A trail-blazing set of wheels that marries style and safety

From school run to mountain biking in the Dublin foothills the Kia Niro has all the style and safety features coach Kevin Moran wants for family-time spent catching air in an urban environment
A trail-blazing set of wheels that marries style and safety

Mountain biking coach Kevin Moran teaches safety programmes to riders so they can get out and enjoy the trails armed with useful skills.

On a blustery November afternoon, Kevin Moran is planning a high-altitude adventure. “We’re heading to the Mourne Mountains tomorrow,” he explains. “The weather is looking good. The kids are ready to go, and the bike rack will be stacked. We can’t wait.” 

The father of three is no stranger to being on the move. As a former racer, Kevin spent his twenties and thirties stacking up accolades in his chosen sport - mountain biking - culminating in being crowned Irish masters national champion in 2012.

“I’ve spent most of my life riding some form of two-wheeled machine,” Kevin says. “Be it mountain bikes, road bikes or motocross.” 

With his competitive days now behind him, Kevin’s priorities and modes of transport have shifted gears. Today, he runs his own successful bike coaching business, Bike Coach, advising both beginner and ambitious riders on safety and success on and off-trail.

“I found a love for coaching as I saw my own kids develop and progress from spinning around the kitchen on balance bikes to catching air on the local trails,” he says.

Bike coach Kevin Moran with his sports-fan family, wife Ruth and children, Sadbh, age 8, Oscar, age 11 and Alfie, age 10.
Bike coach Kevin Moran with his sports-fan family, wife Ruth and children, Sadbh, age 8, Oscar, age 11 and Alfie, age 10.

His weeks are jam-packed with coaching sessions, grocery, and school runs, and dropping off his two sons and daughter to hockey practice or hurling.

“It’s always hectic,” Kevin laughs. “But I love coaching, and I love being busy. And yes, even the dog sometimes joins us for a spin.” 

Oscar and Kevin get ready to take to the trails.
Oscar and Kevin get ready to take to the trails.

As an approved trainer of the Cycle Right programme (the national standard for cycle training) and an experienced road cyclist and driver, Kevin prioritises protection and well-being over all else when it comes to what kind of car gets him from A to B.

“Safety is paramount,” he says. “This is my family car, so that has to come first. From the cameras to the sensors and the driver notifications, I’ve been really impressed with the security and safety features the Kia gives me.” 

The sleek crossover Kia Niro has a suite of driver assistance systems.
The sleek crossover Kia Niro has a suite of driver assistance systems.

He’s referring to the Kia Niro EV, a stylish new electric crossover that boasts a 460 km range and an advanced suite of driver assistance systems including intelligent speed limit assist, smart cruise control and blind-spot assist that have allowed this vehicle to tick every box on Kevin’s safety list, exceeding his own expectations of what a family car can offer.

Apart from this fully electric Niro EV, the Niro is also available as a HEV offering mild hybrid technology or as a PHEV offering a full electric range of 65km or a combined fuel economy from just 1 litre per 100km when combined with its petrol engine.

The busy family's schedule is hectic, from picking up the kids from school to shopping and sports training.
The busy family's schedule is hectic, from picking up the kids from school to shopping and sports training.

“I had never driven an electric car before the Niro,” Kevin explains. “My first impression was I immediately loved how it looked. It’s very stylish. But there’s lots more to discover inside, which is why I’m looking forward to getting on the open road to really see what it’s got.”

As an electric newbie, Kevin says his only worry when it came to ditching a traditional fuel engine was range. It’s a concern that was quickly quashed when he realised just how far a full charge in the Kia Niro could get him. “That’s important to me,” he says. “The fact that there’s more than 400 km range means we can plan these longer excursions without thinking twice. My son and I headed to Ticknock yesterday afternoon for a ride, and I didn’t need to consider charging it to get there and back from our home in Goatstown. Before I drove a full electric car I just envisaged having to plug it in all the time.” 

Champion turned bike coach Kevin Moran in action catching some air on the trails.
Champion turned bike coach Kevin Moran in action catching some air on the trails.

Speaking of his three kids, Kevin is chuffed with their reaction to the new family wheels. “They are overjoyed to have so much room on journeys, particularly the head height in the back,” he laughs.

One feature that has pleasantly surprised Kevin is the Vehicle-to-Device functionality that allows you to use the car battery to charge other appliances. “It’s not something everyone might notice,” he admits, “But for me, being able to charge an electric bicycle or inflate an air mattress when we’re camping is a massive bonus.” 

While safety and practicality may be front and centre for this dad, that doesn’t mean he isn’t appreciative of a little luxury. “The heated steering wheel and seats are very nice additions,” he says, “I do notice those things, and they have a big impact on how enjoyable a drive can be.” 

Kia Niro Dublin mountain biking.
Kia Niro Dublin mountain biking.

As someone who spends as much time as possible in nature, being able to drive a car with zero emissions is a bonus. “Anything we can do to save the beauty and life of the outdoors, we should be embracing,” he says. Much of the interior and cabin are produced from recycled materials also which further reduces the carbon footprint of the Niro.

With his Kia Niro boot packed full of sports equipment, three kids belted in, and a bike rack stacked, Kevin is ready for the open road.

With his Kia Niro boot packed full of sports equipment, three kids belted in, and a bike rack stacked, Kevin is ready for the open road.

His adrenaline-fuelled competitive days may be behind him, but now Kevin is ready for a different kind of exhilaration. “I’m looking forward to where this trip takes us.” 

For more on the Kia Niro and to book a test drive visit kia.com/ie/

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