Mike's Car Review: The 2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium

2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium

Okay, so you're ready to make the leap to an electric vehicle. An all-electric range of over 200 miles is within your comfort zone and you have choices. But the Tesla Model 3 seems a little too futuristic, you're not wild about the looks of the Nissan Leaf Plus and the Chevy Bolt seems too small.

The 2019 Kia Niro EV may be just what you're looking for. It's a conventional compact crossover, about the same size as a Toyota RAV4 or a Honda CR-V. In fact, Kia sells the Niro as a gasoline-powered model---but they also have the Niro EV, which is all-electric.

2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium

The 2019 Kia Niro EV will go 239 miles on a single charge, and is DC fast-charging compatible, which means you can get an 80% charge in just under an hour.

2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium
2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium
2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium
2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium

In the trunk, there's also a charging cord you can use with 110v household current----but that's going to take quite a while longer.

2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium
2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium
2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium
2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium
2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium
2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium

Beyond the silent operation and never going to a gas pump again, the Kia Niro EV is exactly like driving a gasoline-powered Niro. It's roomy, comfortable and well-equipped.

The base price for the 2019 Kia Niro EV EX (before EV incentives and tax credits) is $38,500. Here's what's standard:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Cloth and artificial leather seat trim
  • Automatic climate control with rear vents
  • Seven-inch touchscreen
  • Rear-view camera
  • AM-FM radio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Bluetooth
  • Two USB ports
  • Keyless entry and pushbutton start
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • 60/40 split folding rear seats
  • Blind spot detection
  • Smart cruise control with stop & go
  • Forward collision avoidance assist
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Lane following assist
  • Fog lights
  • Auto on/off projection headlights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Power folding heated outside mirrors with embedded turn signals
  • Roof rails
  • Rear spoiler
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Dark gray fender and rocker cladding

2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium
2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium

Our tester was the 2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium. The base price goes to an even $44,000 and the following features are added:

  • Power sunroof with sunshade
  • Heated and ventilated leather front seats
  • Power adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar
  • Harman Kardon Premium audio system with subwoofer
  • Navigation with eight-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Console mood lighting
  • Parking distance warning-reverse
  • LED interior lamps
  • LED taillamps
  • Driver side seatback pocket
  • Deluxe scuff plates

2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium

And our tester also had extra-cost options:

  • Cold Weather Package 2.0 (battery heater, heat pump): $1,080
  • EX Premium Launch Edition (heated steering wheel, LED headlights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, park distance warning-forward and reverse, cargo cover): $1,000
  • Cargo mat: $95
  • Carpeted floor mats: $135
  • Cargo net: $50

And there was a $200 credit for the deletion of Homelink and ventilated seats. So, with $995 inland freight and handling, the bottom line on the window sticker reads $47,155.

But let's dial it back to no extra-cost options. That's $44,995 with freight. The Chevy Bolt I reviewed back in January ended up at $43,510. A top-of-the-line Nissan Leaf Plus with no options is $43,475 with destination charges. And if you've done any Tesla shopping at all, you know how hard it is to keep a Model 3 under $50,000, much less $45,000. Again, all those prices are before any zero-emissions incentives.

That makes the 2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium a major winner in our book. Competitive range, competitive price, in a package that is the right size.

Mike Hagerty

Mike Hagerty

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