View Local Inventory
Save

2019 Kia Niro EV

2019 Kia Niro EV

Change year or vehicle
$27,032 — $47,849 NEW and USED
11
Photos
SUV
5 Seats
114 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Spirited Sport mode
  • UVO touchscreen system standard
  • Outward visibility
  • Excellent rear headroom and legroom
  • Low cargo load-in height

The Bad

  • All-wheel drive not offered
  • Interior plastic
  • Regular Niro's lower mpg, less cargo room than Toyota Prius
2019 Kia Niro EV exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2019 Kia Niro EV
  • New all-electric Niro EV model
  • Hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions also offered
  • Five-seat hatchback body style
  • Five-seat hatchback body style Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard
  • Automatic emergency braking available

We’re looking for the best deals on a Kia near you…

Are you looking for more listings?

Change location

Please enter a valid 5-digit ZIP code.

Search Again

— OR —

Sign up for listing notifications

Sign Up

2019 Kia Niro EV Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

The 2019 Kia Niro EV rides on the same platform as the 2020 Soul EV as well as its corporate cousin, the 2019 Hyundai Kona EV. We got a chance to see it in its debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

By Fred Meier

If you’re on the bubble about your first electric vehicle, hoping for something reasonably affordable and also more practical than a small car, Kia has a deal for you: the friendly SUV-ish Niro EV. It’s a full-battery model of the long-roof hatchback that Kia already offers in hybrid and plug-in hybrid form. And while the Niro’s styled to look like an SUV, let’s be honest: It’s a well-designed front-wheel-drive wagon. And that’s just fine — no body shaming here.

Related: Hyundai Kona Electric Vs. Chevrolet Bolt EV: Which Is the Better Electric Car?

The Niro electric version is a corporate sibling of the appealing Hyundai Kona Electric, but it’s bigger and more well-rounded than the Kona, with a few more inches of length and wheelbase. That’s enough for a roomier and grown-up feel in the front seats, more comfort in the backseat and more family-friendly cargo space (about 18 cubic feet behind the backseat and more than 50 with the 60/40-split seatbacks folded). It’s a practical vehicle that just happens to be a competent electric vehicle, a combination that would make it a good first electric car and daily driver for a broad swath of buyers beyond EV early adopters.

If you’re ready to go all in on a plug-in, here are eight reasons the Niro EV is a good choice to be the first EV in your garage when it goes on sale in May — along with one reason making that happen might not be easy where you live:

Things We Like

1. It’s Affordable (by Today’s Standards)

EVs aren’t cheap and for m...

If you’re on the bubble about your first electric vehicle, hoping for something reasonably affordable and also more practical than a small car, Kia has a deal for you: the friendly SUV-ish Niro EV. It’s a full-battery model of the long-roof hatchback that Kia already offers in hybrid and plug-in hybrid form. And while the Niro’s styled to look like an SUV, let’s be honest: It’s a well-designed front-wheel-drive wagon. And that’s just fine — no body shaming here.

Related: Hyundai Kona Electric Vs. Chevrolet Bolt EV: Which Is the Better Electric Car?

The Niro electric version is a corporate sibling of the appealing Hyundai Kona Electric, but it’s bigger and more well-rounded than the Kona, with a few more inches of length and wheelbase. That’s enough for a roomier and grown-up feel in the front seats, more comfort in the backseat and more family-friendly cargo space (about 18 cubic feet behind the backseat and more than 50 with the 60/40-split seatbacks folded). It’s a practical vehicle that just happens to be a competent electric vehicle, a combination that would make it a good first electric car and daily driver for a broad swath of buyers beyond EV early adopters.

If you’re ready to go all in on a plug-in, here are eight reasons the Niro EV is a good choice to be the first EV in your garage when it goes on sale in May — along with one reason making that happen might not be easy where you live:

Things We Like

1. It’s Affordable (by Today’s Standards)

EVs aren’t cheap and for many, the leap from the sub-$30,000 non-plug-in Niro hybrid will be too much. But Niro EV pricing has just been announced and the base EX is moderately priced at $39,495, including a $995 destination charge, while the EX Premium starts at $44,995. Subtract the $7,500 federal credit and the EX comes in at about the average transaction price for a new car, while the fancier Premium still is well south of $40,000 — and that’s before state and local subsidies available in many places. And unlike Chevrolet’s Bolt EV and Tesla’s luxury electric vehicles, which are losing the federal credit, Kia has plenty of headroom before hitting the sales limit.

For the Niro EV’s purchase price, you get mobility with a smaller carbon footprint. But in what a recent Cars.com survey found, potential buyers might be at least as enticed by saving green as being green, and the Niro EV will save money over time with lower fuel and maintenance costs than a gasoline vehicle.

 

2. It Has Miles to Burn

A full charge of the 64-kilowatt-hour battery offers 239 miles of range, just 19 fewer than the smaller Kona with which it shares the powertrain. That’s enough for most people to handle their daily driving without anxiety and only have to plug in at home a couple of times a week.

Most people … but not all, or not yet. If your household can get by on one car but also needs one for weekend rambling beyond the reach of handy chargers, the Niro’s also-appealing plug-in hybrid variant might be a more suitable first step. Its 26-mile all-electric range can handle a lot of commuting and you retain gas-engine flexibility when needed. You also still get federal plug-in subsidy for the purchase, albeit a smaller $4,543 versus $7,500 for the EV version.

