The Kia Niro EV is finally coming to the U.S., and it couldn’t have a greater reception. Earlier this year, 2019, the Kia Niro EV entered the European market under the guise of “e-Niro” and quickly became named the “Car of the Year” in Britain by consumer magazine and website What Car? The electric crossover did so well over there, that even with 10,000 units delivered, they all sold out in no time. With how hot the original Kia Niro hybrid crossover became in the U.S., we can understand why the Kia Niro EV is already named “Car of the Year” by Popular Mechanics before it even hits the streets.
One of the reasons this year’s Popular Mechanics Car Of The Year (COTY) stands out is because the writer who named the Kia Niro EV is none other than Popular Mechanics’ Ezra Dyer. This is a guy that learned to drive a stick shift when going off-road when he was ten years old and was hired by Automobile Magazine after writing a story on his first car, an IROC-Z Chevrolet Camaro – the B.A. of cars at the time. If Dyer loved the IROC-Z and still picked the Niro EV, then there must be something that attracts even the power-hungry drivers out there.
It could be the 300 lb-ft of torque generated by the 65-kWh battery pack and electric motor. Electric vehicles are known for generating a lot of torque with little effort. Plus, because they’re quiet, even if tearing up the track, it’s more like a whisper than a roar.
“…I floor the accelerator and find that 291 lb-ft of torque will definitely torment the front tires. The Niro’s traction control has its work cut out for it off the line, but once you’re moving you get the full monty. It’s great fun, warping quietly away from stoplights. The Niro EV has two personalities, really: silent and aloof luxury cruiser at steady speeds, and hot hatch when you go full throttle.” – Dyer
The 2019 Kia Niro EV has many high points going for it. Some could call it one of the best options if breaking into the EV market, especially for new electric vehicle owners. An SUV, a crossover, the Niro EV has size, styling, and versatility that gives it an edge over the competition. The Kia Niro EV has a long driving range of a 239 miles, emissions-free; comes standard with a handful of advanced safety features, like Forward Collision Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control; the clear performance noted by Dyer; and standard fast-charging capability. Plus, the 2019 Kia Niro EV has a starting MSRP of $38,500 (plus destination fee). What’s not to love?
That’s the catch. The 2019 Kia Niro EV sounds great, but when it first arrives in the states, it’s going straight to California. How rude. Florida needs to get more progressive and embrace alternative fuel. For now, we’ll keep an eye on the Kia Niro EV and whether it becomes available nationwide. If looking to dip your toes, there’s always the Kia Niro hybrid crossover. That’s the baby that started it all.