South Korean automaker Kia is celebrating an achievement for its all-electric e-Niro crossover that has been named a “Game-Changer” at the UK’s 2019 Autocar Awards.
The battery electric crossover with 282 miles (453km) of driving range won the award, which is targeted at vehicles that defy convention or raise the benchmark to bring unexpected benefits for drivers, was named the number one vehicle in Autocar’s “Best Affordable Electric Cars 2019” list this week, ahead of the Nissan Leaf and sister carmaker Hyundai’s Kona Electric.
With a 64kWh battery that can be recharged to 80 per cent in less than an hour, the Kia starts at £32,995 (roughly $A61,200 converted) in the UK, which Autocar notes is at the affordable end of the price spectrum with the range of a premium vehicle.
“The e-Niro is a battery-powered crossover that hits the sweet spot for range, performance, packaging and price. It places Kia at the very top of the practical electric class – even ahead of models seen as class-leading only a year or two ago,” Autocar Editor Mark Tisshaw said in a statement.
“The e-Niro makes an ideal choice for an owner buying a first electric car or choosing one as an only car.”
Collecting the award, Commercial director for Kia Motors UK Simon Hetherington said that, “We are thrilled the e-Niro has been named a Game Changer by Autocar.”
“This is a tremendous achievement for the e-Niro and indeed for Kia.
“The positive impact this car has had on our brand, is as strong and important as what Stinger did for us at launch in 2017. This car has come at the right time and this is evident by the huge demand we are experiencing.”
It’s at least the second award this year for the electric crossover, which also picked up the coveted Car of the Year award from What Car? earlier this year, beating the Jaguar i-Pace and Renault Zoe.
Although Kia has not been able to confirm an arrival date for the e-Niro as yet for Australia, Kia Australia spokesperon Kevin Hepworth told Which Car last year that, ““We’re confident we’ll have the e-Niro here by the end of next year.”
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.