Kia Niro: Britain’s favourite small SUV (sponsored)

We asked, you voted. And you told us the Kia Niro is the most satisfying small SUV on the road

Earlier this year, the British car-owning public ranked the Kia Niro as the best small SUV to own in our Driver Power survey - and the second best car overall.

That’s no mean feat: Driver Power is the largest, most prestigious and important customer ownership satisfaction survey in the UK. It’s the opportunity for British buyers to tell it like it is - and in 2018 the survey was bigger than ever.

It might be Kia’s first hybrid, but the Niro claimed some big-name scalps on its path to glory.

Because it’s a hybrid, the Niro is already off to a flying start. The big benefit owners experience is when it comes to the petrol pump - because those electric motors mean you’ll be visiting them far less frequently whilst not sacrificing on the driving experience.

Since its launch in 2016, the Niro range has grown to include a plug-in hybrid version, which Kia says can return up to 217mpg. Plus there’s an all-electric version on the way too, and that model promises a massive 298 miles - enough to take you from London to Newcastle on a single charge.

But it’s the original hybrid version of the Niro that’s currently the most common sight on Britain’s roads. So why did it perform so well in Driver Power?

Kia Niro - front

The Niro’s interior is one part of the car that really impresses owners, and in particular the infotainment system. Many cars have great-looking systems, but some are overly-styled and tricky to use. Not so with the Niro, which is responsive and simple to use. And its shortcut buttons make it really easy - and safe - to operate when you’re on the go.

Another big plus point is that Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and sat-nav are all standard - something you could paying extra for in some of its rivals. The Niro’s sat-nav comes with seven years of free map updates, so you’ll always have the latest road information. Kia is all about the best quality for a great price, and it really shows in here.

The feedback from current Niro owners is that they really like the way the Niro drives. They say it’s very refined and with the automatic gearbox making gear changes so quickly and smoothly, the Niro has changed some owners’ views of automatic cars. Many simply don’t want to go back to a manual. The Niro even has a Sport mode, which changes the steering and gearbox settings.

A number of people in our Driver Power survey said the Niro is the first hybrid they’ve ever owned and they now expect to be a hybrid driver for life. One owner told us his Niro has returned a real-world 64mpg over 7,000 miles, and he loves how quiet the Niro is to drive.

It’s not just how economical the Niro is that has appealed to owners. They also love the way it feels so well built, and that most versions come with supple leather seats. It feels responsive and fun to drive on the road and the Niro is backed up by Kia’s seven-year warranty, which even covers the battery, giving ultimate peace of mind.

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Owners are very pleased with their Niro when it comes to safety. They love the standard safety features such as seven airbags and electronic stability management, and how the reasonably priced top of the range model also has adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, and autonomous emergency braking all thrown in.

Make no mistake, finishing second overall, and topping the small SUV class in our Driver Power survey is a remarkable achievement. Owners told us in their droves that the Kia Niro is a great hybrid SUV that’s packed with all the tech and safety kit you need - and is also practical and easy to drive.

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