29 Posted: 29th Nov 2021

The Kia e-Niro has added to its awards roster after being named ‘Private Hire Car of the Year’ at the 2021 Professional Driver Magazine Car of the Year awards – marking the first time the award has gone to an electric car.

  • The award follows the fully-electric model’s previous win in 2019, which saw it voted as ‘Private Hire Green Car of the Year’ thanks to its suitability for private hire and taxi work and up to 282 mile range.

    Professional Driver Editor Mark Bursa said: “This was the most intensely-fought category in our 2021 Awards, with the new generation of electric cars going head-to-head with more traditional and plug-in hybrid versions of familiar saloons.

    “But you can’t stop the march of progress. And it was an electric car that triumphed. With more than 250 miles of range, plenty of interior space and class-leading manufacturer support, the Kia e-Niro is already becoming the default option for some operators, and thoroughly deserves to be our Private Hire Car of the Year in 2021 – the first electric car to win the category.”

    Simon Hetherington, Commercial Director at Kia UK Limited commented: “This is a fantastic award for the e-Niro and recognition of its suitability for professional drivers. It also helps tie together Kia and electric mobility as we transition to become a sustainable mobility solutions provider.

    “It’s equally great to see that our private hire customers have recognised the benefits of Kia’s electric cars and their compelling blend of practical and thoughtful design with long range and proven efficiency. Coupled with our reassuring standard seven-year warranty, they are proving to be more than up to the job for business and individuals’ needs alike.”

    Now in their twelfth year, the Professional Driver Car of the Year awards are decided by more than 100 judges from the world of chauffeur and private hire firms, experienced chauffeurs, as well as carefully chosen motoring editors and journalists. Judges tested over 60 vehicles at Epsom Downs racecourse in August to see how they drove, what they’re like to ride in as passengers and how practical their loadspace is, as well as evaluating competing cars back-to-back. From this, an average score was calculated to find the six category award winners.

    The e-Niro is available with two battery variants and three trim grades, ranging from the ‘2’ model with up to 180 miles of range from its 39kWh battery, to the ‘2 Long Range’, ‘3’ and ‘4+’ each offering up to 282 miles from its 64kWh battery.

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