The Kia e-Niro electric SUV has a 485km range

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And, um, Robert de Niro will be doing the ads

Here’s another (probably) affordable electric crossover with a WLTP range above 480km. The Kia e-Niro goes on sale here in March next year.

It was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, and a quick hop into the back seat revealed it is indeed usefully bigger than the Hyundai Kona EV with which it shares its battery and electric gubbins.

(Click HERE to read about the BMW i3 if you don't need all this range for a city runabout)

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At 4.4m long, it’s 20cm longer on the outside than the Kona, and has a useful 450-litre boot, so the batteries don’t evict your luggage.

Though it’s built in Korea in two battery capacities, the UK will only get the bigger pack. That stores 64kWh. It feeds a 204bhp electric motor, for 0-100km/h in 7.8secs.

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Drive it like that and you won’t make the 485km of course, but on the WLTP urban test it makes 615km. In other words, gentle acceleration and lots of regenerative braking is good for range, as with any other EV. Unfortunately, also as per any rival, fast motorway cruising suppresses range, and Kia doesn’t quote a figure for that.

Still, it has the ability to accept 100kW charging, and then can get back to 80 per cent state of charge in three-quarters of an hour.

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One handy economy aid is built into the navigation. When you’ve entered a destination, it lights a lamp on the dash at the right moment to lift off and coast to the next junction, so you can stay off the disc brakes. The e-Niro also has an efficient heat pump instead of a standard heating system.

We’ll know prices closer to the time. As it’s a Kia, you get a seven-year 160,000km guarantee, battery and all.

Oh and Robert de Niro will be doing the ads. We didn’t make that up.

STORY Paul Horrell

TopGear
Author: TopGear
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the most widely watched factual television programme in the world.