CUSTOMER REVIEW: "Would I recommend the purchase of an EV? Certainly, yes I would."

Date posted: 28 July 2021

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kia e-niro, electric car, customer review, new car

Purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) for the first time can be a daunting prospect. Will the range be enough for my journeys? Are there enough charging points and can I use any charger? How much will it cost me to charge at home? We asked some of our Kia e-Niro customers what they thought of their EV, and if they would recommend purchasing an EV. Here's what they had to say...
Read Gavin Scott's Review Read Margaret Baisden's Review Read Richard Wise's Review

Gavin Scott

Electric Vehicle owner since September 2020

kia e-niro owner, electric vehicle, new kia

Why did you purchase an electric vehicle (‘EV’)?

"Intending in 2019 to change my previous car, and thinking of the options, purchasing an electric powered car seemed to me to be both novel and forward thinking.  While I was apprehensive about the issue of the range of such vehicles, since retiring at the start of 2016 there was little likelihood of undertaking repeated lengthy journeys throughout any given week. Furthermore, I was most attracted to the idea of being able to ‘fuel’ the vehicle at home for a fraction of the cost of purchasing petrol or diesel.  The overall environmentally friendly aspect of driving an EV greatly appealed, although I did, and do, appreciate that the manufacturing process for an EV (car and battery) is probably not too far removed from the production of an internal combustion car in respect of the impact on the environment.

Why the e-Niro?

I was very impressed with the test drive and the layout of the interior of the e-Niro.  Being somewhat of a traditionalist, I was looking to purchase a car with well-placed switches and controls, all clearly of an intuitive nature.  A further most important factor was the seven year vehicle guarantee and the corresponding provisions for the battery.  In every respect the e-Niro, my first purchase from the Kia marque, entirely fulfilled my requirements.  I took delivery of the e-Niro at the beginning of September, 2020.

What are your views about the range of the e-Niro?

Briefly stated, the range has proved ideal. My vehicle is equipped with the 64 kWh battery, and its real world range, in the present warm spell (summer, 2021), has proved to equate to between 255 and 265 miles. I have not pushed the battery in the sense of running down the charge to below 20% and it may well be the case that a range very close to, and possibly even in excess of, 282 miles would be achieved during warm weather.  When using an EV, as indeed with any car, much depends on driving style if the range is to be maximised.  It should also be noted that in low winter temperatures, and also when using the climate control function, the range is markedly reduced.  However, it is an indication of the quality of the engineering of the e-Niro that, since its introduction, it remains one of the leading EV’s as assessed by motoring magazines and commentators.

What surprising aspects have you noted when driving the e-Niro?

It is a joy to be able to drive the vehicle primarily using one pedal mode: that was an entirely unexpected pleasure.  The quietness of the driving experience is likewise a bonus.  Perhaps the most significant point to record is the certainty with which power is delivered instantaneously: in the e-Niro driving off from stationary is seamless, as is very rapid acceleration when completing an overtaking manoeuvre.  The intelligent driver assistance package is excellent, particularly when using the adaptive cruise control: again, I was not prepared for the benefit of this technology.  Finally, for me, is the enjoyment of driving an EV - it is as close to a fun experience as any car is likely to be!

Would you recommend the purchase of an EV?

Certainly, yes I would. A prospective purchaser should bear in mind:

- The importance of a test drive of an EV – to appreciate fully the differences between an EV and combustion engine vehicles a test drive is essential.
- Would that purchaser be able to install a charging point at their home address – having that facility is exceptionally useful.
- The time required to charge an EV whether at home or at a public rapid charging device.  As yet, the battery of an EV cannot be topped-up in the short period associated with refuelling with petrol or diesel.
- That the public charging infrastructure is improving on a constant basis.
- Their requirement in respect of the range of a vehicle.  I suggest that an EV would suit the vast majority of drivers except perhaps those requiring to undertake several journeys each week in excess of 250 miles.
- That, notwithstanding the present price differential between an EV and its equivalent petrol or diesel model, in almost all other respects an EV is cheaper to own and to run in comparison to a combustion engine car.
I remain very satisfied with my Kia e-Niro."

Margaret Baisden

Electric Vehicle owner since July 2020

kia e-niro owner, electric vehicle, new kia

What were your main reasons for going electric?

"I ordered the car at the beginning of 2020 having become convinced that an electric car was the way forward and that the writing is on the wall for the internal combustion engine! I loved my previous Diesel car but it was getting increasingly expensive to run and I became convinced that it was chucking out nasty particulate matter that was making me cough and my nose run! I considered getting a hybrid motor, but having spoken to other people they appear to be not as economic or as “green” in terms of emissions as they are advertised. I was worried about the range issues  of getting a pure electric but the range of approaching 280 miles from the Kia eNiro sounded reasonable. I was also concerned about the different types of charger types which all sounded very confusing.

I did a bit of research and found that funding was available to get a home charging point. In Scotland this is available in the form of a grant and covers most, if not all of the cost via “The Energy Saving Trust”. At present the cost of powering the car electrically is about a third that of petrol, even less if you use diesel. Then of course at present there is no Road Tax although the car still has to be registered via the DVLA.
So I decided to jump to full electric! I went to Kia Carlisle and spoke to the folks there and had a test drive.

