Review - 2023 Kia Niro EV

By Alexi Falson on 07 Jul 2023
image for Review - 2023 Kia Niro EV
Overall Rating
out of 10
  • Smooth, comfortable ride
  • Practical interior design
  • Vehicle-to-load (V2L) charging
  • Long warranty with capped-price servicing
  • Aggressive pricing
  • Features list for base model struggles to justify price
  • LED headlights reserved for range-topping GT-Line
  • Some safety features reserved for GT-Line
    • 0
    • 0
    • 0 / 0
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
Kia has given its second-gen Niro compact SUV two engine choices for buyers here in Australia, with a plug-in hybrid and this, the flagship battery-electric Niro EV on offer.

A few years ago, the Niro EV would have been a no-brainer, though considering just how tight the competition is these days, it’s less than straightforward considering it rides on a platform shared with the plug-in hybrid.

Let’s take a closer look at the Kia Niro EV range to see if it’s worth a spot on your battery-electric compact SUV shortlist.

Kia Niro EV Competition

Kia Niro EV

Tesla Model Y
Hyundai Kona Electric
BYD Atto 3
Hyundai Ioniq 5

Starting Price: $65,300

OnlineAuto Savings: Enquire now

How Much Does It Cost?

The Kia Niro EV range is split into two variants, the cheapest of which, the Niro EV S, is priced at $65,300 while the range-topping Niro EV GT-Line is priced at $72,100.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.

2023 kia niro ev gt-line headlights

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by letting one of our car specialists help you find the best value model for you.

Kia Niro (EV GT-LINE BODY C PILLAR) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Make KIA
Model NIRO
Series SG2 MY23
Fuel type ELECTRIC
Transmission 1 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive FWD
Engine ELEC
Engine capacity 0
Engine configuration NOT APPLICABLE / 0 valves
Engine RPM 0 / 0
Cylinders -
Torque 255
KW 150
Fuel tank size 0.0
Fuel usage specs 0.0 / 0
CO2 0
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Kia Niro car page.

What Features Does the Kia Niro EV Have?

The entry-level Kia Niro EV S comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloys, and receives halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with cloth and faux leather upholstery.

You’ll also receive dual-zone climate control, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto and a vehicle-to-load (V2L) charger in the rear.

Stepping up to the range-topping Kia Niro EV GT-Line adds a set of LED headlights, exterior V2L charging, a 10-inch head-up display, 10.25-inch infotainment system with an upgraded Harman Kardon sound system, LED ambient lighting, wireless smartphone charging and some interior upgrades.

2023 kia niro ev gt-line interior

2023 kia niro ev gt-line wheels

2023 kia niro ev gt-line cables

2023 kia niro ev gt-line charger error

Kia Niro EV Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys

  • Halogen headlights with LED daytime running lamps

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • Rear-view camera with parking sensors

  • Leather steering wheel with cloth & leatherette upholstery

  • 10.25-inch instrument cluster

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

  • LED headlights (GT-Line)

  • 10-inch head-up display (GT-Line)

  • 10.25-inch infotainment system (GT-Line)

  • Harman Kardon sound system (GT-Line)

  • Exterior V2L charging (GT-Line)

Is the Kia Niro EV Comfortable to Drive?

Kia’s second attempt at the Niro has seen a revised electric motor underneath that is far more smooth in its power delivery than the first gen, while power supplied by a 64.8kWh battery pack that feels even more smooth than the first-gen.

Power and torque figures sit about par for the battery-electric small SUV segment - for those wondering, the electric motor produces 150kW of power and 255Nm of torque which is sent to the front wheels.

While the Niro’s acceleration won’t get the heart racing, it does have a nice sense of immediacy when you need to pick up speed off the line or make a quick overtaking maneuver, while the lightweight steering rack is perfect for the urban jungle.

2023 kia niro ev gt-line two tone

“While it’s a bit rough on country roads, the Niro EV is exceptionally smooth and easy to drive around town.” Glynn - OnlineAuto Car Buying Specialist

While Kia has taken the time to tune the Niro’s suspension package for Australian roads - something that few of its rivals can boast - it remains fairly stiff and transmits many of the bumps you’ll find on B-roads.

If you’re living in town, though, the Niro EV is exceptionally well-behaved and offers a particularly user-friendly and smooth driving dynamic that makes it relaxed on a daily drive.

How Far Can the Kia Niro EV Drive on a Single Charge?

Kia says that the Niro EV’s energy efficiency rating of 16.2kWh per 100km translates to a real world driving range of 460km on the WLTP test cycle from its 64.8kWh battery pack.

2023 kia niro ev gt-line plug

The pack can be fast charged up to 85kW, which is less than you’ll find in a number of its rivals, which translates to a 10-80% charge in around 45-minutes with the right DC fast charger.

2023 kia niro ev gt-line charging

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Kia has done a great job when it comes to the Niro EV’s interior, though it’s clear that its carry-over platform is held back compared to some of the bespoke EV platforms currently hitting the market.

The cabin feels sleek and futuristic, with Kia sticking with a raft of physical buttons for the climate control settings in an approach that is familiar to the typical car design, rather than EVs that have all their functions controlled via the central display that has become extremely polarising.

Up front, there’s a heap of headroom for tall drivers and a generous range of storage options, though the central tunnel lacks the clever split-layered design that offers additional storage underneath the tunnel you can find in its bespoke EV rivals.

2023 kia niro ev gt-line seats

“In a world of bespoke EV platforms, the Niro EV looks the part, but feels held back by its underpinnings, which makes a fully-fledged EV more appropriate for the money.” Dan - OnlineAuto Car Buying Specialist

For the segment, there’s an outstanding amount of room in the second row for passengers, with the Niro EV able to accommodate a pair of tall adults without breaking a sweat - so there won’t be any problems for your kids.

The second row offers a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts for child seats, while the Niro EV’s boot space figures stand at 425L, which is actually pretty generous for the small SUV segment.

2023 kia niro ev gt-line rear seats

2023 kia niro ev gt-line boot

Is it Safe?

The Kia Niro EV has been awarded top marks from ANCAP, which has landed it with a five-star safety rating.

Standard safety equipment for the Niro EV includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, junction AEB, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, driver attention monitoring and lane-keep assistance.

The range-topping GT-Line receives a set of front-mounted parking sensors, reverse AEB and safe exit warnings.

Our Verdict: Is The Kia Niro EV Worth it?

In a world of bespoke EV platforms, the Niro feels a little less special and a bit more held back by its underpinnings that it shares with the plug-in hybrid, which makes a fully-fledged electric vehicle platform feel more appropriate for the money.

Having said that, as a standalone vehicle, the Niro EV ticks all of the important boxes of a practical compact SUV with very usable driving range figures, and if the styling grabs you, you’re unlikely to be disappointed.

2023 kia niro ev gt-line front grille

If you’re looking at your best possible options in the world of small battery-electric SUVs, get in touch with one of our car buying specialists who can help find you the best possible price.

2023 Kia Niro video review from PerformanceDrive

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Seven-year, unlimited kilometre warranty

  2. Five-star ANCAP safety rating

  3. 460km driving range from 64.8kWh battery

  4. Single, front-mounted motor produces 150kW/255Nm

  5. 425L boot space

Curious as to how much it costs to run an electric car here in Australia? Check out our explainer here.


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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