The 2022 Kia Niro EV is a pragmatic entry point to all-electric motoring, with a roomy layout and long driving range. The 2022 Kia Niro EV is a roomy, affordable compact electric vehicle that offers a driving range well beyond 200 miles.
The Niro EV most closely compares to other relatively affordable small EVs, such as the Nissan Leaf Plus and Hyundai Kona Electric, although it’s a somewhat smaller alternative to the Volkswagen ID.4, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and the upcoming Nissan Ariya.
The Kia Niro enters 2022 with expanded standard equipment on the base EX model. In that version, the larger 10.3-inch touchscreen gets added to the standard-feature list, along with navigation, satellite radio, and premium Harmon/Kardon sound. Kia badging has also been updated throughout the vehicle to match the brand’s new corporate logo.
The 2022 Kia Niro EV follows closely in the form of its Niro hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid siblings, although it has a very different function. A single electric motor makes 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque and can accelerate the Niro EV to 60 mph in about seven seconds.
But in city driving, it feels far perkier than that, with good handling and road-holding, although its extra 700 lb of weight simply means it’s not as nimble as related gasoline versions.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Kia Niro EV is powered by a single electric motor that produces 201 horsepower, which is sent through the front wheels by a one-speed direct-drive transmission. The Niro EV puts up a brisk 60-mph time of 6.2 seconds, which is quicker than the Chevy Bolt EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric.
It is possible to drive the 2022 Kia Niro EV with just one pedal thanks to regenerative braking, which recharges the car as you brake. We like that there are four levels of regeneration that can be toggled between using the steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
Its brake pedal also feels more linear than alternatives such as the VW ID.4. The 2022 Kia Niro EV offers a more refined ride than its competition; wind and road noise are far less noticeable than in the Bolt EV, Kona Electric, or Tesla Model Y.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The 2022 Kia Niro EV we tested traveled 210 miles on a full charge on our 75-mph highway route—part of our extensive testing regimen—and that figure is only 29 miles shy of its 239-mile EPA estimate. For more information about the Niro EV’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The 2022 Kia Niro EV comes well equipped even in the base EX trim, which has standard power front seats, heated front seats, and a 7.0-inch digital driver display. Upgrading to the EX Premium trim adds on features like ventilated front seats, a power sunroof, and wireless charging.
Unfortunately, both trim levels suffer from an excess of black plastic throughout the interior that isn’t pleasant to look at or touch. The 2022 Kia Niro EV also has an intuitive two-zone automatic climate control system with an option to turn off the passenger’s climate control if the seat is empty to save energy.
This helps the EV maximize efficiency and allows for more of the battery to be used toward the driving range. We were able to fit six carry-on suitcases behind the rear seats. The rear seats don’t fold flat, but when they were down we were able to fit 18 carry-ons behind the front seats.
Fitting passengers behind the front seats are not ideal–the rear floor is raised to make room for the battery, and it creates a tight fit for rear-seat passengers.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The standard infotainment system in the Niro EV EX is a prominent 10.3-inch touchscreen. Along with useful volume and tuning knobs, the interface also includes SiriusXM satellite radio (a subscription is required after the three-month trial period) and a voice-activated navigation system. Both setups have Bluetooth connectivity and support wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2022 Kia Niro EV comes standard with all of Kia’s driver-assistance technology. For more information about the Niro EV’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.