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.

Matt Saunders Terminalsecurity

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The very best affordable EV yet appraised on this website

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.

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