In-depth reviews

Kia Niro review - Reliability and Safety

This is new technology for Kia, so there might be issues, but the seven-year warranty will help confidence

Within the last decade, Kia has come on leaps and bounds, as it’s moved from budget brand to mainstream player. This is reflected by its decent third place finish in our Driver Power 2017 satisfaction survey. The Niro is too new to feature in the model run-down, unfortunately, although the Sportage came 12th and the outgoing Cee'd hatchback fifth overall.

The standard Niro earned a four-star Euro NCAP safety rating in 2016, but if you add the optional Advanced Driving Assistance Pack, which includes autonomous emergency braking, as well as adaptive cruise control, for around £350, then the rating moves up to five stars. This pack is standard on Niro 4 models, while standard safety kit across the range includes seven airbags, including a driver's knee bag, stability control, lane keep assist, tyre pressure monitors and hill start assist.

As for reliability, it's too early to say how the Niro will fare. Kia has tried to make its first hybrid model look and feel as mainstream as possible, but there are some real hi-tech touches, particularly when it comes to batteries.

While the Toyota Prius uses tried-and-tested nickel metal hydride cells, the Niro gets the latest lithium-ion polymer technology, as used in mobile phones. That means the Kia's batteries weigh just 33kg, and they offer around 50 per cent higher energy density than the Toyota’s.

Warranty

With that in mind, it's good to know that the petrol-electric drivetrain is covered by the same seven-year/100,000-mile warranty as the rest of the car, and that should give you extra peace of mind if you are planning to take the plunge on this new technology. You only get 12 months' breakdown assistance, though.

Servicing

Service intervals for the Niro are every 10,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. Kia’s Care-3 three-year servicing pack is available on the Niro, and it's reasonably priced at around £430. For an extra £30 you can also cover the costs of getting the car through its first MoT, too.

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