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Expert Rating

Kia Niro

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Expert Rating

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The Kia Niro is a mid-sized hybrid crossover/SUV that sits between the smaller Stonic and larger Sportage in the Kia family. It was launched in the summer of 2016 with a mid-life facelift in the middle of 2019.

The Niro was initially launched as a regular hybrid in the summer of 2016, with a plug-in hybrid version joining the line-up in 2017. There is also fully-electric model called the Kia e-Niro, and we have a separate page for this model.

Being more car-like and less SUV-like than most crossover rivals, and squeezed into a narrow niche between the slightly-smaller Stonic and slightly-larger Sportage means that the Niro has few direct rivals but a huge number of broadly comparable cars for a similar sort of price. The motoring media have lined it up against hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius as well as more SUV-styled models like the Peugeot 3008.

The Kia Niro has received mixed reviews from the UK motoring media, with the general consensus being that the plug-in hybrid model is better than the regular hybrid, and the electric e-Niro being significantly better again. The Niro’s overall Expert Rating of 62% (as of August 2021) is something of a mid-point between lower scores for the regular hybrid and higher scores for the plug-in version. Some of the scores cover the whole Niro family, including the e-Niro, although most sources rate the electric version separately.

The Niro has been praised for offering good levels of equipment and low running costs compared to similarly-priced rivals. However, it has been criticised for an average driving experience and a lack of boot space, along with interior quality that falls behind the best cars in its class.

Key specifications

Body style: Medium SUV/crossover
Power: petrol-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid
Price: From £24,900

Launched: Summer 2016
Last updated: Summer 2019
Replacement due: TBA

Image gallery


Reviews, road tests and comparisons from across the UK automotive media

The Car Expert


Auto Express


Auto Trader






Car Keys






Company Car Today


Green Car Guide


Honest John






The Sun


The Sunday Times


The Telegraph


Top Gear


What Car?





Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall rating: 4 stars
Date tested: August 2016









Eco Rating

Independent emissions and efficiency ratings from Green NCAP

The Kia Niro plug-in hybrid was awarded a 3.5 star eco rating from Green NCAP in February 2021. We are currently updating our Euro NCAP database, as the organisation changed its rating system and we need to change our database accordingly to be able to display the complete scoring information.

Green NCAP said: “In general, the implementation of the hybrid technology, and the strategy adopted by Kia, works well and results are good. Green NCAP’s test laboratory noted that the Niro started its petrol engine even when the battery was sufficiently charged, in order to warm the cabin or to provide additional torque when needed in the high-load tests.

“The Niro performs well in all three areas of assessment but its plug-in hybrid power system is most effective in improving energy efficiency. Overall, the Niro emerges from Green NCAP’s tests with a good 3½ star rating.”

This rating only applies to the plug-in hybrid version of the Kia Niro, rather than the regular hybrid version.


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Kia Niro has received


  • Car Dealer Used Car Awards – Best Used AFV
  • Business Motoring Awards – Best Hybrid


  • What Car? Electric Car Awards – Best Hybrid Small SUV
  • Diesel Car & Eco Car Top 50 – Best Hybrid + Best Plug-in Hybrid
  • DieselCar & EcoCar Used Car Top 50 – Best Used Hybrid


  • Car Dealer Used Car Awards – Best Used Car + Best Used SUV
  • Diesel Car & Eco Car Top 50 – Best Plug-in Hybrid


  • Diesel Car & Eco Car Top 50 – Best Hybrid
  • Auto Express Driver Power survey – Best Small SUV


  • Next Green Car Awards – Best Crossover

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Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites