Car Review: Kia offers two smaller EV crossovers that to look lure buyers with a range and style

The rise of the EV is moving full steam ahead with more manufacturers releasing new models. Kia has had EV vehicles for nearly five years and now, they add a second model that is looking to move ahead.


NIRO EV

The Niro EV soldiers on with some upgrades for this year before a redo for 2023. It is hard to come by these days, and you might have to do some traveling to find one. You will be in for a solid, if not a flashy, EV experience. The looks are more conservative than Kia’s new EV offering. The exterior styling is boxy, more like a mini-SUV and it does not really scream EV unless you notice the faux grill with a door for the plug.

The Niro EV comes with a 10.25-inch touchscreen and in EX trim level will add ventilation to the heated seats making it more comfortable for both winter and summer driving. The optional cold weather package adds heated steering, battery heater and heat pump for quicker cabin heat on cold days.

Driving the older Niro EV is not a penalty box either. While it won’t knock your socks off with acceleration, the Niro is quicker when compared to similar-sized gas crossovers. This little EV is fun to drive with decent handling ability and a very hushed cabin to boot. The Niro EV also has a good range. I managed 249 miles on a charge, but I did not do very much sustained higher speed driving, nor did I use climate control for most of the longer trip.

 

Cost: As tested $47,195

MPG: 123 city and 102 highway; I managed 4.7mi/kWh in 339 miles of driving.

Things to know: The first EV for Kia is still going strong and gets the job done with a pleasant ride and decent range.

Pros:

  • A good commuter car that can be taken on longer trips thanks to decent range
  • Comfortable and spacious interior

Cons:

  • Older design is starting to show its age in a new stylish EV world
  • Slower charging when using higher-speed public charging

EV6 GT-LINE AWD

The all-new Kia turns up the heat with style and improved ability. The new EV6 moves more upscale, and it starts with a sleek exterior. It has a more sporty, futuristic look with curves than the SUV-styled Niro EV. Kia really incorporates lighting as a design element of the EV6 and does it with extensive use of LEDs. I enjoyed the thin curved lighting cluster at the rear of this ride. The GT-Line trim level I drove ups the game with large 20-inch wheels and the optional Steel Matte gray paint.

The inside of the EV6 moves into a new era for Kia. There is a modern style with dual 12.3-inch displays that house the cockpit gauges and the NAV and radio functions. The GT-Line suede seat package adds a sporty vibe to the spacious interior. Adults will be comfortable with decent head and legroom and a flat floor, so backseat passengers in the middle will not have the hump on the floor.

The EV6 GT-Line I drove sported Dual Motor e-AWD. and it will move. However, you do lose range, which drops to about 274 miles on a charge. If you have not driven an EV before, it will make you chuckle when you stomp the accelerator pedal the first time. This Kia EV is also a fun drive when the road has some twists and turns. It is very comfortable on the highway as well. Thanks to the latest 800V system, this EV6 can offer ultra-fast charging speeds at capable chargers. I saw a speed of 272kW at one public charger. Buyers will receive 1,000 kWh of complimentary energy from Electrify America stations.

 

Cost: As tested $58,105

MPG: 116 city and 94 highway; I managed 3.5mi/kWh in 755 miles of driving.

Things to know: Kia’s second EV moves the brand upscale with the new EV6. With stylish looks, a modern interior and performance that will satisfy, new buyers will move to an EV vehicle.

Pros:

  • Dual motor and AWD – this electric crossover is ready to tackle your everyday needs
  • Its sleek looks will get you noticed

Cons:

  • Less range with the AWD dual motor means you do not get 300 miles
  • Rear vision suffers with the small rear window

 

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up