Kia Niro PHEV - best plug-in hybrid cars
The Niro PHEV isn’t the most interesting car to drive, but it’s easy to live with and there’s decent space on offer.
Traditionally, if you were interested in getting a hybrid car you’d have to compromise. Whether that was in terms of interior space, performance or price. The Niro PHEV proves you don’t need to any longer by delivering the goods in each of these key departments.
Thanks to a tall, SUV-inspired look, there’s bags of interior space. The Niro was always designed to incorporate hybrid power so there’s only a slight infringement on boot space made by the battery hidden beneath.
Being a hybrid, efficiency is key. On paper at least, the Niro PHEV looks incredibly economical. Kia claims 217.3mpg - although you’ll need to keep the battery regularly topped up to get near to those numbers. CO2 emissions of just 29g/km and a 36-mile electric-only range means the Niro PHEV sits in the appealing 16 per cent BIK tax band for company car users.
Despite the focus on economy, the Niro PHEV offers reasonable performance too. We tested the 141bhp 1.6 GDi version and found it’s 1.1 seconds quicker from 0-60mph than a Toyota Prius at 9.2 seconds. While the engine is impressive and offers all the performance you would need, the DCT auto gearbox behaves similarly to Toyota’s CVT and holds onto revs for a little too long - which can be unsettling.
With pricing from around £31,000, the Niro PHEV is one of the cheaper plug-in hybrids you can buy while still offering enough space for family use. Look past the uninspiring handling and jerky gearbox and the Niro PHEV is hard to criticise.
Top 10 best plug-in hybrids to buy now
- 1IntroductionThe plug-in hybrid market has grown exponentially in recent years. Here are our top 10 electrified favourites.
- 2Mercedes E 300 deThe Mercedes E 300 de offers a familiar yet cost-effective alternative to mainstream company cars.
- 3Hyundai Ioniq PHEVThe Ioniq is available as a conventional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and an all out electric vehicle. But the plug-in is the best all-rounder
- 4BMW 530eThe BMW 530e will be cheaper to run than a regular 5 Series but it crucially doesn’t sacrifice driver engagement
- 5Volvo XC60 T8We gave the regular Volvo XC60 a five-star review so the plug-in hybrid T8 version has a great foundation for success
- 6Mercedes E 300 eThe plug-in hybrid Mercedes E 300 e emphasises all the great hallmarks of the regular E-Class with little drawbacks.
- 7Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid The latest Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid is a great all-rounder and is hard to fault in any single area.
- 8Kia Niro PHEV - currently readingThe Niro PHEV isn’t the most interesting car to drive, but it’s easy to live with and there’s decent space on offer.
- 9Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVThe first plug-in SUV proved the formula worked, and boosted sales for the range
- 10Toyota PriusThe latest Toyota Prius is the best yet, and the same goes for the plug-in hybrid version
- 11Range Rover P400eThe Range Rover P400e turns out to be a successful first attempt at a plug-in hybrid from Land Rover.