2021 Kia Niro EV SUV

MSRP $39,090 - $44,590

Ranked #6 in Subcompact Suv

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 19, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2021 Kia Niro EV is a sleek and sporty subcompact electric vehicle that's getting a lot of attention for its effective pricing. With plenty of head and legroom, the interior is spacious and quiet as well. It has a futuristic exterior design that will certainly turn heads, especially with the blue trimmings. While the 2021 Kia Niro EV can accommodate five people, it is recommended that only four people ride onboard for maximum comfort.

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Pros

Excellent range

Tax Rebates

Striking design

Well-equipped base model

Cons

Low cargo space

Cramped rear seats

Uninspiring to drive

What's New?

Connectivity features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Remote start system implemented

Smart Cruise Control feature 


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$39090

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

top speed

104 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

transmission

1 speed Direct Drive

dimensions

wheelbase

106.3 in.

length

172.2 in.

width

71.1 in.

height

61.8 in.

curb weight

3854 lbs.

ground clearance

6.1 in.

capacity

passenger volume

115.1 cu ft.

cargo volume

53 cu ft.

towing capacity

2800 lbs.

payload capacity

1062 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.7 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

14.8 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

131 ft.

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

EX$39,090 onwards

EX Premium$44,590 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV in Aurora Black color
Aurora Black

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

8.5

Engine and Performance

7.5

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.5

Safety

8.0

Competition

7.9

7.7

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.7

Overall Rating


At a price of just under $40,000, the Kia Niro EV is a great choice for those seeking a stylish car, high performance, and long-range. The Niro EV allows you to save money on gas and benefit from tax incentives because it is an electric vehicle. You can charge it quickly and easily and get a ton of other benefits from this SUV. Priced exactly at $39,090 for the base model, it competes with Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona Electric, and Chevrolet Bolt EV.

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV front view
2021 Kia Niro EV SUV rear view

7.5/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

7.5/10
Exterior

8.0/10
Safety

7.9/10
Competition


2021 Kia Niro EV SUV Features

The 2021 Kia Niro EV comes in two trim levels, namely EX and EX Premium. Pricing for the base model starts at $39,090, while the top trim is priced at $44,590. Even the base trim of the Kia Niro is equipped with several advanced features as standard equipment such as a sunroof, projection headlamps, heated steering wheel, Krell premium sound system, power driver's seat with electric lumbar support, and more.

Trims

EX

EX Premium

MSRP FWD

$39,090

$44,590

Key Features

Automatic climate control

Rear parking sensors

 

8” touchscreen infotainment

LED Taillamps

 

Power-folding heated mirrors

8-speaker Harman Kardon speaker audio system

 

6 speaker audio system

10.25” touchscreen infotainment

 

LED headlights with LED DRLs

Sunroof

Which Trim should you buy?

It is recommended that you choose the base trim, i.e., EX. The base trim is significantly cheaper than the top trim. Additionally, the base trim comes loaded with all the comfort features and infotainment features you might need. The top trim does have some extra features, such as a sunroof, Harman Kardon audio system, and a bigger infotainment screen. However, we believe that the base trim, which is around $5,500 cheaper, is a reasonable amount of kit for the price.

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV Engine and Performance

7.5/10

The 2021 Kia Niro EV is powered by a single motor (64 kWh) that produces 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque. The Niro EV has a very high level of efficiency and is incredibly quick. Kia says that the Niro EV can be charged from 0 to 80% in 54 minutes using a 100 kW DC charger. This SUV is quite quick because of this motor and offers brisk acceleration. 

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV

In just 6.7 seconds, it can reach 60 mph from a standstill. The chassis is made up of lightweight materials, allowing this SUV to be swift. It can travel almost 258 miles on a single charge, making it perfect for long trips. The Niro EV is one of the most popular electric vehicles on the market, and it's only expected to get better over time. 

Models

2021 Kia Niro EV

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric

2021 Nissan Leaf

MSRP

$39,090

$37,495

$37,390

$38,270

Engine

Single-stage electric motor

Single-stage electric motor

Single-stage electric motor

Single-stage electric motor

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

Single-speed automatic

Single-speed automatic

Single-speed automatic

Single Speed Direct Drive

Power

201 hp @ 3,800 RPM

200 hp @ N/A RPM

201 hp @ 3,800 RPM

214 hp @ 3,280 RPM

Torque

291 lb-ft @ 0 RPM

266 lb-ft @ 0 RPM

291 lb-ft @ 0 RPM

250 lb-ft@NA RPM

0-60 mph (sec)

6.7

6.5

6.4

8.4

Quarter mile (sec)

14.8

14.9

15

16.5

Even though the Kia Niro is the most expensive EV, the price gap between it and other models is not that significant. The Niro's single motor produces quite a bit of power. In terms of acceleration, the Hyundai Kona is the fastest. Surprisingly, the Kona is also the cheapest option here. Because of this, we would say the Kona easily beats others here by a small margin in terms of performance.

