VancityWild | British Columbia Based Adventures

On the Road Again – 1000 KM Around BC in the Kia Niro EV

It’s safe to say that we’re always on the go. Whether it’s a weekender trip away or a longer road trip to a unique part of BC, we are always exploring and forever craving adventure. We’re currently in the market for a new vehicle, so we were thrilled to be given the opportunity to test the all-new Kia Niro EV for a few weeks to see if this vehicle could be the one to fit into our little adventure family. So, naturally, we decided to jam pack our two weeks with two very different kinds of trips and find out if the Kia Niro EV is up for the challenge. From the breathtaking coastline of one of BC’s beautiful Gulf Islands to the snowy winter wonderland in Sorrento BC, we tested the Niro’s limits as we drove down vibrant forest roads and through the wintery mountain passes of the Coquihalla Highway. It was a road trip we’ll never forget.

Our first stop: Pender Island

Pender Island is a hop, skip and a ferry ride away from Vancouver, and one of the incredible southern Gulf Islands that we love to visit when we’re craving a quiet weekend away. Full of beautiful hikes, beaches and stunning viewpoints, this lush, green, west coast wonderland is one of our favourite places to go where we can experience a taste of small island lifestyle. We hadn’t been back since 2017 (pre-Ollie!) and were eager to bring Oliver for the first time. 

When we arrived on Pender, a thin layer of mist hung low over the island and swept across the quiet roads, and we watched as we were treated to peek-a-boo views of the ocean expanse through the trees. We stayed in a charming and rustic cabin in the woods, which was the perfect home base for exploration. There are endless things to do and see for such a small island and an abundance of delicious places to eat. A drive through the Enchanted Forest will bring you past a stunning forest of trees dripping with moss, and emerald green ferns line the trail. (Make sure to park and get out hike to the little waterfall, and don’t miss the beautiful lookout over the water, surrounded by arbutus trees!). You’ll find signs that pop up along the roads notifying you of every trail and viewpoint. One of our favourite things to do was to drive without a destination, and jump out at every opportunity to check out new spots that we missed during our last visit. Take advantage of the many hikes on Pender, one of our favourites being the hike up Mount Norman. This steep (but relatively short) hike will be worth it when you experience the sweeping view at the top.

Our first impressions:

Our lifestyle requires us to have a comfortable and spacious vehicle that can travel long distances, handle all different kinds of terrain, and remain safe in varying weather conditions. We learned that the new Niro EV provides options for people who want all the positive benefits of having a green, electric vehicle while still having the range to travel long distances. With a range of up to 385 KM, we didn’t even have to charge up once on our long weekend away! (Although Pender does have a convenient charging station). Besides the more surface-level reasons we love this car (from the exterior it’s pretty much spot on with the small, SUV-like look that we were hoping for), we were super surprised by how comfortable and spacious the interior was. (For such a small human being, little Ollie does NOT pack light!). The features that blew us away would have to be the adaptive cruise and lane change assist safety features (when you become new parents, suddenly safety features jump to the top of your priorities). Still, we also loved the Harmon Kardon sound system because having a good adventure soundtrack is pretty high up on our priority list too!

Our next stop: White Lake, Sorrento, BC

White Lake is a small and beautiful lake known for its stunning and distinctive greenish hued waters. In all our travels, we’ve never experienced a lake quite as remarkable. Perfect for swimming in the summer, skating in the late winter and canoeing through most seasons, it’s one of our favourite destinations to truly experience a BC winter wonderland. We dreamed of visiting a cozy cabin in this lovely part of our province and watching Ollie’s face as he woke up to a fresh blanket of snow, so we decided to venture through the wintery conditions of the Coquihalla Highway and test what the Kia Niro EV can do.

When we arrived at White Lake, all of our winter holiday dreams came true! Our idyllic cabin in the woods was as warm and delightful as can be, and, as if it were planned just for us, we woke up to a perfect dusting of freshly fallen snow. We spent our days taking Ollie on his first sled ride, hiking to frozen waterfalls, and canoeing on the lake. Come nightfall, we drank hot cocoa and sat in our steamy hot tub just outside our cabin while snow fell softly around us, and twinkle lights sparkled above. It couldn’t have been a more wonderful winter experience.

A car for our adventure lifestyle:

As we have a unique lifestyle, we need a reliable, cost-conscious, environmentally responsible and safe vehicle that can fit right into our adventure family in a way that makes sense. That’s not too much to ask for…right?! After pushing the limits of the Kia Niro EV for a full two weeks, we’re happy to report that this vehicle was more than ready for the challenge of keeping up with our travels! 

Our first concern with having an electric vehicle is, can it go the distance? With a range of up to 385 km, we were thrilled to see that we only had to stop twice to charge up (once in Hope, where we stopped for lunch and a hot drink, and a quick charge in Kamloops to get us to our destination!) Which was more than reasonable when we have to stop multiple times anyway with a squirmy toddler. 

With over six hours of drive time to BC’s interior, we had so much time to take in the Niro EV’s driving experience. This exceptionally quiet, smooth driving vehicle was such a treat to take on a road trip, and all of us really enjoyed the roomy interior and comfortable seats. It was a parents’ ideal storage situation as we had more than enough room for all of our luggage, adventure gear, AND Ollie’s travel things. Most importantly, we felt safe as we drove through some pretty dicey and snowy conditions on the highway. Thanks, Kia Canada, for making our winter dreams come true! To learn more about the Kia Niro EV and see if this vehicle could be right for you, visit kia.ca.

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