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Expert Rating

Kia Niro (2016 to 2022)

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Expert Rating

Kia Niro (2016 to 2022)

Not a current model


    The Kia Niro was a small hybrid crossover/SUV that sat between the smaller Stonic and larger Sportage in the Kia family. It was launched in the summer of 2016, facelifted in the middle of 2019, and replaced in 2022.

    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 was 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 meant that the Niro had few direct rivals but a huge number of broadly comparable cars for a similar sort of price. The motoring media lined it up against hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius as well as more SUV-styled models like the Peugeot 3008.

    The Kia Niro received mixed reviews from the UK motoring media, with the general consensus being that the plug-in hybrid model was better than the regular hybrid, and the electric e-Niro was significantly better again. No longer in production, the Niro’s overall Expert Rating of 65% 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 was praised for offering good levels of equipment and low running costs compared to similarly-priced rivals. However, it was 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: Small-medium SUV/crossover
    Power: petrol-electric hybrid, plug-in hybrid
    Price: From £25,705

    Launched: Summer 2016
    Last updated: Summer 2019
    Replaced: Summer 2022

    Media reviews

    Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

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    What Car?




    Safety rating

    Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

    Overall score: 4 stars
    Date tested: August 2016
    Read the full Euro NCAP review

    Adult protection: 83%
    Child protection: 80%
    Vulnerable road users: 57%
    Safety assist: 59%

    Eco rating

    Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

    Model tested: 1.6-litre plug-in hybrid 4X2 automatic

    Overall score: 3.5 stars
    Date tested: February 2021
    Read the full Green NCAP review

    Clean Air Index: 4.9 / 10
    Energy Efficiency Index: 7.6 / 10
    Greenhouse Gas Index: 6 / 10

    The Kia Niro plug-in hybrid was awarded a 3.5 star eco rating from Green NCAP in February 2021.

    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.

    Reliability rating

    MotorEasy logo 600x167

    As of July 2022, we don’t have enough reliability data on the latest iteration of the Kia Niro to generate a reliability rating.

    The Car Expert’s reliability information is provided exclusively to us using extended warranty data from our partner, MotorEasy. As soon as MotorEasy has sufficient data on the second-generation Niro, we’ll publish the score here.


    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

    Similar cars

    If you’re looking at the Kia Niro, you might also be interested in these alternatives

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    Kia Niro (2016 to 2022)The Kia Niro has received mixed media reviews, with priase for its value and low running costs but criticism for its driving experience.