Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The Niro’s pricing undercuts the Toyota C-HR Hybrid’s by a reasonable amount and the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid’s by a lot, but it’s quite a bit more expensive than some equivalent versions of conventionally powered family SUVs, such as the Skoda Karoq.
The Niro Hybrid delivers fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures that are similar to those of the C-HR Hybrid, and those who travel mainly in stop-start town traffic will get the best from its hybrid power; it’s here, rather than on the motorway, that it’s most efficient.
If you’re a company car driver the Niro PHEV’s ultra-low CO2 emissions provide the advantage of a lower tax bracket, so it will cost substantially less in benefit-in-kind tax than the Hybrid, or a petrol or diesel-powered SUV. And, if you can keep its battery topped up (charging from 0-100% takes around 2hrs from a domestic supply) and can frequently complete whole journeys on electric power alone, it’ll be really cheap to fuel, too. If you don’t keep the battery topped up, it won’t be any more efficient than the Hybrid.
As we’ve said, there are cheaper family SUVs out there, but Niro is one of the better equipped. Entry-level 2 trim includes dual-zone air conditioning, 16in alloy wheels, privacy glass, power-folding door mirrors and adaptive cruise control. Even so, we’d suggest moving up to 3 trim to increase that tally to 17in alloy wheels, full leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, as well as the upgraded infotainment package we discussed earlier. Trims 2 and 3 are the only ones available with the PHEV.
Range-topping 4 trim is exclusive to the Niro Hybrid – it adds a lot more (click on the equipment tabs at the end of this review to see the details) but it’s ever so expensive.
Kia came sixth out of 31 manufacturers in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, although the Niro itself finished in the bottom half of the hybrid and electric table. Every Niro comes with Kia’s seven-year/100,000-mile warranty, which is more cover than a Seat Ateca or Skoda Karoq comes with as standard.
The Kia Niro was given five stars by Euro NCAP back in 2016, and its list of standard safety kit includes automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance, plus blind spot monitoring if you go for the top 4 trim.
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