decelerated and accelerated almost exclusively via the position of the accelerator pedal. The brake pedal is then only required for complete stopping or for very strong deceleration in emergency situations. It should also be noted, however, that the Kia E-Niro ignites the brake lights even at a medium recuperation rate, which in the case of one-pedal driving can certainly lead to road users driving behind doubting the mental maturity of the Kia driver. Because even a slight step on the accelerator is signaled to you as a braking maneuver.
On the other hand, the Kia E-Niro proved to be very economical in the everyday check. When driving cautiously overland at a leisurely 80 to 90 km /h, the on-board computer reported the astonishing consumption value of eleven kW /100 km. The consumption calculator acknowledges normal driving style with an average of 13 to 15 kW. In view of the quite respectable performance, this is a very good value, which in practice - depending on the charging station - has to be increased by a corresponding percentage for the charging losses and which is also not achieved in winter with activated heating (by heat pump).
The Kia e-Niro in the video
The test car was already equipped with the AVAS system, which has been mandatory since July 2019, which makes noises to protect pedestrians at low speeds. In the case of the Kia e-Niro, these are spacey spaceship enterprise sounds, swelling depending on the speed, which can also be clearly heard in the interior. They mingle with the annoying ringing sound of numerous other functions. Get in, switch on, buckle up, reverse out of parking spaces, come too close to the lane marking - each time a new sequence of sounds. That could somehow be more subtle.
A little more attention to detail would be desirable for the 'tank' flap in the front apron. When it came to the test car, she always demanded a bold push to unlock it, but refused to simply press it. And the sloppy, thin covers over the CCS and Type 2 connection could also be made of higher quality. There is little doubt that they will last the entire life of a car. Speaking of nodding around: The tailgate, which doesn't open very far, offers real head-butt qualities even for people of average height. And there is currently no way of pre-air conditioning the Kia e-Niro by remote control using a smartphone app while it is still attached to the charging cable for a safe range.
Alternative in the video: The new Kia e-Soul
What made the most impression in the two-week practical check: What kind of normal car the Kia E-Niro actually is. An SUV in the original sense of the word is as little as a large partthe other SUV today, it lacks ground clearance and all-wheel drive. Instead, it goes through as a compact class car suitable for everyday use with a higher seating position, including the usual space for its class (the battery is not noticeable in the interior), the usual value for its class and the standard of comfort. As a result, it could contribute more to objectifying the discussion about the electric drive and to acceptance among proponents of combustion engines than spectacularly powerful, luxurious models or models disguised in an eco-friendly design - if Kia could deliver in sufficient quantities. Because with a base price of 35,290 euros before the environmental bonus for the 40 kWh variant, it is within financial reach for many interested parties.