How well does the 2021 Kia Niro EV handle?

The interior of the Niro EV is more refined and tuned than any other SUV in its segment. Having a very well-insulated cabin, any outside noise is eliminated, resulting in a very comfortable ride. Moreover, the Niro EV is capable of absorbing all the irregularities of the road. Additionally, this SUV's steering response and stability control make it very comfortable to drive around the cities.

The only thing that could take the Niro's overall quality to the next level would be AWD. Since the SUV is designed to be sporty, it is expected to have an all-wheel-drive configuration at least by 2022 in the next redesign. Despite its unavailability, the SUV still performs well on corners. The ride quality can, however, be improved.

Braking Performance

The Niro EV is equipped with regenerative braking that can convert heat produced when braking into electricity, which can be used to recharge the battery. The Niro EV's front rotors are 12 inches in diameter, while its rear rotors are 11.8 inches. As for the Niro's specific stopping power, we are not yet aware of it, but based on past performance, we presume it to be adequate. Other than that, the Niro has automated emergency braking assistance as well as solid disc brakes all around that enhance braking performance.

Models

2021 Kia Niro EV

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric

2021 Nissan Leaf

Brake Rotors Front (inches)

12

11

12

11.5

Brake Rotors Rear (inches)

11.8

10

11.8

11.1

Curb Weight (lbs)

3854

3,563

3,656

3,909

60-0 (feet)

N/A

N/A

129

N/A

As far as stopping power and 60-0 mph stopping distances are concerned, we only have the figures of the Kona at about 129 feet. Regarding the size of their respective brake rotors, both the Niro and Kona are equipped with the same size brake rotors that are the largest in diameter amongst the rivals. When comparing the curb weight, the Nissan Leaf is the heaviest option in the competition.

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV Fuel Economy

8.0/10

The Niro EV's range on a single charge isn't the best in its segment, but it's not bad either. In the city, it produces an MPGe of 123 miles, whereas, on the highway, you can expect 102 MPGe easily, as per the manufacturer's claims. The numbers are a little less than some of the rivals, but it does pretty well in terms of overall range, with a 239-mile range. This performance is provided by a 64 kWh motor, which again is on the same level as most of its competitors.

Models

2021 Kia Niro EV

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric

2021 Nissan Leaf

MPGe (City)

123

127

132

114

MPGe (Highway)

102

108

108

94

MPGe (Combined)

112

118

120

104

Battery Capacity (kWh)

64

66

64

62

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in miles)

239

259

229

226

The Chevrolet Bolt has the highest battery capacity in its class, standing at 66 kWh. However, the Kona outperforms all its competitors in cities, while both the Bolt and Kona perform equally well on highways. While the Niro did well in terms of overall range, the Bolt is the clear winner in this case with a range of 259 miles.

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV Interior

8.0/10

This electric variant of the Niro looks almost identical to the gas-powered version inside. A futuristic interior, which is organized cleanly and intuitively, distinguishes this SUV from the rest. The majority of functions are controlled by voice. With the Niro, you still have room for five people. The front space of this SUV is very generous, but the rear space is a bit tight. Despite this, it has the most spacious rear seats in its segment.

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV dashboard

The interior is made from high-quality materials. The driver's seat can be power-adjusted six ways, and the seats have leatherette upholstery. Moreover, it includes electric lumbar support. Also, the front seats feature ventilation to keep you cool on hot days. Aside from that, you also get features like automatic climate control. Kia has also added heated front seats and steering wheel, both of which can be operated remotely, to make things even more enjoyable and comfortable. The Niro's cargo capacity is measured at 18.5 cubic feet, which is a reasonable amount of space to fit luggage.

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV front seats

Models

2021 Kia Niro EV

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric

2021 Nissan Leaf

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg, in inches)

40.1/56.0/41.7

39.7/54.6/41.6

38.0/55.5/41.5

41.2/54.3/42.1

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg, in inches)

39.1/55.2/37.4

37.9/52.8/36.5

37.8/54.5/34.6

37.3/52.5/33.5

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

18.5

16.9

19.2

23.6

Almost all of these vehicles claim to have room for 5 people inside the cabin, which is true to a degree. However, there isn't much space at the back of all the SUVs here for three people to sit comfortably. Yet, comparing the Niro to others, it is still superior. The Niro EV also offers very spacious seating in the front row, but the Nissan Leaf is the clear winner here. In terms of cargo space, the Nissan Leaf comes out on top as well with 23.6 cubic feet of space. Some of the key interior features are:

  • Cruise Control
  • Heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Ventilated front seats with heating feature
  • Automatic Climate Control
  • Heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel

What’s there to keep you entertained?

