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In-depth reviews

Kia Niro review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

The Kia Niro has grown in size, with generous cabin space and practical storage options meaning it's a great family choice

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

4.5 out of 5

Price
£29,560 to £42,325
  • Practicality
  • Efficient powertrains
  • Improved infotainment
  • Not fun to drive
  • Interior quality
  • Small boot in plug-in hybrid model
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Given the new Niro’s K3 platform has to provide accommodation for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full EV powertrains, the packaging employed to create space in the cabin is impressive.  

There are some clever storage solutions dotted about the Niro’s cabin, too. For instance, the front cubby can be used as either general storage space or, at the touch of a couple of buttons, a pair of cup-holders reveal themselves. There’s more storage under the central armrest and the glovebox is a decent size, but we found the door bins are very slim, which limits how much stuff you can store in them and means they’re off-limits for larger items.

Size

The new Niro is taller, wider and longer than its predecessor, but it’s still classed as a compact SUV and roughly the same size as Toyota’s C-HR and the Skoda Karoq.

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The Mk2 stands 1,585mm tall, and measures 1,825mm wide by 4,420mm long, meaning it also occupies a similar footprint to the Peugeot 3008. The Niro also has a wheelbase of 2,720mm – which is actually longer than the Volkswagen Tiguan’s.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

Cabin space was a real plus point of the old Niro and it’s even better here thanks to the extra length, longer wheelbase and a slimmer front seat design that’s liberated more space for back-seat occupants, among other changes. Even sitting behind a driver over six-feet tall, rear passengers should have plenty of legroom. Headroom is also excellent due to the square crossover proportions of the Niro. 

Up front, the low centre console, low window line and decent headroom combine to make the Niro feel spacious and airy inside. Meanwhile, rear passengers will appreciate the USB-C sockets built into the sides of the front seats so they won’t have to fight over who gets to charge their devices.

Boot

Boot space varies for each powertrain. The most spacious is the Niro EV with an impressive 475 litres – that’s 53 litres more than the latest Astra and that’s not even including the 20-litre storage space under the bonnet. Fold the rear seats down and the luggage capacity expands to 1,392 litres.

The Hybrid comes next with a respectable 451 litres while, unfortunately, due to the battery being located at the rear, the Niro PHEV’s boot space falls to 358 litres. Folding the Niro’s 60:40 split rear bench gives you 1,445 and 1,342 litres to play with in the hybrid and plug-in hybrid, respectively.

The Niro does have quite a high load lip, which isn’t great when you’re loading heavier items, but the boot opening is nice and wide. We also like the lightweight load cover which can be twisted and collapsed into a compact disc that you can stow pretty much anywhere.

Towing

The maximum braked trailer weight for the Niro hybrid and PHEV models is 1,300kg, while the EV is only rated to tow up to 750kg.

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