The Kia Niro lineup features both all-electric, plug-in hybrid and standard hybrid powertrains in the lineup, giving the Australian public more options than ever when it comes to low-emissions driving.
The question remaining, though, is just how good is the Kia Niro lineup, and is it compelling enough for you to join the electric revolution right now? Let’s find out.
Starting Price: $39,990
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Kia Niro - HEV S (HYBRID) Specifications
|Variant||HEV S (HYBRID)|
|Fuel type||UNLEADED PETROL/ELECTRIC|
|Transmission||6 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTC|
|Engine configuration||VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||5700 / 4000|
|Fuel tank size||45.0|
|Fuel usage specs||3.8 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||Unrated|
For more details and other variants, check Kia Niro car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Kia Niro lineup kicks off from $39,990 for the entry-level Niro Hybrid S, with prices rising to $43,890 for the Niro Hybrid Sport. From here, the range moves to the plug-in hybrid options, with the Niro PHEV S priced at $46,590, while the Niro PHEV Sport is priced at $50,490.
Finally, Kia’s all-electric Niro lineup kicks off from $62,590 for the Niro EV S, with the range-topping EV Sport priced at $65,990.
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What Features Does the Kia Niro Have?
The entry-level Niro Hybrid S and Niro PHEV S ride on 16-inch alloys wrapped in Michelin Energy Saver+ tyres, and receives halogen headlights with LED daytime running lamps, a reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, active cruise control, a reversing camera, roof rails, a mix of cloth and leather upholstery with a leather steering wheel, as well as a 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Stepping up to the Niro Hybrid Sport and PHEV Sport adds 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, premium leatherette upholstery, satellite navigation, aluminium pedals, wheel-mounted paddles, as well as an upgraded 10.25-inch infotainment system.
The Niro EV S is packaged with 17-inch alloys, halogen headlights with LED daytime running lamps, roof rails, a reversing camera, climate control, a mix of cloth and leather for the upholstery, a leather-wrapped wheel, an 8.0-inch infotainment system paired with a six-speaker sound system, and DAB+ digital radio.
Finally, the range-topping Niro EV Sport receives LED headlights, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, aluminium pedals, an upgraded 10.25-inch infotainment system paired with an eight-speaker JBL sound system, premium leatherette upholstery and wired Apple and Android phone mirroring.
16-inch alloys with Michelin Energy Saver tyres
Halogen headlights with LED daytime running lamps
Active cruise control
Dual-zone climate control
Automatic headlights & wipers
Lane-keep and lane follow assistance
Autonomous emergency braking
8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
18-inch alloys (Hybrid Sport, PHEV & EV Sport)
LED headlight (Hybrid Sport, PHEV & EV Sport)
10.25-inch infotainment system (Hybrid Sport, PHEV & EV Sport)
Satellite navigation (Hybrid Sport, PHEV & EV Sport)
Premium leatherette upholstery (Hybrid Sport, PHEV & EV Sport)
Wheel-mounted paddles (Hybrid Sport, PHEV & EV Sport)
Aluminium pedals (Hybrid Sport, PHEV & EV Sport)
Blind-spot monitoring (Hybrid Sport, PHEV & EV Sport)
Rear cross-traffic alerts (Hybrid Sport, PHEV & EV Sport)
Kia Niro Colours
The Kia Niro range can be optioned in a choice of colours, including Clear White, Snow White Pearl, Yacht Blue, Deep Cerulean Blue, Sunset Orange, Silky Silver, Aurora Black Pearl, Platinum Graphite and Runway Red.
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
The Kia Niro range offers buyers three choices of powertrains, with the entry-level hybrid featuring a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol connected to an electric motor, producing 104kW/265Nm which is paired with a small 1.56kWh battery pack.
Stepping up to the Niro PHEV brings power up to 121kW and adds a larger 8.9kWh battery pack, while the all-electric Niro EV features a 150kW/395Nm electric motor powered by a 64kWh battery pack.
In terms of daily driving, the Niro lineup offers some surprisingly fun driving performance thanks to the added torque from the electric motor. That means that not only is the Niro incredibly easy to drive around town, you can take off from a set of lights or pick up speed on the highway with ease, making the Niro a great companion for daily commutes.
The Niro EV is a particularly exciting partner for your daily commute, offering some spirited acceleration thanks to the powerful electric motor.
While Kia has had to upgrade the suspension to handle the extra weight from the electric motors and batteries, the Niro remains nice and comfortable around town. Combined with the lightweight steering rack and compact turning circle, the Niro is confident in and around the urban jungle, and remains supremely easy to drive.
