Kia’s e-Niro electric vehicle (EV) emerged winner of the New Car of the Year Award after readers and judges' votes were correlated to select an outright winner.
Claiming a 282-mile zero emissions driving range, and argued by many to be the first affordable EV to genuinely trouble the 300-mile mark in real-world use, the Korean crossover proved a winner with AM readers as it generated headlines and footfall for Kia franchisees.
On sale since early 2019, the e-Niro is priced at £32,995 (after the £3,500 plug-in car grant) and offered only in Kia’s flagship ‘4’ trim level.
But a 2020 update of the car has not come as the result of waning popularity as the brand battles to meet consumer demand amid limited supply.
AM reported back in March last year that Kia Motor UK’s initial allocation of 700 cars sold out in just three weeks, presenting dealers with a challenge they may not have experienced before.
The arrival of the updated version has seen the brand secure additional supply of the e-Niro to clear the 3,000 back orders it has accumulated – all orders, it says, should be honoured by the end of July – by the time deliveries of the new car are due to commence.
Key to the e-Niro’s appeal is its plentiful standard specification and the practicality of its crossover dimensions, which deliver a 451-litre boot, some 71 litres larger than the plug-in hybrid version.
Leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel and front seats, adaptive cruise control, wireless mobile phone charging and an eight-speaker JBL sound system are all included.
The new e-Niro also introduces Kia’s UVO Connect telematics system, which allows owners to locate nearby charging points.
Retailers appear to be happy with Kia’s electrified vehicle offering.
The franchise scored an average of 7.63 out of 10 across all questions to finish second in the National Franchised Dealers Association’s third bi-annual EV Dealer Attitude Survey rankings.