Kia Niro (2016-2022) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Niro is a practical crossover, although the plug-in hybrid version offers a smaller boot
By designing the Niro around a compact crossover template, Kia has delivered decent practicality. In terms of size, it sits somewhere between the Kia Ceed hatchback and Kia Sportage crossover, so it fills a niche of its own in some ways. However, if you want the plug-in PHEV variant, you'll have to make do with the smaller boot, as the batteries take up some luggage space.
The Niro is 4,355mm long and has a wheelbase of 2,700mm. That's the same wheelbase as a Toyota Prius, but the Prius is around 200mm longer overall. As you would expect, that crossover shape means the Niro is taller and wider than the Prius, at 1,545mm and 1,805mm respectively. The Niro PHEV is exactly the same length, height and width as the standard car.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Occupants sitting in the rear of the Niro benefit from decent headroom thanks to the car's squarer crossover shape. Up front, the driver gets a wide range of seat and wheel adjustment. The only real ergonomic niggle is the foot-operated parking brake, which sits uncomfortably high and near your left shin when it's disengaged.
The upright tailgate opening isn’t as large as the hatchback Toyota Prius’s, but the Niro's 382-litre boot capacity is competitive alongside rivals like the Volkswagen Golf. A Prius is bigger, however, claiming 445 litres with the rear seats in place. Folded down, however, the 1,380-litre load bay is 10 litres bigger than its main rival. Go for the PHEV plug-in and you'll lose around 80 litres of boot space - both seats up and seats down.
Elsewhere there’s decent storage, including a spacious glovebox, but it can’t quite match the neatly packaged Prius for cubby space. Like its rival, there's no spare wheel, just a bottle of sealant for minor punctures.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe Kia Niro crossover comes in hybrid, plug-in and full electric guises
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Niro is as simple to operate as any other automatic, just don't expect an engaging drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Niro family offers excellent economy and low emissions across the range, with decent residual values, too
- 4Interior, design and technologyIt's no head-turner, but the Kia Niro feels solidly built and offers good levels of standard equipment
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe Niro is a practical crossover, although the plug-in hybrid version offers a smaller boot
- 6Reliability and SafetyKia continues to perform well in our Driver Power awards, while a seven-year warranty provides further reassurance for buyers