Zip Code: 20149

2019 Kia Niro EV: Preview, Pricing, Release Date

, Automotive Editor - November 30, 2018

Model Preview

The Kia Niro debuted as the South Korean automaker’s entry in to the hybrid-crossover market and eventually spawned a plug-in variant. Apparently, buyers want even more from this green small crossover, as Kia has just unveiled the all-new full-electric Niro EV.

The 2019 Kia Niro EV will share most of its outward design with its gasoline-sipping siblings, but there are exclusive pieces to set off this electric-only crossover. These exclusive additions will include an updated front fascia with a closed-off grille for better aerodynamics, “Arrowhead” LED daytime running lights, a revised lower air intake with EcoDynamics blue surround accent, wind-cutting 17-inch alloy wheels, aero-enhanced rocker panels, and updated bumpers with blue accents.

Inside, this EV will carry a few more exclusive bits when compared to its gas-fed brethren. These include a rotary shift knob with mood lighting, an enlarged center console with additional storage, cup holders and three USB ports, special upholstery on the seats with blue accents, and available blue and black “holographic” door trim. Despite having larger batteries, the 2019 Kia Niro EV will only lose a bit in cargo room. It will haul 18.5 cubic feet with the rear seats upright and 53 cubes with the seats folded — these are 0.9 cubes and 1.5 cubes lower than the hybrid model, respectively.

There will be plenty of tech inside the Niro EV, including a revamped UVO system, an available 7-inch touchscreen with rearview camera, a six-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, standard wireless charging, an eight-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, heated steering wheel, and tons more.

Under its skin, the Kia Niro EV will share its running bits with the 2020 Soul EV and the 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric. This crossover will boast an electric motor with 201 horsepower and a whopping 291 pound-feet of torque hooked to a 64-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. This combo will sprint the Niro EV to 60 mph in the mid-seven-second range and up to a top speed just north of 103 mph.

Kia initially revealed a 239-mile EPA-estimated range, which would be 19 miles shy of the Hyundai Kona Electric. The Korean automaker quickly pulled this number and told fans just to stay tuned for official ratings, so there is a good chance this was an error. Logic says, barring any weird aerodynamic or weight issues, the 2019 Niro EV’s range should be a bit closer to the Kona Electric’s range.

DC fast charging will come standard on the 2019 Kia Niro EV, allowing you to get 100 miles of range in just 30 minutes and 80 percent of its total range in 75 minutes. On a home-based level-2 charger, the Niro EV will take just 9.5 hours to get a full charge.

The current Kia Niro is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, and we have no reason to expect the 2019 Niro EV to be anything less than that. Plus, Kia announced it will have all the available safety tech the IIHS loves, including standard forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, driver-attention warning, adaptive cruise, blind-spot monitoring, and more.

Stay tuned for a full review.

Pricing & Release Date

Kia has not revealed the official on-sale date or availability for the 2019 Niro EV, so stay tuned for updates.

Pricing is also not available, but we expect it to start north of the Niro Plug-In Hybrid, which tops out at $35,840. A starting price in the $36,000 to $37,000 range seems appropriate.

The 2019 Kia Niro EV will compete with the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Soul EV, and Chevy Bolt EV.

Learn about the Niro Plug-In Hybrid on sale now »

Pictured: 2019 Niro EV

Used Kia Niro EV in 20149