In-depth reviews

Kia Niro review - Interior, design and technology

It's no head-turner, but the Kia Niro feels solidly built and offers good levels of standard equipment

With its traditional compact family hatchback proportions, subtly raised ride height and tough-looking black wheelarch surrounds, the Kia Niro follows a template set by fashionable, conventionally powered crossover models. 

It lacks the instant head-turning appeal of a Prius, but this more conventional shape gives the Kia plenty of showroom appeal. Its smattering of off-roader styling cues and less adventurous design approach will be a big draw to buyers who want hybrid efficiency without shouting about it. Better still, the plug-in variant is even more discreet – with the only clues to its 30-mile EV range being an additional filler cap by the nearside front wheel.

Go for the e-Niro, and the big indicator of its purely electric drive is the removal of the hybrid's grille. That leaves a blank piece of bodywork - much like Hyundai has done with its Ioniq and Kona Electrics - and there's a charging socket hidden behind the offset panel in the nose.

The subtle design continues inside, where the Niro feels far more mainstream than a Prius. Yet what it lacks in flair, the interior makes up for with solidity. Everything seems robustly built, while most of the materials have a high-quality look and feel.

For instance, soft-touch plastic covers the top of the dashboard, and the use of gloss black trim inserts and metal-effect air vent surrounds helps give the cabin an upmarket lift. One eco-minded feature is that you can set the climate controls to focus solely on the driver if you're travelling one-up - this is an eco feature that was first seen on the Kia Soul EV.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The entry-level Niro 2 includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen, while the Niro 3 features an upgraded 10.25-inch display with sat nav. Both are pretty easy to operate, with clear graphics and straightforward destination inputs.

The only clue to the Niro’s petrol-electric underpinnings is the unique instrument cluster, which features a full-colour 4.2-inch TFT screen and a power meter in place of the traditional rev counter. The 4 trim level and all e-Niro versions include a larger 7.0-inch display.

This set-up allows you to monitor the energy flow between the batteries, electric motor, engine and wheels, plus it generates numerous fuel use statistics. And as a bit of fun, there’s a neat graphic that ‘grows’ a tree as you drive more efficiently.

All Niro versions include two USB sockets and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. The Niro 3 adds a wireless phone charging pad, while the 4 trim has a JBL sound system with subwoofer in the boot.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.6 GDi Hybrid 2 5dr DCT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £24,605

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 GDi Hybrid Connect 5dr DCT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £25,195

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6 GDi Hybrid 2 5dr DCT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £24,605

Most Popular

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900
Audi RS 3 Sportback - front
Audi RS3

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900

Full exterior and interior reveal for Audi RS 3, with aggressive styling and racy cabin to match strong performance
19 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021
New MG 5 EV 2021 review
MG 5 EV - front
MG MG5 Hatchback

New MG 5 EV 2021 review

The MG 5 EV has been updated with a bigger battery, meaning it now boasts a 250-mile range
21 Jul 2021