2021 Kia Niro EV

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2021 Kia Niro EV Review: A Cool, Quiet Cruiser

by Aiden Eksteen

Compact crossover SUVs are dominating the urban and suburban streets of America and are leading the transition to fully electric driving. While the first EV from Kia, the Soul, as a bit of a lackluster start, the 2021 Kia Niro EV is a far more refined and pleasing offering. It supplies peppy and polished performance and a relatively good all-electric driving range. The exact figures are 201 horsepower and 239 miles of driving range. Along with this, the 2021 Niro EV also offers buyers a modern, spacious, and featureful cabin, though comfort could be better in the design of the front seats and in the Niro EV's ride. The Niro EV bears many qualities that make it a very appealing option in the 5-door EV crossover space, but with the exceptional Tesla Model Y and cool Hyundai Kona Electric both coming in at the same price, is the Niro EV really doing anything to stand out?

Read in this review:

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2021 Kia Niro EV Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 Niro EV?

Very little has changed for the 2021 Kia Niro EV crossover, since it was released as a brand-new model only two years ago. The base model now comes with wireless Android CarPlay and Android Auto, remote start with climate control, a rear occupant alert, and a driver attention warning system with lead vehicle departure alert. The EX Premium also gets a little extra in the form of highway driving assist and navigation-based smart cruise control.

Pros and Cons

  • Brisk acceleration responses
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Extensively outfitted with standard features
  • Spacious interior and practical trunk
  • One of the more affordable EV SUVs
  • Top-notch comprehensive safety rating
  • Polarizing dashboard design and layout
  • Font seats aren't the most comfortable
  • Plenty of understeer and body lean
  • Gets quite jittery over imperfect roads

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2021 Kia Niro EV Trims and Prices

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
EX Premium
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive

Niro EV Exterior

2021 Kia Niro EV Front Angle View Kia
2021 Kia Niro EV Rear Angle View Kia
2021 Kia Niro EV Side View Kia
See All 2021 Kia Niro EV Exterior Photos


  • Length 172.2 in
  • Wheelbase 106.3 in
  • Height 61.4 in
  • Max Width 71.1 in
  • Front Width 62.0 in
  • Rear Width 62.4 in
  • Curb Weight 3,854.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Silky Silver
  • Aurora Black Pearl
  • Graphite Gray
  • Gravity Blue
  • Runway Red
  • Snow White Pearl

Niro EV Performance

2021 Kia Niro EV Front Bumper Kia
2021 Kia Niro EV Engine Kia
2021 Kia Niro EV Gauge Cluster Kia

Engine and Transmission

Propelling the front-wheel drivetrain of the 2021 Niro EV is a fully electric powertrain that's been modulated to produce up to 201 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration responses are brisk and instantaneous by virtue of the electric motor and 180 Ah, 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, and nearly completely silent, too. A single-speed automatic transmission aids in running power to the front wheels and does so imperceptibly. Overall, the Niro EV's performance is wonderful and ideal for urban driving. Charging the 180 Ah battery will take around nine and a half hours on a regular level 2 household connection.

  • Engine
  • Transmission
    Single Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Niro EV Gas Mileage

  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 123/102 mpg
* 2021 Kia Niro EV EX FWD

Niro EV Interior

2021 Kia Niro EV Steering Wheel Kia
2021 Kia Niro EV Central Console Kia
2021 Kia Niro EV Windshield Wiper Control Kia
See All 2021 Kia Niro EV Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.7 in
  • Front Head Room 40.1 in
  • Rear Leg Room 36.0 in
  • Rear Head Room 37.7 in

Niro EV Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Kia Niro EV Trunk Space Kia
2021 Kia Niro EV Trunk Space 1 Kia
2021 Kia Niro EV Central Console 1 Kia

Niro EV Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2021 Kia Niro EV A Good SUV?

The 2021 Kia Niro EV strengthens the case for combustion-engine-free, fuel-free vehicles as a competent EV that is pleasant to drive, brimming with creature comforts and conveniences, and relatively affordable. The 201-hp powertrain bestows the compact SUV with brisk and smooth performance and offers an impressive 239-mile drive range, too. Its front seats could be more comfortable but the cabin is still rather pleasant and spacious enough nonetheless. The infotainment system is exceptional, too, and Kia has ensured that every Niro comes comprehensively outfitted with advanced driver assists as standard.

Not only is the Niro EV SUV one of the safest cars in the US, as the IIHS's review of the 2021 Kia Niro EV dictates, but it's also garnered an exceptional reputation for reliability and is covered by an industry-leading warranty plan.

Kia has been updating the first-generation Niro EV year-on-year since 2017, and while it's not the most proficient EV or the most exciting car to drive in general, it remains a strong and value-rich option for a first-time EV buyer.

What Kia Niro EV Model Should I Buy?

The entry-spec 2021 Kia Niro EV crossover carries a price of $39,090, which is really quite reasonable for an electric vehicle. With that price and with what the EX comes standard with, it's certainly the model we'd recommend. Both models are equipped with the same 201-hp electric powertrain, so your choice really just determines what features you get, and the EX gets a good selection. There's an eight-inch infotainment system with full smartphone integration, a leather-clad steering wheel, remote start, a smart key with push-button start, a ten-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and automatic climate control. It also comes comprehensively outfitted with advanced driver assistance including blind-spot warning, forward collision avoidance, lane following assist, and rear cross-traffic collision warning.

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