The Audi E-Tron and Kia Niro EV Got Booted From Consumer Reports’ Recommended List

So far, the story of EVs has been that the range is the headache, not maintenance. The mechanics of EVs are supposedly simpler than the traditional gas-burners. I guess that makes sense; there are far fewer moving parts, hoses, lubricants, and the list can go on and on. Fewer parts mean fewer things to go wrong. Well, it may not be quite as simple as all that. The Audi E-Tron and the Kia Niro EV have seen more than their fair share of reliability issues lately. 

The Audi E-Tron and Kia Niro fall from grace

According to Autoblog, both the Audi E-Tron and Kia Niro have been removed from Consumer Reports’ list of cars they recommend. The drive system of the E-Tron kept experiencing electrical failures along with other power-equipment issues. The Niro has had issues with the electric-motor bearings going out. Although Tesla didn’t get the boot, the Model Y is having trouble with the build quality. There have been reports of misaligned body panels and poor paint quality. What is going on with EVs?

Audi E-Tron and Kia Niro EV have been put on notice by CR

2019 Kia Niro EV
2019 Kia Niro EV | Kia

CR has taken both the Audi E-Tron and Kia Niro EV off their list, for now. The Tesla Model Y was not removed from the recommended list because the Model Y was never on there, to begin with. Burn.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid)

Although this acronym is clearly very outdated, it may still hold water. Autoblog mentions that CR found that the simpler, less luxurious EVs hold onto their spots on the recommended list much better than the upper crust electric cars. The Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan Leaf are two such examples that have remained reliable and steadfast. 

2021 Chevy Bolt EV parked
2021 Chevy Bolt EV | Chevrolet

Will The 2020 Kia Niro EV Be Better?

These EV issues have far-reaching ripples

The controversy of it all is that due to the surprising issues that plague the Kia Niro and the Audi E-Tron, that has lowered the predicted reliability score of other EVs that have yet to come out and hence haven’t been tested by CR. Models like the Mustang Mach-E and the Mercedes-Benz EQC got caught up with the others. They haven’t even had a chance to be screwed up, but I guess it’s fair to say, Consumer Reports ain’t come here to play no games. 

Does this soil the promise of EVs?

I don’t think so. Typically when an automaker comes out with a brand-new design or technology, the earliest versions have some growing pains. EVs at this level of performance and luxury hasn’t been out for all that long. There are plenty of kinks to work out. Look at the early range issues, for example. Five years ago, “range anxiety” dominated the EV scene. Many people who were very interested and even excited about owning an EV stayed away because no one had cracked the code on longer driving ranges and/or faster charging times. These early issues have since been solved but hindered the success of early models. 

Give EVs time to grow and let the manufacturing process learn how to build these things with precision and consistency. Again, if you look at the range issue, this was handled fairly quickly, and the failure of certain parts within a new technological sphere is to be expected and will be addressed soon, I would assume. Audi and Kia say they are both aware of these issues, which should mean a solution is inbound.