Niro quality speaks for itself
While Korean manufacturer Kia deployed its namesake and Hollywood superstar Robert de Niro in adverts for the Niro, the car can pretty much speak for itself.
The fact that it employed a legend for commercials also shows they are prepared to spend megabucks getting the model’s message across.
The days of cheap Korean cars seem to be over with this model having an eye-watering £40k plus price tag, but for that there is plenty on offer.
The electric Niro EV, is a good case in point in delivering the firm's message. It is a smart-looking car that is part of a pricing structure that’s still attractive.
The EV range, an impressive 285 miles (if prevailing conditions are good), is bolstered by the option of a new heat pump system, which maximises range in cold weather.
It processes waste heat from the car’s functions to warm the cabin and thus make the battery/motor system more efficient, thereby reducing the dreaded range anxiety.
Longer, wider and taller than before, the latest version is available in 2, 3 and range-topping 4 versions, with even the entry level 2 offering plenty of standard kit and, of course, all of them offering theindustry-leading seven-year war- ranty.
All grades feature a 10.25-inch instrument cluster, alloy wheels, an 11kW on-board charger, steering wheel paddle shifters to set the regenerative braking level.
The goodies mount up as you move up to the 3 and 4 grade
.The interior is well-appointed with neat upmarket touches. The touchscreen controls major functions including navigation, infotainment and smartphone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
In addition, the Kia Connect smartphone app allows users to check the location of the car when parked, and the doors are locked. On the road, performance is good. The combination of a 64.8kWh battery and 150 (kW) electric motor delivers 201bhp and powers the car to 60mph in just under eight seconds.
It can be charged to 80 per cent in just 43 minutes when using a 350kW DC rapid charger, or 45 minutes when connected to a 100kW rapid charger.
Another huge practical addition is the Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) functionality, which when the car is fully charged allows 3KW of power to charge other devices inside or out-side your car via a three pin plug. On the road the car is comfortable if not remarkable and offers decent handling, aided by the battery being situated under the car’s floor.This provides better stability.
In practical terms, 475 litres of stowage space is available, which increases to 1,392 litres with the rear seats down, while the so-called ‘frunk’ at the front, where the engine would have been, offers a further 20 litres of space.
In addition to standard kit, this model adds heated outer rear seats and ventilated front seats, a power-operated tailgate, electric sunroof, aluminium pedals and front passenger lumbar support.
All are safe, but this model feature Highway Driver Assist 2 (HDA 2.0) and Forward Collision-Avoid-ance 2 (FCA 2.0) with additional functionality that aids crossing other traffic.De Niro would most certainly approve.
KIA NIRO EV ‘3’ (WITH HEAT PUMP)
Mechanical: 201bhp, 150kWh electric motor driving all wheels via a single speed automatic transmission
Max speed: 103mph
0-62mph: 7.8 seconds
Range: 285 (WLTP combined cycle)
CO2 emissions: 0g/km
Warranty: 7yrs/unlimited miles