all-new Kia Niro EV driving REVIEW 2023 - best compact EV?

all-new Kia Niro EV driving REVIEW 2023 - best compact EV?

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The Kia Niro in the new generation is still available as hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and as the all electric version, the Kia Niro EV. That is the crucial version we're going to take a detailed look on today here with Thomas on Autogefuehl for you with this one, let's go! A strong appearance here in the front. This Kia Niro has definitely matured with the new generation.

Contrasting look especially if you pick that white color. The charging flap, by the way, is right here in the front already. I'll talk more about charging and the EV range later on. And do they offer us a frunk? Yeah, they do.

Let's take a look here. Small, but definitely helpful. To open the charging flap, right here in the front. There we go. AC and DC charging, but only up to 80 kilowatt.

And that means more than 40 minutes from 10% to 80% state of charge. And why is that? They are not using the 800-volt technology they use in the Kia EV6. That is more like 18 minutes from 10% to 80% state of charge.

Here, of course, more than double the length. So they are not planning this one here to have fast autobahn recharges and so on. It also is about the battery. 65 kWh net. More details later on in the driving part.

With 4.42 meters or 174 inches, this new generation has grown about 7.5 centimeters or 2.5 inches in length, and could be a competitor lengthwise to VW ID.3 or Renault Megane EV, and also internally to the Kia EV 6. The EV 6 more has the sporty focus, whereas this one here rather has this practicability approach.

You know, higher building style, more space on the interior considering the length. The EV6 of course, a little bit longer. So different approaches. Here also, not the charging and range emphasis. That is more again with the EV 6. These are some of the differences already.

You can see it is more an SUV style now. And here, 17-inch wheels. Also with a rather aerodynamic styling and the nice silver, shiny contrasting here.

Once again, working very well with the white and black frames although the lower part here is just a very simple material. But everything looks kind of rugged. And also, you can pick a contrasting color here but I wouldn't really say that's necessary, is it? If you look really close, you can see these vortex generators. Then there is a real gap in there behind this so called 'AirBlade'. And then, the is exiting here at the rear and you can see there is indeed a gap.

I really like the front and the side styling. But in the rear, I think it seems a little bit off. Is it maybe just too much or what's your take on that? Vertical tail lamps. And here, a lot of different elements here and there.

Maybe just too much indeed. Top speed is 170 km/h or 100 mph. We're gonna try that out in the German Autobahn here for you today. And 7.8 seconds is the acceleration

here for the EV. Told you earlier, there's also hybrid available and a plug-in hybrid. So still combustion engines in that mix. But the electric version is meanwhile actually becoming more and more important in that model lineup.

Keyless entry here when you press that knob, and door closing sound... Interesting. I would say... It's not that, you know, doesn't sound that super much premium but also not bad.

It has a very unique sound, doesn't it? Inside of the doors, here with nice material. This is soft touch also as a structure. Actually also, build quality is very nice here from the buttons and so on. This area here, it does have some kind of surface as well. Kind of like a structure. But I think...

I mean, they meant well but it can also have association that it looks like there will be stains on it, but there are not. You know what I mean? Harman Kardon sound system. A nice option with the cool sound. And this interior is really interesting.

First of all, the steering wheel, kind of similar to the one on the EV6. We also have the Drive Mode selector directly at the steering wheel here, and real buttons at the steering wheel. Here for the cruise control, for example, or for scrolling in the digital instruments.

Right side to pick the next song, and also here for the volume. That's awesome indeed. I will take a deep look also at the instruments and the infotainment system.

You see here, when they shut off, have they form this one black unit. And the seats are also particularly interesting. So base versions in some markets starts with fabric.

In here, these ones are the leatherette seats and they contain so called Tencel. This is a material that contains natural fiber. So also reducing the CO2 impact even further. And it feels rather slick. It has this perforation because it's always combinable with the seat ventilation.

And it has very own unique feeling to it. A very nice and modern look, and also a very interesting feeling. So way to go Kia! And this whole interior is actually animal-free. The steering wheel as well.

Way to go. So Kia has really shown the competition how to build attractive and animal-free interiors, which are also using less resources and have less harm in production and so on. So once again, sums up. And also as for the comfort here, comfort feature that when you put the ignition...

Do we say 'Ignition' with a combustion engine? What do you guys think? So the seating position here, now when I'm driving, really comfortable in the seats. They hold you tight. They're somewhat sporty as well. Again, the surface is nice. The agronomics behind it is also top notch. And with 1.89 meters or 6'2,

I have a lot of headroom left. No problem at all. So very comfortable seating position.

