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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

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MEDIA REVIEWS

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

The Car Expert

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Auto Express

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Auto Trader

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Autocar

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Car

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Car Keys

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Carbuyer

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Carwow

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Company Car Today

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Green Car Guide

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Honest John

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Motors.co.uk

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Parkers

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The Sun

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The Sunday Times

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The Telegraph

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Top Gear

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What Car?

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Which?

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SAFETY RATING

Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall rating: 4 stars
Date tested: August 2016

83%

ADULT OCCUPANT

80%

CHILD OCCUPANT

57%

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

59%

SAFETY ASSIST

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.

Awards

Trophies, prizes and awards that the Kia Niro has received

2021

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

2020

  • 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

2019

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

2018

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

2017

  • 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