I own a 2023 Niro EV Wave trim in Snow White Pearl with a Grey aeroblade and light grey interior. The first thing to comment is that this car is beautiful. It is sleek, aerodynamic, with exciting touches. But it is also a bit unassuming. This is not a car that will blow away people on the street. But it is still an undoubtedly striking vehicle, with just enough personality to stand out, and just enough sensibility to blend in. The interior is strikingly simple but loaded with features. The screens seamlessly integrate into the dash, instead of protruding out as if they were just glued in place. The buttons stay flush with the panels, and the center console area is spacious, with cupholders that can easily be closed or opened, which makes fitting a 32oz bottle in this area simple. This is a minor detail, but in most cars, my water bottle will sit awkwardly on top of the cupholders, or find itself laying on the floor of the passenger seat. Having it safely stowed beside me is a nice touch.
Interior features are loaded. The heated/ventilated seats are very quick to provide the comfort you need, as is the heated steering wheel. The buttons on the steering wheel allow for all the controls you need while driving at your fingertips, such as calling up voice assistants, answering calls, adjusting volume, skipping songs, and controlling the driver assistance features. The controls for climate and stereo on the dash rely on the same screen, using a simple button to swap between them. This may be confusing at first, but it is an elegant way to simplify the design of the dashboard, minimizing the total amount of knobs and buttons. The wireless charge point works great, and I love the warnings that a device is on the charger when the vehicle is switched off. Same with the warning to check for items in the back seat.
When you put this car in drive, you will not be pinned to your seat, especially in Eco mode. But you will feel like you are controlling a vehicle that is stable and sure footed, with excellent traction, and plenty of acceleration to reach highway speeds long before the end of the on ramp. If you do need a bit more pep, altering the drive mode to Normal or Sport created an immediately noticeable difference in power output, but in most day-to-day driving, Eco will be sufficient.
Once you get up to speed on the highway, the adaptive cruise control system will pretty much do everything for you. Set your speed, and set your preferred following distance, and the Niro will maintain your speed with ease, and even slow the vehicle all the way to a stop without ever needing to put your foot on the brake. Press the steering wheel icon, and you will engage lane centering, which will help keep the Niro centered in your lane. Just keep your hand on the wheel, but Niro will handle the driving. THIS IS NOT SELF-DRIVING. I must make that clear, because when there is a crack in the road that has been sealed and is cutting diagonally across your lane, the vehicle can mistake this as the lane line and will steer the vehicle along this diagonal. By holding the steering wheel firm, this is easily overridden, but it is critical that the driver recognize that this system is not perfect. It is, however, very useful for long drives, such as my typical 30-min highway commute.
Another wonderful feature is the Heads-Up Display, which shows your speed, and critical information about your drive, including which systems are active and during cruise control, the HUD will go beyond showing blind spot indicators, showing white boxes that represent the vehicles around you as they pass by, so you can see exactly where the nearby vehicle is.
I highly recommend this vehicle to anyone looking into an EV that doesn't want something too bold and expensive. This is the EV for people that just want something solid, reliable and exciting, while being practical and unassuming.