Somewhat already crossover SUV alike. And the steering wheel goes in and out, up and down. Some ressistance. It could maybe come a little bit more towards me. But overall, it's totally fine.

So even as a tall person, you can drive very comfortably here. And this is also thing about the vehicle - it offers decent comfort. 'Decent' is... I can...

It offers great comfort indeed. Yeah, 'decent' was just like, you know, underestimating, so so to speak. And also great roundabout visibility.

We'll talk about that while driving as well. So when you're sitting here, you exactly know what's happening around you even without assistance systems. Interior overview, 2x 10.25 inch screens. Then this top part here is also softtouch and has a nice structure to it indeed.

Clean cockpit layout. At the same time, we still have things to touch, to turn. So not only #capacitiveBS and that's a crucial thing to me in this cockpit. For this lower unit, this can either be the AC unit where here you can control the temperature with this knob. Or when you press it here, then you basically cancel the whole thing. Here also, AC on and off.

When you switch it around here, then this is hotkeys like in the Kia EV6 to access the map. This one becomes the volume knob. So interesting solution definitely. I'd rather keep it with the climate thing because I control the volume at the steering wheel. USB-C charging, and USB-A connector for your Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Inductive charging pad.

Then, this is where you turn on the vehicle. Here, really nice. Seat heating, Seat cooling. Separate buttons also for the steering wheel heating. And really great to have a leatherette seat ventilation combination. That's awesome, especially for some in the end of the winter of course with the heated steering wheel.

This is the Drive selector. We'll put it in D Mode, or Reverse, and Neutral. Or here for the Park. In here, separate buttons also for the co-driver side, for the passenger side. So really easy to use. Leatherette armrest here.

You could put it up, and it could be maybe a little bit better attached. Some space underneath there, and then a lot of space here actually in this area. Then you can have this magic... Whoo! Bang. These cupholders fall out.

They don't hold bottles super tight. But at least, they are somewhat flexible in the usage of the space there. You can also get a head-up display for this vehicle here to have the speed and speed limits in your line of sight. Digital instruments. What you can do is here, change the middle view and we also see some conduction figures. This is more city driving.

This is more with motorway driving so the consumption is a little bit higher. And here, you can see some animations as well as only the digital speed in here. And when you put in the driving mode, like here Sport mode, it changes.

So it has some nice visualizations in here. Infotainment system is not super fancy, but well it does the job. It's fast enough. You can have some views here of the internal things.

There's also this digital climate unit, for example, you rather would use than the unit below here. And when you go to the car internal GPS, it is somewhat usable. It has the strange grappling hook effect here. It can be helpful that you set a destination and so on for a quick charging. But then, it's also not the most important things with this vehicle here.

Most of the time, you will still use the Apple Carplay or Android Auto integration. And let's just take a look at here, how the Google Maps looks right in there. And let's just listen to music. This Harman Kardon sound system is of course, nice for music lovers like I, like me.

But I have to say, I have heard better sound from Harman Kardon in cars. Here the thing is, usually the bass is most cases turned up too much. In this case, the system indeed can use some more bass which you can then set in the equalizer. In here at the passenger seat, look at that button. This is the folding flat button.

And you have to press it twice, and then here. There we go. Yeah, goodbye! I'm gonna have a nap right now. It's really relaxing, quite. Nice maybe for a charging stop as well. It doesn't work here with a driver's seat.

So in the EV6 or in the Ioniq 5 as I remember, both feet are possible for that. Here, just the passenger seat. So yeah, as driver, of course, you stay a little bit more active then here. Are we still rolling? And you can turn the back part even further flat by the way. So that way here, it's almost all the way flat. Rear seating here with some hard plastics at the inside of the doors.

Same cool seat material. It's actually decently comfortable. Headroom works also for tall adults. Also the legroom here, it's not plentiful but it's also not a long vehicle. So I could, for example, put the seat a little bit more upright and then it would be even better.

So they're using the space quite well actually. The bench maybe could be a little bit longer. But again, we have to think about the segment here. And what you can also do is here, change the back part. So let's see. This would be the steepest position, and then you can also put it more backwards.

Nice solution here for USB-C charging in the rear integrated in the seats. And we also have completely EV flat floor. That's the thing.