Kia has packed this SUV with tons of technologies to make the environment inside as convenient and entertaining as possible. The base model comes with an 8-inch touchscreen, while the top model comes with a 10.2-inch screen. Moreover, voice commands can be used to operate most of the controls on this screen. There is a Krell premium sound system as standard, while a Harman Kardon sound system is also available. Other features of this SUV include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Navigation with Cruise Control, Bluetooth, and more. Some of the key infotainment features are:

  • 8”/10.2” Touch Screen Display
  • Apple Carplay & Android Auto
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • Wireless Charging
  • Navigation with smart cruise control
  • Voice command features
  • Kia Pay
  • 6 Drell/Harman Kardon premium speakers

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV Exterior

7.5/10

The 2021 Kia Niro EV resembles its regular version in terms of looks. The design of the new model year has remained the same as the one from the previous year. To keep up the SUV stance, the front fascia is designed to be big and aggressive. Furthermore, it has blue accent trimming on the front part which looks very stylish when combined with the body color. 

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV 

The blue trim also emphasizes that it is a fully electric SUV, and this small detail adds to the overall look. Additionally, the vehicle offers automatic daytime running lights and LED headlamps. In the top trim, a power sunroof is also included to keep the cabin bright and airy. It has 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels all around.

Models

2021 Kia Niro EV

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric

2021 Nissan Leaf

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,854

3,563

3,656

3,909

Length (inches)

172.2

164.0

164.0

170.4

Width (inches)

71.1

69.5

70.9

70.5

Height (inches)

61.4

62.8

61.6

61.6

Ground Clearance (inches)

6.1

5.9

6.7

5.9

Wheelbase (inches)

106.3

102.4

102.4

106.3

The Kia Niro EV is actually one of the heaviest SUVs in this segment, but it is still slightly lighter than Nissan Leaf. In its class, its length measures 172.2 inches, which makes it the longest. In terms of width as well, the Niro is the largest of all the SUVs. However, the Hyundai Kona offers the highest ground clearance at 6.7 inches. Some of the exterior highlights are:

  • 17.0-inch wheels
  • Automatic LED Headlamps and DRL’s
  • Blue accent trimming
  • Power Sunroof
  • Heated and power side door mirrors
  • LED Tail Lights

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV Safety

8.0/10

Considering that car buyers are increasingly focused on safety features these days, Kia has not compromised on safety. Multiple crash avoidance systems ensure your overall safety. There haven't been any tests done on the 2021 Kia Niro EV yet by the NHTSA or IIHS. On the other hand, the gas variant received a 4-star rating from the NHTSA and a 'Good' rating from IIHS. The ratings indicated here are adequate to determine the level of safety for the Niro. Some of the key safety features are:

  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
  • Navigation With Smart Cruise Control
  • Blind-Spot Collision Warning
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning
  • Rear Seat Occupant Sensor
  • Highway Driving Assist
  • Lane Following Assist
  • Driver Attention Warning

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV Competition

7.9/10

2021 Kia Niro EV vs 2021 Chevrolet Bolt

There are many similarities between the Chevy Bolt and the Kia Niro, which makes them very tough competitors. The Niro still leads its class in terms of looks, space, and comfort. When it comes to range, however, the Bolt takes the lead with a range of 20 more miles than the Niro. Also, the Bolt is less expensive than the Niro. Last but not least, we'd say that the Niro looks better overall. But, if you value range more than anything else, then the Bolt would be your ideal companion.

2021 Chevrolet Bolt

2021 Kia Niro EV vs 2021 Hyundai Kona Electric

Kia is a sub-brand of Hyundai and is partially owned by the latter. Thus, the Niro and Kona share many similarities in terms of performance, design, and range. While the Niro comes with a slightly larger cabin compared to its counterpart, it is a bit more expensive. The Niro also has a higher level of comfort. In terms of overall range, the Niro is slightly better. The Kona, however, is a little cheaper than the Niro. Nonetheless, the Kia Niro still emerges as the clear winner here.

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric

2021 Kia Niro EV vs 2021 Nissan Leaf

The Leaf's only advantage is the fact that its cargo area is more spacious than the Niro's. Additionally, the Leaf is a little more pocket-friendly. However, the Niro is still a better pick than the Leaf when it comes to all-around performance. Moreover, the Niro's cabin is more spacious, and its performance and ride quality are superior. Even on highways, the Niro performs well, while on the other hand, the Leaf seems a bit slow.

2021 Nissan Leaf

 

2021 Kia Niro EV SUV Final Verdict

The 2021 Kia Niro EV is arguably the best EV in its segment, however, it does face tough competition from the Hyundai Kona and Chevrolet Bolt. After evaluating all factors and comparing prices, it is safe to say that you can most certainly opt for the Niro. It looks stunning, especially with those blue accents. Inside the Niro's complete package, there is adequate space and features, practicality, and range. The Niro performs excellently in almost all aspects of what makes a great electric SUV.