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Tired of waiting for a Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Tesla Model Y? Kia has this cheaper, newer and still all-electric model ready to go!

It may lack the crisp design and 800V electrical architecture of a Kia EV6, but the Niro makes for a great consolation prize.

Kia is confident it can sell you an electric car with delivery in just a matter of weeks or months, not years down the track… but here’s the catch: it won’t be an EV6 and you have to be lightning quick.

The car in question is the completely (and strikingly) redesigned Niro EV (full-battery electric vehicle), out next month from just over $60,000 before on-road costs, along with its circa-$45,000 Niro hybrid entry-level sibling.

A clever rebody of the first-generation model bearing the same name in Australia only since last year but internationally since 2016, the Niro employs an updated version of the front-drive small-car electrified architecture shared with the Hyundai Ioniq small car (and presumably a closely related successor that’s yet to be revealed) that can handle both battery-powered and internal combustion engine powertrains.

This means that while the latest Niro EV should be at least as quiet and smooth and quick as most similarly-priced rivals like the Nissan Leaf e+ or Hyundai Kona Electric, it does miss out on the 800-volt superfast charging capabilities and commanding dynamic prowess of the next-generation E-GMP architecture that is central to the Ioniq 5 and EV6’s appeal. 

Indeed, for this level of tech, your only other choices right now are the Porsche Taycan and related Audi e-tron GT super tourers.

Additionally, though the new Niro’s smaller, homelier body isn’t as eye-catching or futuristic as either the Ioniq 5 or EV6, it is bang up-to-date, as well as surprisingly progressive inside, with many of the fresh details and technology cues that have helped thousands of Australians to sign up for the EV fraternal twins.  

To that end, the Niro EV will also offer items in the higher-grade GT-Line that were previously EV6 exclusives to further help woo over buyers, like ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a big digital driving cluster, head-up display, remote parking assist, powered tailgate, wireless charger, Kia’s Premium Relaxation Seat and a V2L (Vehicle 2 Load) external appliance powering system. And all for thousands of dollars less than an EV6 GT-Line equivalent.

According to Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) product planner, Roland Rivero, the brand is confident that – thanks to the EV6’s halo effect – it should not be too difficult to convince would-be buyers to instead order the new Niro EV.

“We’re going to get a better supply of Niro EV,” he said.

“And how we’ve tried to tell the dealer network is that the Niro EV, from a specification and feature perspective, is like a baby EV6, albeit without the same level of performance.

“So, there may be an opportunity there to tap into some of that EV6 demand and walk them into a Niro that we’ll have better supply of.”

Mr Rivero used the example of how the latest Kia Carnival people mover is enjoying a similar knock-on sales affect due to consumers having to wait too long for the hugely popular Sorento large SUV.

“If anything, our dealers have already proven they have that ability,” he revealed.

“They’ve certainly done it with Carnival… the customers that were hellbent on (the latest) MQ4 Sorento were somehow coerced into a Carnival. Artificially, we’ve grown the people mover segment because the family person couldn’t wait any longer for a Sorento.”

The Carnival is far from over for seven-seater SUV buyers tired of waiting with no end in sight.

Severe stock shortages have seen Sorento sales slip 17.5 per cent to 2231 units in the first five months of this year despite a massive backlog of orders, while Carnival registrations have only dropped by 4% to 2756 sales. As a result, the latter is actually ahead in volume. 

KMAu is hoping to channel some of that same brand loyalty and flexibility from the unobtainable EV6 to the Niro EV’s way.

A lower price, decent range, fresh family-friendly high-riding crossover packaging and much of the luxury and tech of the EV6 without waiting times stretching into years… why not?

Would you consider a Niro EV over an EV6, or is Kia dreaming? Let us know in the comments below.