The Kia Niro Hybrid SUV is the first hybrid vehicle to be released by Kia. The concept for this hybrid compact SUV was first unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show and after a few alterations the finished model was released in 2016.
The 1.6 GDi and electric motor hybrid engine available in the Niro boasts a 141hp output. The 6-speed dual-clutch transmission helps the Niro hit 100km/h from a standing start in 11.1 seconds. The top speed of this vehicle clocks in at 162km/h.
The added weight of the hybrid system means that the Niro can feel quite heavy at times and the suspension is a little stiff in order to handle the excess weight. The steering can also feel vague and light at times.
The nature of electric vehicles means that the engine noise from the Niro is relatively quiet. The added weight from the hybrid system, however, means that the Niro is sensitive to bumps in the road and the low profile tyres produce a notable amount of noise at high speeds.
The interior of the Kia Niro is spacious and much like the rest of the vehicle, solidly built. The infotainment system comes with a 7 inch LCD touch screen linked to the rear-view camera. The Niro cockpit is well designed and spaced out to minimise cluster. The leather seats come with an option to be heated in both the front and rear. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay also come as standard.
The Kia Niro scored five stars on the EURO NCAP rating system. The safety rating for adult occupants was 91% while child occupant safety rating was 80%. Pedestrian safety scored a 70% and the Niro’s safety assist got 81%. Safety features in the Kia Niro include a reversing camera, lane keep assist, smart cruise control, blind spot warning and an autonomous emergency brake system.
The boot size of 427 litres can be extended to 1425 litres with the rear seats folded down; supplying decent but not outstanding luggage room. Front legroom is ample at 1059mm, while legroom in the rear is an impressive 950mm. You’ll have no problem at all fitting five adults comfortably in this vehicle.