Kia e-Niro (2021) in the long-term test: Part 1

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This is how the electric compact SUV performs on long journeys

Kia e-Niro (2021) in the long-term test: Part 1-test

In the first part of our three-month long-term test of the Kia e-Niro let's go straight to the limit. Why not, because after all we could do the compact SUV put the brand, which has been available in Germany since the beginning of 2019, to a quick test shortly after its premiere.

By the way, you can read here what your first impression of colleague Hildebrandt was like back then.

And now? Now we are doing exactly what most interested parties still feel uncomfortable about when it comes to electromobility. We dare with the Kia on the long haul and go on a 700-kilometer vacation trip.

And not to a metropolitan region with a now quite respectable public charging infrastructure, but from the Rhein-Main area directly to the Mecklenburgische Kleinseenplatte, where you sometimes even have to cover a double-digit number of kilometers for a supermarket. Exciting.

Shop at shop

Because the supermarket problem is already known at our destination, we do all the necessary grocery purchases before we leave. As a 3-month electric car owner without the possibility of direct charging at home, we naturally head for a shop that places visitors with a charging station in the parking lot.

In our case, an energy supplier even donated a 50 kW column with a CCS connection. Nobel. The e-Niro charges its batteries to 100 percent in a relaxed manner, while we spend 1.5 hours with basic food, vegetables, snacks and other delicacies for a week's holiday.

The next morning the alarm goes off quite early. It should start at 5 a.m. because we want to arrive at our destination around noon and we know that with two planned charging stops on the route, we will miss a little more than an hour of time.

Unfortunately, it is still a bit annoying – and you will notice that this E-Kia did not come onto the market just a few months ago – that our preparations also have to include manually planning the charging breaks. Newer electric vehicles can automatically plan these breaks in the overall route.

You can also use the app

But because Kia has the so-called Kia Charge app for smartphones, the relevant pillars (we want at least 100 kW fast charger) can simply be found on the couch before departure and then incorporated into the route planning via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Said and done. It is 270 kilometers until the first reload break. No problem, because the range indicator promises a range of 395 kilometers with a 98 percent battery level. Seat cooling and automatic air conditioning remain off for the time being. Fortunately, it is still quite fresh on this early Saturday morning.

We manage the first stage a little cautiously at an average speed of around 120 km / h. You don't want to try your luck on the first few kilometers. So we reach the first stop at a 350 kW column with 150 kilometers left on the clock.

We hold the RFID card, which runs through a Kia accounting system, in the designated place on the fast charger, plug in the car and after a short communication phase between the vehicle and the column, electricity flows. 73 kWh confirms the display. This is the maximum output, which, however, is already regulated down after a good 20 percent recharge.

Nevertheless, we reach 80 percent after about 30 minutes. Enough time for a visit to the toilet, a coffee and a sandwich. Go on. This time with a range of 320 kilometers and a 190-kilometer stage to the next stop, where the whole game will repeat itself again and after a second stop of around 30 minutes we go to the 260-kilometer final stage.

"You reached your goal"

After about 8.5 hours the time has come. We left the route for 1.5 hours, but with the air conditioning and seat cooling switched on, we reached our destination fairly relaxed.

The display attests to a battery level of less than 10 percent and a range of less than 30 kilometers. Although we only charged to 80 percent again. We simply always had the difference between the distance to the target point and the range in view. no problem.

Yes, we have become more courageous and at times drove 140 or even 150 km / h. We also had to plan a little detour to a normal gas station so that we can fill the petrol can that we brought with us for an outboard motor. It's weird to pull up to a gas station in an e-car. Especially when it smells like gasoline in the car.

So now the vacation can begin. For us and the car, because we don't have to rely on it for a week on site. That is why it is not a problem for us that we can only charge at the accommodation via a 230-volt socket.

We have time. But we are always surprised at how long it takes to fill a 64 kWh battery with just 2.7 kW. The display behind the steering wheel tells us more than 26 hours. Does not matter. The return trip is only planned after seven days and we can calmly charge to 100 percent.

Unfortunately, free time always flies by and one Saturday later the trip home is due. We are relaxed. From the vacation and the background knowledge that we don't have to expect any problems with our e-Niro on the 700 kilometers that are coming up again.

No fear of range, no great loss of time and as soon as you get to the greater Berlin area, you can expect a large selection of charging stations. So it is no surprise that we and our luggage arrive well rested in the Rhine-Main area after another 8.5 hours of driving and loading time.

More from Kia:

Kia e-Niro (2021) in the long-term test: Part 1-long-term Kia Sportage (2022): First look at the new edition

Kia e-Niro (2021) in the long-term test: Part 1-2021 Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDi AWD (2021) in the long-term test, part 1

So you want to catch a hook on e-mobility on long journeys in the vacation that takes place twice a year? Then try it out yourself. We did it and found none. Only the electricity prices on the fast chargers are a bit steep. Depending on the tariff, the different operators like to charge up to 0.79 euros per kilowatt hour.

With the e-Niro we used a little more than 18 kWh per 100 kilometers. This brings us to a 100 km energy price of around 14 euros. With an economical diesel you are of course a little cheaper in terms of consumption.

But then you can save in everyday life. On the short haul. Where, on the one hand, consumption of less than 16 kWh is possible and, on the other hand (if possible), charging can be carried out at home and at low nightly rates. How and whether our first consistently positive impression of the Kia e-Niro will change in the second part of our long-term test. Also here soon on Motor1.com.

Photo gallery: Kia e-Niro (2021) in the long-term test: Part 1

Kia e-Niro (2021) in the long-term test: Part 1-2021

Kia e-Niro (64 kWh)

engine Electric motor, permanent magnet synchronous machine

power 150 kW (204 PS)

Max. Torque 395 Nm

Gear type Reduction gear

drive Front wheel drive

Acceleration 0-100 km / h 7.8 s

Top speed 167 km / h

consumption 15.9 kWh / 100km

Electric range 455 km (WLTP)

battery Lithium-ion polymer, 64 kWh, 453 kg weight

Charging port Type 2 and CCS

Charging time 5:50 h (7.2 kW)

length 4,375 mm

broad 1,805 mm

height 1,570 mm (with roof rails)

Trunk volume 451 – 1,405 l

Empty weight 1,866 kg

Payload 418 kg

Base price 42,790 euros

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