Were there any surprising aspects of an electric car?

The car was very simple to drive and did not require the use of the left foot. Having driven all sorts of cars for over 50 years (including automatics) I was pleasantly surprised by the responsiveness of the car both to the accelerator and the steering. It felt remarkably well balanced. It would also fit two greyhounds tethered in the back with the seats down! I was sold on the Kia eNiro.

Have you found the range suitable for your needs?

I got the car at the end of July 2020 between lockdowns which unfortunately corresponded with a family member becoming ill and requiring travel to Glasgow and Edinburgh for treatment. This was extremely stressful and I was worried about whether there might be problems with a round trip of 140 miles. I need not have worried. In the summer the round trip used 49% of the battery and in the autumn/winter 52%.

Do you have any advice regarding charging for people considering moving to an electric car?

I fill the car up when the battery is about half full and that takes 5 hours approx.. This can be done using off peak electricity if you have a smart meter, I do not. I fill up during the day time and take some advantage from our solar panels. There are still some power points where you can recharge for free if you are being terribly mean!

One of my pleasures is when a fast car comes up behind me when the lights are red. I can leave them standing when the lights change!
That gives an old lady a real buzz!”

Richard Wise

Electric Vehicle owner since 2015
"The Kia e-Niro is a brilliant car that just happens to be electric. Hardly surprising that it won car of the year 2020. Most people could dump their diesel or petrol car, switch to an e-Niro and never look back. Historically I have always bought a German car but goodness me the South Korean’s have caught up and possibly overtaken the German cars at least in terms of quality of engineering and reliability. I read lots of reviews before buying an e-Niro and so when I took a test drive my expectations were very high. Despite this the car met or surpassed my expectations in almost every way. It won’t be my last Kia!

The highlights:

The e-Niro is loaded with kit (that all works well) and is covered by the unbeatable 7-year warranty. No encyclopedia of eye wateringly expensive options from Kia and no measly 3-year warranty! The only extra to my 4+ was metallic paint!

Have you found the range to be accurate?

For much of the year and most journeys the claimed range of 258 miles on a charge is achievable and in most cases I would say refreshingly conservative and shows just how efficient the e-Niro is! Most EVs achieving this sort of range have a significantly larger battery. During the warmer weather with a mix of urban and local roads then I achieve well over 300 miles on a charge or on the motorway at 70mph I get nearer 280 miles. Only on a cold winter’s day cruising down the motorway at 70mph would the figure fall a whisker short of the claimed 258 miles. Like with any car (Petrol, Diesel or EV) if you choose to accelerate hard and cruise at speeds significantly more than the speed limit then the (MPG) range will drop accordingly. Unlike a Petrol or Diesel Car where mpg plummets if you are stuck in traffic jams or slow-moving traffic the E-Niro will use virtually no energy at all. Driving from to and from Wetheral and Carlisle and about town for example I achieve over 400 miles on a charge.

Is there any stand-out technology?

I believe that the e-Niro is one of the most efficient EVs out there especially if the driver uses the efficiency tools the car provides. For example, the e-Niro has an exceptionally good regenerative braking system. The driver has an array of choices of setting but the best by a country mile in my view is called Auto Level 1. This means the car will mostly coast when you take your foot off the accelerator (like a “normal car”) but will automatically switch to more intense regenerative braking if it senses the car ahead is getting closer. It is a brilliantly simple and efficient system and you rarely need to touch the brakes at all. The car also has features like heated or cooled front seats and drivers’ side only heating and cooling; clearly it is much more efficient to heat or cool the actual occupant(s rather than the whole car.

Does the e-Niro have much power?

The e-Niro feels is decently quick of the mark at 7.5 sec 0-60mph (it feels faster in sport mode) and is whisper quiet when the tarmac is decent…. I love the adaptive cruise control which will optimise the regenerative braking and bring the car to a complete standstill if the traffic ahead grinds to a halt. It will then restart with the touch of a button on the steering wheel…no pedal required!

Is an electric car expensive to own?

OK EVs are not cheap but the running costs are tiny compared to a petrol or diesel! There are unexpected savings like cheap servicing and brakes that should last nearly for ever as you hardly ever need them. 10,000 miles in an e-Niro would probably use about 2500 kWh which would cost £375 @ 15p per kWh (normal household daytime rate), £200 at 8p per kWh (night rate) or even less if you have a smart tariff or solar panels on your roof. Running costs are a little higher on the public charging network but most people would perhaps not need to use this that often? Compare these costs to a petrol or diesel doing 40mpg where the fuel would cost £1500. EVs charge for free in Scotland I believe!

In terms of battery quality, I have complete confidence in Kia. The e-Niro is my 3rd EV and the 2 original ones are still in the family. The oldest of these cars is a 65 plate and it has the same range today as it did 6 years ago. The second oldest is a 66 plate and this too has the same range today as when new 4 years ago. I believe EV batteries don’t much like being charged in the super high temperatures of Arizona but one of the upsides to Cumbria is that we don’t have this to worry about ;-).

In summary I believe that the Kia e-Niro is an utterly brilliant EV that does everything that you want a car to do. I for one would never choose an internal combustion engine car again."
Thank you to Gavin, Margaret and Richard for this fantastic feedback. 

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