When the Hyundai Kona Electric came along only last year, we marvelled that any sub-£35,000 EV could offer so much battery capacity. But there will be a series-production version of the popular Nissan Leaf along soon with almost as much, and right now there’s the Kia e-Niro, too: a car featuring almost as much real-world range and performance as its Hyundai sister car but with better usability, better refinement and better ride and handling to seal the deal.
There is just a hint of plasticky feel about the e-Niro’s interior. Likewise, there is a slight sense that its driving experience is of fine attention to detail but not one to inspire over longer acquaintance. Both observations explain why we’re not giving it a five-star recommendation, even though some will argue that such an outstanding EV deserves one.
Our response would be that we’ve given outstanding EVs full-house scores before, when they transcend to become outstanding cars in a broader sense. But we’ll gladly attest that the e-Niro is the best affordable electric car this road test has yet appraised, and that it may do more than any other to convince people about the viability of zero-emissions motoring.