It is available as combustion engine. But then again, they're all front wheel drive and so you sit in the middle and can also easily sit. So yeah, this car can house five tall adults indeed. And then here, pulling this one down. Cupholder's not adaptive though. To open the trunk, press the button here at the key fob.

You can also stand behind the vehicle with the key in your pocket, and then automatically opens after a couple of seconds. Or classic, this button press here. Then we have the trunk area. 475 liters. The biggest in the EV version indeed. In here, the cabin trolley.

Let's see if it fits in a vertical way. That would work as well. This top cover is a little bit like, flying/wobbling around. Not ideal, I would say. The width however, good with 1 meter or 40 inches. The length, more like 80.

A little bit over 80 centimeters or 31 inches. And below here, you can still store charging cables. That's also quite good. Reaching over here, we can also fold the seats from here. There we go.

You can see when I have set driver position and it's going backwards by this automatic comfort function, then it's too far behind. But to the passenger seat here, it's 1.65 meters or 65 inches. For the height, I removed that cover. Here at 70 centimeters or 28 inches. This is Thomas's Driving Lounge with the Kia Niro EV, and we start here on the test, the German-ish test on the German autobahn, our famous motorway. From 40 kilometers an hour when we put it to this Sport mode.

Let's go! 100 150. And soon we're gonna reach the top speed which is here at around, let's say... Come on, come on, come on! 174... 175 km/h So we're...

Something that's 100 miles per hour top speed, and it's reasonably silent in here in considering it's not a super high class premium vehicle. Here, lane change. Nice behavior also at higher speeds although it's not in a smart setup. Oh, there's a Kia EV6. One more lane change here.

Long bend. Good in control. Nice feeling also in the steering wheel. And now here, maximum recuperation is from here, and when I then use more brakes, then the real brakes are being applied as well. So that was actually quite good Autobahn behavior.

Always shows the quality of the vehicle definitely. Also when it is not being done everyday what I do here now. So now back to the normal driving mode, and also the visualization changes here. And yeah, at normal motorway speeds, it's really quite solid in here.

So good noise insulation. And this upright seating position here, which is SUV-alike definitely... It's really very comfortable in here. And the seats do a great job. We talked about the surfaces earlier. The seat form, they hold you tight also at these higher speeds.

It's really very well done as for the whole seating position in the vehicle. Now we're in the tunnel. You can see more of these instruments, how they look like in the dark. Also the lower console here. You immediately feel at home in this vehicle when driving it.

That's actually the very, very cool thing about it. That's that's what I really love. And also when we hit the tunnel, it's really loud. It's not too loud in here though. The acceleration is pretty strong, especially here in the Sport mode where there's more throttle input.

Directly get a boost. That's really nice. The steering feel, let's see the differences here. Sport mode.

A little bit softer. Normal also. You have a little bit more feedback in the Sport mode. That is actually good. And you can also hold it then for the Snow mode where the acceleration is also decreased a little bit. So I really like the steering feel.

And we also have assistance systems. We'll do that on the turn when we go back the motorway. We'll take this one here because it's taking a little bit too much time.

So we get off the motorway... Sorry about that. That's a German thing. So and then here, getting off the motorway. Now I'm hitting the brakes. The lane assist being deactivated.

It is a lot of fun, actually. Again, it is not set on a very sporty note but still a lot of fun. These electric vehicles, when the battery is on the bottom of the vehicle, brings down the center of gravity.

And therefore also, not so sporty vehicles, let's say, not obvious sporty vehicles still feel sporty and fun to drive. That's actually a big advantage, only and that we will do later, when we have some narrow winding corners. Then of course, more weight it's just the physical thing, is pushing you out of the corners. Then you feel the disadvantages of this weight. It is an ideal city EV to me.

Question is, of course, what do you consider city EV as for the size. But I think the cool thing about this vehicle is it is short enough, but it's not too big. You can house a lot of different luggage in here.

You can do you can actually have it as a primary vehicle as for the usability. When you drive more in the city and at lower speeds, and also use, maybe topography changes, use the recuperation effect a little bit more, less high speed, then the range can go up. It can go down like 17 kWh in 100 kilometers. That's more rear-world range of maybe like 380 kilometers or some 240 miles. That is possible.

Assistance systems, I put in the active cruise control and the active lane keeping assist. And this is 80 here. Why is this guy pulling behind me? I'm not sure.

I only do that when they have... when I'm facing Nomi. Check that out in the Nio episode. If not then you should do that later.

