Kia Niro Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

When Kia first launched the Niro in 2016, it was intended to be an alternative to the Toyota Prius and other popular hybrid cars that are aimed at families. It’s a compact SUV and has a more conventional style than most of its rivals, which tend to signal their eco-friendliness with quirky design features. The Niro can offer some impressive fuel economy figures with its growing range of engines, which now includes a fully-electric unit. For buyers who want to protect the climate as much as they want a small practical people carrier, the Niro is worth a look.

Check out the Kia Niro model page to check out available cars and learn more.

What we think about the Kia Niro

This is a practical, eco-friendly family car with a well-equipped, spacious interior.



Selection of highly efficient hybrid engines


Quite roomy for its size


Smooth handling


Not very fun to drive

A little expensive for what it offers

Engines are unrefined

The entry-level trim on this five-seater compact SUV is the 2 model, which offers you a 1.6-litre petrol-hybrid unit. This provides around 59 mpg, with an electric-only range of about 36 miles. After that, you’ve got the 3 and 4 to choose from, as well as the fully electric e-Niro.

Driving performance of the Kia Niro

Our Driving Rating6 / 10

The driving experience in the Kia Niro is broadly in line with its design philosophy and engine choices: sensible, safe, and predictable. The steering is perfectly responsive and smooth enough to cruise around town with ease, and the suspension is well-balanced for a comfy ride, but the Niro definitely lacks some of the engagement that can make other SUVs stand out in the class. Cornering doesn’t provide a whole lot of excitement, and the tyres are also noticeably lacking in grip.

Safety and reliability of the Kia Niro

Our Safety Rating7 / 10

The Kia Niro was last put through its paces by the Euro NCAP in 2016, when it scored four out of the maximum five stars. It was rated 84% for how well it protected adult passengers but got below 60% both for protection of pedestrians and for its equipment. Seven airbags, hill start assist, and stability control are all available as standard now, which is a good start. However, the upgraded trim with additional safety features achieved five stars, so that could be the right choice for more cautious drivers. This Advanced Driving Assistance pack gives you autonomous emergency braking, as well as adaptive cruise control.

Under the bonnet of the Kia Niro

Our Engine Rating7 / 10

The entry-level version of the Niro has a 1.6-litre petrol unit under the hood, which supports a small electric motor. The total combined power is around 146 bhp, and it’ll take you from standing to 60 mph in around 9.1 seconds. This is reasonably brisk for a hybrid, and it beats the pace of Toyota’s class-leading Prius. However, the Niro’s engine isn’t particularly smooth or refined, although it’s obviously a lot quieter than similar fuel-only units. The plug-in PHEV engine provides the same amount of power but is slightly quicker off the blocks.

What you'll find in the Kia Niro

Our Design Rating7 / 10

The Niro is far from an ugly car, but it’s definitely designed more for functionality than aesthetics, and it looks a lot more conventional than most modern vehicles with hybrid-electric engines. It’s a small, sturdy, unassuming car with a conventional body shape, but it’s been sculpted with care and can look quite classy in the right light. Probably the most eye-catching feature of the Niro is the slender honeycomb front grille – the black wheel arches are also a nice subtle flourish.

Comfort and interiors in the Kia Niro

Our Comfort Rating7 / 10

The interior aesthetic here is much the same as the outside. There’s an interior cabin that’s solidly built and high quality, if not particularly luxurious. The materials are good though, particularly the soft-touch plastics on the dashboard and the metal-effect air vent surrounds. In line with the Niro’s eco-friendly character, you can set the climate control feature to focus just on the driver, which will save a decent amount of energy. It’s a spacious cabin for a compact SUV too, and you get plenty of legroom and headroom.

Blue Kia Niro dashboard

What features you'll find in the Kia Niro

Our Features Rating8 / 10

The Niro comes with an infotainment system that can be accessed via a seven-inch touchscreen, which also allows you to use the satnav. This can be upgraded to an eight-inch screen on higher trims. You’ll get Bluetooth as standard, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity. The top trim offers an eight-speaker JBL sound system with a subwoofer in the boot, so you can get your tunes really pumping. Besides tech features, you can also upgrade the 16-inch alloy wheels to 18-inchers and get a full leather interior.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Kia Niro

Our Fuel Consumption Rating8 / 10

Recent models of the Niro have a number of hybrid engine options available, which aren’t the most efficient electric units on the market, but definitely offer more miles to the gallon than a standard petrol or diesel. The best economy figures are achieved by the plug-in PHEV engine, which has an all-electric range of 36 miles and can provide up to 217 mpg. The entry-level trim has a petrol-hybrid engine that can get you as much as 59 mpg, with CO2 emissions of around 110 g/km.

Running costs of the Kia Niro

Our Cost Rating8 / 10

The Niro’s competitive fuel economy figures will save you a fair amount on petrol costs, but you’ll have to cough up a bit more up front if you want the most efficient electric options. The entry-level petrol hybrid is also not quite efficient enough to qualify you for the London Congestion Charge Exemption. In happier news though, the insurance costs and road tax are relatively low. One of the most appealing aspects of the car is Kia’s market-leading manufacturer warranty. Their generous coverage is good for seven years, or 100,000 miles – not to be sniffed at.

Our verdict of the Kia Niro

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

The Kia Niro isn't a car to get pulses racing, but if you're looking for an eco-friendly compact SUV, it's a strong rival to the Toyota Prius.