Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Kia Niro’s pricing undercuts the Toyota C-HR by a reasonable amount, but it’s a little more expensive than some equivalent versions of conventionally powered family SUVs, such as the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq.
When it comes to fuel economy, the Niro Hybrid’s official figure of 64.2mpg beats the C-HR with the lower-powered 1.8-litre engine. The plug-in hybrid’s official figure of 313.9mpg beats the more powerful Peugeot 3008 Hybrid 225, although you’ll need to keep the battery topped-up before every journey as much as possible.
As we’ve said, there are cheaper family SUVs out there, but the Niro is one of the best equipped. Entry-level 2 trim includes 16in alloy wheels, dual LED headlights, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, an 8.0in touchscreen and a towing pack.
If your budget allows, we’d suggest moving up to 3 trim to increase that tally to 18in alloy wheels, a 10.3in touchscreen, keyless entry, heated seats and privacy glass (although bear in mind that smaller 16in wheels maximise ride comfort). Range-topping 4 trim adds even more kit, including a large twin-screen infotainment set-up, ventilated front seats and heated outer rear seats, but it’s ever-so expensive.
The second-generation Niro is too new to have featured in our 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey but Kia as a brand finished ninth out of 30th manufacturers. That’s above Tesla (15th) and Volkswagen (20th) but well below Hyundai (in joint third with Suzuki). Every Niro gets Kia’s seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, which beats most rival manufacturers' cover.
The original Niro was given the full five stars for safety by Euro NCAP in 2016, helped by a standard safety kit that included automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane-keeping assistance. This second-generation model had not been tested at the time of writing, but has a more advanced AEB system that can detect pedestrians and cyclists as well as cars.
Range-topping 4 models have more safety aids. They include a parking collision avoidance assistant (PCA) that stops you opening your door into the path of an approaching vehicle or pedestrian, and a function that warns you when a vehicle approaches from the left or right as you travel straight across a junction.
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