2019 Kia Niro SX Touring: New hybrid crossover ticks all the boxes!

By Autoreviewman  

Falling between Kia’s 2019 CUV lineup under the full-size Sorento and midsize Sportage, the subcompact Niro EV has a conventional look in its exterior styling instead of an idiosyncratic bent like the Toyota Prius or Nissan Leaf. There is Kia’s signature “tiger-nose” grille with a nice, well-integrated look to the front fascia. The long wheelbase, and gently tapering cabin greenhouse has a sleek profile. With an extensive use of aluminum, air curtains, a rear spoiler and active front grille shutters, the Niro has an impressive 0.29 drag co-efficient.  The Niro EV is a fully electric car – that needs no gas and can deliver up to 385 kilometers of range, compared to its corporate sister – the Hyundai Kona EV that has more range at (415 km).,

Under the hood, the Niro EV powertrain comprises the same 201-hp motor and 356-volt 64.0-kWh battery pack used by the Hyundai Kona EV.  With the 64-kW-hr lithium-ion battery placed under the passenger compartment, the rear seat floor is slightly raised, but overall interior space is similar to other Niro models, with plenty of head- and legroom even for tall passengers sitting in the back, and a flexible cargo area that handily accommodates bulky items. The Niro has an standard 100-kW DC fast-charging capability, while with a Level 2 (7.2 kW) charger, it takes 9 hours and 35 minutes to fully charge the Niro EV’s battery through the front charge port. A Level 3 fast charger can do 80 percent in an hour on a 100-kW unit, or an hour and 15 minutes on the 50-kW one. A word of caution, you must have a 240 volt outlet or it will take a huge amount of time to charge the Niro from 110v!   

 The Niro EV is offered in two very well equipped versions: EX ($44,995) and SX Touring    ($53,995) Standard content includes passive entry with push-button start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, automatic climate control, and a host of driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, lane-centering steering assist, and blind-spot warning. Shift-By-Wire Transmission Control and rearview camera. The SX Touring trim adds LED head- and taillights, a sunroof, leather front seats that are heated and ventilated, an 8.0-inch center touchscreen rather than a 7.0-inch unit, and Harman/Kardon stereo. Power sunroof, and Smart cruise control (ASCC)

Lane Keeping Assist System, Kia’s Drive Wise suite of driver assistance tech is included on all models, bundling together adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, driver attention alert, lane following and keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.   Autonomous emergency braking, seven airbags, and Kia’s UVO3 interface – wonderful, intuitive and easy to use.

Inside, as usual once cannot helped but be impressed with how well- appointed and well-finished the cabin is. With good visibility and a roomy interior, there is a classy upscale look to the dash and front driver’s cockpit.  It’s all black detailing set off with metal look trim and neat, tidy well finished controls and nice bright gauges display. Interior room is good with plenty of head and legroom. The rear seat flips to reveal a roomy cargo area.

On the road, the Niro’s electric motor’s 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque gives you effortless power especially in Sport mode. However, in Eco, Eco+, and Normal modes, torque is held a tad to minimize torque steer and wheel spin. The 2019 Niro EV’s low center of gravity and independent suspension gives it a smooth ride and fairly neutral handling. When combined with its responsive steering and minimal body roll, the crossover feels stable on sharp bends. One pedal driving is easy with the four-level (0 to 3) regenerative braking. The 2019 Kia Niro EV is a great addition to the Kia Niro range and by the far the best if not the cheapest in the three model range.  With good road manners, generous driving no-gas range, and a practical roomy interior, the Niro EV is very tempting if you are in the market for as an electric only CUV.

2019 Kia Niro EV: Base priced from $44,995 -$53,995 

 Website www.kia.ca

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