Tom Moloughney via IEVS, essentially a follow-on to above article:
https://insideevs.com/reviews/353019/ki ... st-review/
Kia Niro EV Extended 900-Mile Road Test Review
. . . Engadget recently reviewed the Kia Niro EV and proclaimed that it was "relentlessly sensible". The truth is, I could have come up with something similar to describe how I feel about the Niro EV's styling, but in all honestly, Engadget nailed it, so I wanted to give them the credit they deserve. I don't dislike how it looks, nor do I love how it looks. It's OK. It's definitely more of form following function, which is what you'd expect from a small crossover from Kia. . . .
The Niro EV is EPA rated at 239 miles, exactly 1 mile more than the Chevy Bolt EV. However, my time with the Niro EV seemed to indicate the EPA range rating was a bit on the conservative side.
I've been driving EVs as my daily driver for nearly ten years now, so I'm intimately familiar with the concept of range being a moving target. Here in New Jersey, I can expect anywhere from 20% to 40% better range in the spring and early fall, when temperatures are in the 70's, as compared to winter when it can get down to zero degrees.
However, the Niro EV beat the EPA range rating by an unusual margin in my week with the car, in which time I put over 900 miles on it. I averaged about 270 miles per charge, and even pushed it to a little over 300 miles once. I'm sure winter driving will slice a good number of miles off of what I witnessed; however, the Niro EV does have an optional heat pump that will mitigate the range loss in the colder months.
As for efficiency, I averaged 4.6 to 4.8 miles per kWh driving around town at lower speeds, and 3.6 to 3.7 miles per kWh on the highway at 70 - 75 mph. At 4.7 miles per kWh, the 64 kWh battery should deliver 300 miles exactly. . . .
Level 2 charging was a bit of a surprise for me. One day I depleted the battery down to 3% and fully charged it on my JuiceBox Pro 40 to record the charging profile and total electricity delivered to the vehicle.
It took 9 hours and 37 minutes to fully charge and the vehicle took 70.83 kWh! Kia lists the Niro EV as having a 64 kWh battery, so that's obviously the usable portion of the battery, and the total capacity has to be a good bit more. There's charging losses to consider, and even if that's 10%, which would be high, that's still 64 kWh delivered to the battery and it was at 3% SOC when the charging session began.
Plus, the Niro EV took the full 32 amps the entire charging session. Usually, there's a ramp-down period that begins on most EVs at around 90% SOC. Some EVs hold the full charge rate a little longer, like my 2018 i3S does, and charges at the full rate until it's about 94-95% charged. I've never seen an EV take the full charge rate all the way up to 100%, and then just stop charging without any kind of ramp-down like the Kia Niro did. Impressive. . . .
I'm definitely joining the long list of reviews that have roundly praised the Niro EV. It's far for [Sic.] perfect for everyone, but for many people I do think it's just about as good an EV as you can buy today. It all depends on what you want out of your car.
Its large, 64 kWh usable battery pack provides much more than the EPA rates 239 miles per charge in favorable conditions, and with careful driving 300 miles is absolutely attainable. It would have been nice if the Niro EV had a higher DC fast charge rate, and 100kW charging would make the occasional long-distance road trip more convenient. At the current rate, you need to stop for about an hour to charge to 80%, and probably another half hour to get to 100% if your journey requires it.
It doesn't handle all that well, but it's a small family crossover, not a sports car. But honestly, I'm nitpicking a bit. The Niro EV is so good at most everything else it does, that I have to think hard to find something to criticize. . . .
. I wrote the following after reading Engadget's Niro BEV review back in February, from which the foregoing quote comes, but it bears repeating, especially now that Toyota and Subaru are collaborating on BEVs:
They've built a BEV Subaru wagon! Without the AWD, unfortunately, but I'm referring to the design intent.
I agree with Tom that the slow QC speed is a big deal for road trips, but am encouraged that so many people seem to be exceeding EPA ranges on it at highway speeds. Now, just add AWD and up the QC speed, and I would live with the range. I'll have to write to Subaru and say "do this and you're gold".