So here, the active lane keeping assist works in a quite smooth way. You see here, not sudden steering interventions. Keeping the lane although we have this left bend here. There's also a blind spot monitor. I'm not sure if you've just seen it in the side mirror. I don't know.

Did you see that actually? I mean, there's like this triangle in the left mirror when something appears. So, back to the Sport mode. And from 80 kilometers an hour, let's go! I still have a punch.

150. Are we going to overtake? We'll take that road back! So now we reached top speed again. And it is surprisingly relaxing and calming driving this one at higher speeds. Although when you look at it from the outside, you wouldn't really think it is, you know? So very good behavior. They have extremely good hardware in this one. And there are not even adaptive dampers in this one, and suspension is doing a great job.

And I don't even feel like I have to lift my foot off the throttle. I can also drive this car at super high speeds for a longer period of time. It's actually an absolutely no problem, you know? Recuperation by the way, I can set it here on the shifting pedals.

I can set it here stronger, stronger, stronger, and also the max. Now I'm not breaking. This is all the recuperation. Or I can use the right pedal, and go to zero recuperation. Then the car is just rolling, rolling, rolling, rolling. So you can choose that.

And when you restart the vehicle, the settings are also more or less kept but not the ipedal. So that's when you put the strongest recuperation and reset the vehicle, that is not being saved because this has to do with homologation where they register for these driving cycles. And yeah, that's what they... They can't save every mode basically. It's a little bit annoying. And when you hold the pedal, by the way, then it goes to the Auto mode.

And that's also interesting compromise that here when nothing is in front of me, car's rolling. But if there will be a car in front of me, then there's more recuperation or regenerative braking. So that is also something.

You have to find your own favorite setting basically. And you can argue for one pedal driving feeling, you can argue for more rolling with little recuperation, you can argue for the adaptive recuperation. And at the end of the day, it depends on what you like best actually and where you feel best and safest with actually. Accelerating out here from the traffic light...

Yeah, some tire noise there in the front. Front wheel drive. Of course, doesn't feel that Sporty when accelerating out because it's front wheel driven. But still, I mean as long as you don't accelerate out of the corners, it feels really nice. Of course, you more have this being pulled feeling than being pushed from the rear. That's what sporty drivers really appreciate.

This is here, let's go back the Normal mode, this is a good test for the Cruise Control and the Lane Keeping Assist once again. Let's see. So far here... Of course, I'm really careful with this truck, you know? So far, also when it gets a little bit more curvy, yeah, it's actually fine. Sometimes I do feel that the transitions when you turn off that thing, then feel it's, you know, it's not that that clean for the transition actually. I have these real button controls at the steering wheel.

So the user interface while driving to me it's excellent. For example, in here I just press on this button once and then the Active Lane Keeping Assist is off even if I have the cruise control set. The only thing that is still active is this run-off road protection.

And this cannot be deactivated that easily just with a knob here at the steering wheel. Yeah, that's maybe the only thing that could be annoying at times. Yeah, and then you can adjust driving modes here. That is also more sports car alike so I really like it. And here changing the temperature while driving, so easy because we still have that knob.

Or if you want to change the volume there, I showed you earlier, you can do that but you really change the volume in here on the steering wheel. That's an easy solution. And very important, when you just turn around, this car has an excellent overview to all of the sides.

So even though there are so many assistance systems nowadays, the good classic overview from the inside looking to the outside is priceless. That's another reason I really love driving this vehicle. This is such a good vehicle to use just day and day and day and and day out. One more time to the Sport mode, and let's put it in some corners. Also, rough terrain here now.

Suspension has to work. You feel there are no adaptive dampers, but still suspension's doing a quite good job, I think. Now here, steering feels once again nice. Accelerating out of the corners, of course, not that sporty because you have the front wheel drive only.

And yeah, also here, maybe you heard it as well, that the luggage is flying around in the rear. So the luggage compartment obviously has It's quite slippery. Yeah, now you heard it. Yeah, so the fun is little bit limited by the front-wheel drive.

So rear-wheel driven EVs are more fun here. But from the driving dynamics, it's really nice and it doesn't feel too heavy at all. So it's still a lot of fun to put it in the corners.

Just the accelerating out factor. That is, as I said, better with the rear wheel driven EVs. But overall, yeah, really very, very good in all the different driving aspects. If you want to check out some competitors, tune in right now!

2022-10-18 00:09

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