The PHEV and EV variants receive a regenerative braking system that captures energy during braking, feeding this back into the battery pack. This can be adjusted with the wheel-mounted paddles, and once you get used to it, you’ll find yourself playing a game of anticipating braking spots, trying to feed as much energy as possible back into the battery.
As a complete driving package, the Niro has thankfully retained all the hallmarks that have made Kia vehicles a go-to for those looking for a user-friendly driving dynamic, in spite of all the new technology.
How Much Electric Range does the Niro PHEV and EV Have?
The Niro plug-in hybrid, or PHEV, offers up to 58km of all-electric driving range according to Kia’s tests on the NEDC cycle. In the real-world, this translates to an all-electric driving range of anywhere between 40-50km, depending on the conditions and your driving style.
The all-electric Niro EV has an energy consumption figure of around 16kWh per 100km, which translates to an all-electric driving range of around 450km.
Charging the Niro EV using a 7.2kWh wall box in your home takes 9 hours to charge the battery from empty to full, while a 100kW DC fast-charger drops this figure to just 54-minutes, or 75-minutes using a 50kW DC fast-charger.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
While compact crossover SUVs are rarely celebrated for their space and practicality, Kia’s clever interior packaging has resulted in a car offering far more space than you’ll find in a number of its rivals.
The front of the cabin features a sleek and simple design that will feel familiar to all drivers, with an impressive amount of space in the cockpit. The driver and front passenger are treated to a comfortable set of seats that benefit from the elevated driving position, offering a great view out of the windscreen.
Storage options in the front of the cabin include an extremely large pair of door bins either side, a folding armrest with storage underneath, a set of cup holders, a tray for your smartphone in the centre of the dash that sits atop another small storage area. Niro EV variants benefit from another large hidden storage area behind the gear lever, offering a decent number of storage options for a car of this size.
Move to the rear of the cabin and you’ll find a comfortable bench seat more than capable of handling passengers of all sizes. This is a particular highlight of the Niro lineup, which offers far more legroom and head space than you’ll find in a typical compact SUV. As a result, the Niro is one of the most spacious and practical small SUVs on the market, with the EV variant in particular receiving a huge amount of added space.
This extends to the cargo capacity, too, with the Hybrid offering 410L of boot space, and the EV variant raising this figure to 451L, which is absolutely huge for the small SUV segment. Sadly, the PHEV variant has just 324L, which puts it on par with a number of its rivals.
Is it Safe?
The Niro Hybrid and PHEV have been awarded five star ANCAP safety ratings after being tested back in 2016. Unfortunately, the Niro EV has not been officially tested by ANCAP.
The Niro range comes fitted with autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, a reversing camera, ISOFIX mounts and top tether points, lane follow and lane keep assistance, active cruise control, as well as seven airbags.
Opting for the Niro Sport adds a blind-spot monitoring system, as well as rear cross-traffic alerts.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
The Niro Hybrid is rated at 3.8L per 100km, while the Niro Sport is rated at 4.4L per 100km, which translates to a maximum range of around 1,000km on a single tank of petrol.
The Niro PHEV is rated at 1.3L per 100km, so long as you have electricity in the battery pack. Once that battery pack is dry, the fuel economy is likely to jump to around 5L per 100km, or higher, depending on your driving style and location of your journey.
Our Verdict: Is the Kia Niro Worth it?
The Kia Niro lineup offers something for everyone, with a great choice of hybrid, PHEV and EV offerings within the linep that meet the needs of the majority of buyers. It remains one of the most practical offerings within the compact SUV market, thanks to Kia’s clever interior packaging.
It’s worth noting that a replacement for the current generation Kia Niro is set to arrive into Australia some time in 2022. This update will bring refreshed styling, the latest equipment and likely upgraded battery technologies that increase its range.
As a result, we’d recommend waiting for the replacement to arrive, however, if you’re looking for a plug-in hybrid or EV to drive right now, the Niro lineup offers a solid value for money proposition, backed by Kia’s attractive ownership program.
Five Specs You Need to Know
Seven-year, unlimited KM warranty with roadside assistance
Seven-year, 150,000 KM warranty for battery pack and electric motors
No official ANCAP rating for Niro EV; Hybrid and PHEV rated at five stars
451L of boot space in Niro EV
455km all-electric driving range for EV; 58km for PHEV
Affordable entry-point into hybrid, PHEV and all-electric driving
Spacious and practical interior for a compact SUV
Attractive ownership program with battery coverage
Soon to be replaced by next-generation Niro
Some cheap interior materials
Some safety equipment reserved for more expensive variants
OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10
Kia Niro Competition
|Toyota C-HR Hybrid|