 

3. Fast Charging Is Onboard

Beyond range, the Niro EV offers you the reassuring flexibility to use DC fast charging, which increasingly is becoming available at public stations. With a typical 7.2-kilowatt Level 2 home AC charger, a full charge of the 64-kilowatt-hour battery is an overnight thing at 9 hours and 35 minutes. But if you need a quick shot, the Niro EV comes ready to accept a fast charge that can fill the battery to 80 percent in 75 minutes on a 50-kW charger and in 60 minutes on the growing number of 100-kW fast chargers. You’ll likely rarely need that, but if, like me, you start puckering when your phone is at 50 percent, it’s comforting to know you can. Time on a regular home plug? Don’t ask. You need to budget for a Level 2 home charger for your new EV.

 

4. It’s Not Weird

The Niro doesn’t overwhelm you with gadgets and gauges, and science-project design. The fact is that EVs are less complicated to drive and maintain than a gasoline car. And Kia ran with that, giving the Niro a familiar look and feel. It also simplified use, putting essential information such as range up front and making charging the car nearly as simple as charging your phone. Sure, it still has fancier EV graphics and electric-specific features that you can master at your leisure as you adapt to new habits to get the most mileage out of your juice — but the hardest thing to learn for a newbie might be remembering to turn the Niro off without the prompt of hearing a gas engine still running.

 

5. It’s Hushed

EVs are quiet. It’s a revelation of how much white noise you don’t consciously hear in a gasoline car, like a night in the country is a revelation to a city dweller. But a downside is that little noises you’d never otherwise notice will now stand out. Neither of these is exclusive to the Niro, but Kia has done a very good job of filtering out and suppressing potential annoyances in the hushed cabin, even gliding at low speeds with the whirring alert broadcasting a techy “on your left” warning to unwary pedestrians on their phones.

 

6. It’s Comfortable

Saving the planet should have rewards — and not just a pass for the HOV lanes. The Niro EV’s payback is a nicely designed and simple cabin that carves out a lot of space for its size, and is trimmed in quality materials and soft-touch surfaces above your elbows. The Niro has an upright driving position with excellent visibility all around. The buttons and switches are logically arranged, though I found myself wishing the touchscreen were a little higher. It has very comfortable front seats, and head and leg space for tall adults in the back. Cabin storage for your stuff is better than in many small SUVs, including a clever tray under the open front of the center console. A bonus in the EX Premium test car was good-looking gray leather upholstery with blue trim and stitching — even a blue accent in the leather perforations, and a red light signature around the console and rotating shift knob.

 

7. You Can Have All the Modern Conveniences

The cabin may be simple, but the tech is not. Both the EX and EX Premium versions come with a buffet of driver-assistance and safety tech, including adaptive cruise control, a forward collision system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, lane-centering steering assist, driver attention alert and a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. While the base model is by no means stripped, the upscale EX Premium test car was loaded with, in addition to the leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen system with navigation (the EX has a 7-inch screen), competent Harman Kardon premium audio, USB ports, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, parking sensors, a smallish moonroof and upscale LED lighting inside and out.

 

8. It’s Not a Dog

The electric powertrain puts out a healthy 201 horsepower and will pull the Niro EV to 62 mph from zero in 7.8 seconds and from 50 to 75 mph for passing in 5 seconds. It feels faster than that in town owing to the electric motor’s instant 291 pounds-feet of torque, leaping like our family cat and even sometimes chirping the eco-efficient tires. In addition to the Normal, Eco and Eco Plus (which I’d only use if running on empty), there is a more satisfying Sport mode that’s fun at the price of some electrons.

The underfloor battery gives the Niro EV a planted feel, though not without some body lean in the corners. The steering is very light but is precise with changes of direction. The ride is firm, not harsh, but a little brittle on rough streets — I’m not sure if that’s the suspension, the low-resistance tires or both. The regenerative braking system has an otherworldly feel at times, but there is no grab in the transition from regeneration to the standard brakes. My favorite braking feature is the variable regenerative braking paddles on the steering wheel that allow mostly one-pedal driving in the stop-and-go city.

Things We Don’t

1. Sold? It’s Not as Simple as Writing a Check

The Niro EV, like the mechanically similar Kona and coming Kia Soul EV, is built in South Korea and must share, says Kia, a currently short supply of batteries. So initial quantities for the U.S. will be constrained, with sales limited to California and a dozen other states — mostly those where a percentage of EV sales is or will be required. If you only have a limited number to sell, it makes sense to start with the “have to” states. Of course there’s nothing to stop you from going to L.A. to buy one if you can locate one on the ground (check back with Cars.com after it goes on sale).

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

5.0
12 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.9)
Interior Design
(5.0)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(5.0)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

The electric car we've been waiting for

by Aaron from Amherst, MA on June 9, 2020

We were early adopters, back in 2004 or 2005, when we bought one of the first Priuses in our part of the state. Since we've owned a Prius V, both a CMax and Honda Clarity PHEV, and a Chevy Bolt. The ... Read full review

(5.0)

The most fun I've ever had driving a car

by cgsitr0629 from Duncan, SC on May 10, 2020

Comfortable, fun to drive.....and we pass every gas station. Plug it in once or twice a week and in the morning the "tank" is full. 285 miles on a charge normally gets me through a week of driving. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2019 Kia Niro EV currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2019 Kia Niro EV EX

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
acceptable

Crash Avoidance and Mitigation

Front Crash Prevention
superior

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Headlights

Overall Rating
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
acceptable
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Passenger Side

Overall Evaluation
good
Structure and Safety Cage
acceptable

Small Overlap Front - Passenger Side - Driver Injury Measures

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good

Small Overlap Front - Passenger Side - Passenger Injury Measures

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Kia

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    120 months / 100,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Change Year or Vehicle

All Model Years for the Kia Niro EV

0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Niro EV received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

What's your location?

To find the best deals near you, please enter your ZIP code.

Get your new car price quote

Select the car you want

*MSRP and Invoice prices displayed are for educational purposes only, do not reflect the actual selling price of a particular vehicle, and do not include applicable gas taxes or destination charges.