Kia e-Niro vs BMW i3 vs Hyundai Kona Electric

We find out if the new Kia e-Niro or revamped BMW i3 can beat our current EV champion, the Hyundai Kona Electric

Until recently, electric vehicles generally fell into one of two camps: small, more affordable and often frustrating because of drawbacks such as a limited range; or bigger cars that had larger batteries and therefore a longer range, but were also much pricier.

However, there’s now a growing group in the middle ground promising affordability and usability, thanks to their accurate and genuinely exploitable predicted range that’s making ‘range anxiety’ a thing of the past.

EVs are as usable as ever and leading this group are two upstarts and one familiar face. The newest model is the Kia e-Niro, which combines an advanced electric drivetrain with a conventional compact SUV body. The latest BMW i3 gets a bigger battery that gives it even more range. And in the sportier i3s trim that we’re testing here, it pretty much matches the e-Niro for performance and price.

Finally the Hyundai Kona Electric is our current favourite affordable EV, having taken the title at our New Car Awards last year – but it’s by no means old. The e-Niro shares much of the Hyundai’s tech, so it’ll be interesting to see how much difference there is and which will be Britain’s best wallet-friendly EV.

Read more: Auto Express

Comments (1)

  1. Frances Grant


    Choice was between e-Niro and Kona having had a Leaf 40kw before. Reasons for changing were:
    (1) I needed more range – to get from Oxford to Canterbury and back in a day, if necessary without charging.
    (2) the Leaf is slightly too long for my short off-street parking at 4470 mm.
    (3) I’m a one-person household, so a smaller boot and less rear legroom aren’t a problem.
    (4) The battery capacity was still 100% on the Leaf after 22,000 miles, so in good condition to trade in before it started to degrade.
    I chose the Kona as it’s 30 cm shorter than the Leaf (the e-Niro only 10 cm shorter); is 130 kilos lighter than the Leaf and e-Niro; and is a tiny bit higher off the ground than the Leaf and e-Niro.
    I really miss the 360 degree Leaf ‘all-round view’ camera, which was so very useful, and its smooth, powerful driving.
    I love the very real range of the Kona: at the weekend with winter coming on, in driving rain, with the heating on and lights, it said 282 at the beginning of the journey, and by the end I’d done 250 miles (all motorway), with 22 miles left on the clock. The Leaf used to use at least a third of its miles in extra heating and lighting in such circumstances, whereas somehow the Kona keeps its range. Must be the re-gen. Also, Kona Bluelink (app) is very useful for setting charging / heating of the vehicle remotely. I didn’t get supagard, smart or wheel/tyre or gap insurance with the new car. Heavily pushed, I had got it on the Leaf and never used it. Waste of £2k. A week into the Kona, it’s really good to drive, parks really well outside, and I’m glad to have made the switch.
    The following site is excellent to compare specs:

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