This week I am testing the brand new, fully electric 2022 Kia Niro GT-Line EV. Easily distinguished by its large contrast panel at the side rear, this is one of two new EVs for Kia and although they are similarly priced, the Kia EV6 I tested recently is very different to this Kia Niro.
Whereas the Kia EV6 looks aggressive and is jammed full of flashy features, the Kia Niro seems to be a more mild-mannered and quiet contender.
The New Kia Niro is only available as a hybrid or this fully electric version, which has a 460km range. I found this range figute to be pretty accurate with everyday family driving, school drop-offs, errands around town and commuting. At a fast charger, the Niro will charge from 10-80-% in around 45 minutes which is a little long for a family pit stop. The EV6 for example can do it in less than 20 minutes!
When it comes to family practicality inside the Kia Niro, there are ISOFix points in the two outer seats (we found you had to get the connector right in the centre of the bars for them to attach successfully).
There are top tether anchorages on the back of all three rear seatbacks, all of which are easy to access through the boot.
I could fit three Infasecure child seats across the back seat of the 2022 Kia Niro. I fit the Infasecure Attain More, Aspire More and Achieve More child seats comfortably across the back seats. To buy or learn more about the child seats used in this review click on the link here.
There is no hump in the rear footwell so it is easy for passengers to access their seats.
Legroom is good in the Kia Niro and a 182cm passenger can fit in front of a rear-facing child seat.
Storage for rear passengers is quite basic with small map pockets on the back of both front seats that hold but don't conceal an iPad.
Small door bins only fit a small bottle and there are two cup holders in a central seat fold-down armrest.
In the central footwell, there is a 240V household plug socket, which I loved for plugging in my laptop while I worked in the car while Bub has her naps!
There are also USB-C sockets in the side of both front seats for rear passengers charging devices.
Storage is a bit better in the front, where the central console has two retractable cup holders that will hold a reusable or disposable coffee up and behind them is a small central console box.
In front of the gear selector dial is a wireless phone charging pad with a range of charging sockets here too.
The glove box is a generous size, easily holding my wallet and iPad with the manual. The door bins will hold a refillable water bottle and an iPad, and the door handles are little storage wells too.
There are aircon vents in the back of the central console box so rear passengers can be kept comfortable while driving along.
When it comes to storage in the boot, I was quite surprised by the flimsy pop-up boot shade, which feels rather disappointing for a brand new electric car.
It is good news when it comes to storage in the boot though, as eleven shopping bags fit in the boot of the Kia Niro EV when it's empty, which is one more than the previous model Niro that held ten.
A twin side-by-side pram fits in the boot of the Kia Niro EV with no shopping bags beside it. Or you can fit a modular twin pram in the boot with a few shopping bags.
If you have a small or medium size family dog, it will travel comfortably in the boot of the Kia Niro EV.
The Kia Niro EV GT-Line has remote parking so if you have tight parking spaces or garages to get it in and out of, you can drive it in and out using just the key fob. This feature is great for families so you don't have kids opening their car doors into cars parked close next to them.
I found the Niro EV is quite a small car so I didn't have many instances to use the remote parking function, whereas I used it multiple times a day with the Kia EV6 because it is a wider car.
Being small, the Kia Niro is an easy car to nip around town in, it has a tight turning circle so it is easy to park and manoeuvre in tight school or office car parks. It is a lovely quiet electric car to drive, you have all the benefits of being able to drive your kids to sleep and sit while they are sleeping with the aircon running without churning through fuel or pumping fumes into the area around you.
The driver's display screen shows you your distance to a flat battery in the bottom left of the screen. You have three modes of driving; Eco, Normal and Sport. Eco is good for when you need to reserve battery range and Sport gives you a bit of fun because it makes the Niro feel really nippy!
The Kia Niro EV GT-Line has a beautiful big display that sweeps the front dash, housing the driver display and media screen. There is also a panel below the central vents that you can switch between climate controls and media controls.
The media screen is really easy to navigate and use and has some great functions for families.
Voice memo is great for recording funny conversations with your kids in the car or to-do lists for work.
Quiet mode brings the sound from the rear speakers to the front speakers, which is really useful when your kids fall asleep in the back!
You can adjust the climate control settings from the front media screen and select ‘Driver Only' to reserve battery when you're the only one in the car.
The EV screen allows you to see your battery range and control your charging etc.
The Kia Niro EV has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is great news for safely accessing your phone's navigation, listening and communication apps while driving.
The Kia Niro EV also has a rear-view camera which you can turn on while driving using a button down in the central console.
The image is really clear and great for rear visibility when the view out of the mirror is blocked by bulky child seats in the back seat.
The reversing cameras are really crisp and clear and you can turn the parking sensors off with a button in the central console.
The fully electric Kia Niro GT-Line is a fab little five-seater SUV. It comfortably fits three child seats in the back and a twin or double pram in the boot with a bit of room for shopping. The media system is great and the cameras are good too.
It's a quiet EV that is really nice to drive, has good battery range and you have all the benefits of it being electric too like being able to charge it from your solar panels and being guilt-free when driving kids to sleep or sitting with the aircon running when you get stuck in the car with a sleeping baby.
The Kia Niro EV has yet to be given a crash test rating by ANCAP. The Kia Niro EV has eight airbags as standard; driver and front passenger SRS airbags, centre side airbag (front), front side SRS airbags, driver's knee SRS airbag and curtain SRS airbags for both the first and second rows.