Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
  • Smartly-designed cabin
  • Good build quality throughout
  • Cracking infotainment system

The e-Niro received a facelift in 2020 which really lifted the cabin ambience from ‘just okay’ to ‘really quite good indeed’.

The headline feature of the facelifted model is its seamless dash panel, which integrates the infotainment system into it – an all-too-rare feature these days, with many manufacturers instead opting for a tacked-on tablet-style display sitting proud atop the dash.

Kia’s approach is far slicker, virtually disappearing into the dash when it’s turned off and remaining at an easy height to use and view without taking your eyes too far off the road.

There’s plenty more to like about the dashboard and centre console too. It’s well-built, as all Kias are – there are no annoying shakes and rattles and in-keeping with the brand’s standard seven-year warranty it really feels as though it’ll last the course.

The e-Niro gets a couple of electric-specific touches. The first is a dial-style drive selector, which allows for some storage underneath it, while there’s also a totally digital instrument panel. Don’t get too excited, though – this isn’t a full LCD display in the style of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit – it’s a combination of LCD screens and old-fashioned seven-segment displays. It works well enough, though.

Loaded with kit

Specification is generous across the e-Niro range. Basic ‘2’ models feature an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and keyless entry. ‘3’ cars are probably the sweet spot, as they get the latest and much-improved 10.25-inch infotainment display along with leather upholstery and heated front seats.

Top-end ‘4+’ models add bi-LED headlights, front parking sensors, blind-spot detection, ventilated front seats and a premium 8-speaker JBL sound system.

Comfort

  • Ride is very firm for a family car
  • Seats lack a little support
  • Light and airy inside

The e-Niro’s stumbling block is comfort – we don’t think it’s up to scratch for something intended as a family car. The biggest culprit is the suspension, which almost feels as though it’s not been appropriately configured to deal with the weight of the large battery pack.

As a result, the e-Niro is crashy over bumps and allows road imperfections to make themselves known to all occupants. This is particularly irritating on bad road surfaces, as the car never really settles down to a comfortable cruise.

2020 Kia e-Niro rear seats

Certainly, a Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe are more cossetting to travel in.

And while the e-Niro’s seats are comfortable enough when sat still, they’re rather wide and flat, lacking side support in the bends.

It’s not all bad news. The large windows all-round make the e-Niro light and airy especially for those in the back. Refinement is also top-notch, as you’d hope for from an electric car.