Kia Niro is a small SUV that’s available in two efficient FWD electrified powertrains, the
Hybrid Electric (HEV) and full Electric (EV). The previous Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) has been
dropped with the latest (MY23) update which arrived here in April 2022.

Niro is a fairly large vehicle for its class, indeed it’s not far short of being a medium sized
model. The wheelbase is a lengthy 4.72 metres. It is 4.42 metres long, 1.83 metres wide
and has a height of 1.55 metres.

Kia has an impressive seven-year unlimited distance warranty on all its models. It
continues to surprise us that very few other marques have followed this lead. Surely it isn’t
because they have doubts about the ability of their vehicles to last seven years without

The Niro S HEV gets the latest iteration of the Kia Tiger grille with halogen headlights and
LED daytime running lights and taillights. The GT-Line variants get LED headlights. The S
HEV runs on 16-inch alloy wheels, the two EV models on 17-inch and the S GT-line on

The gloss-black roof rails are a nice touch and add an upmarket look to the Niro.

Niro has pretty good interior space for its class and the styling is attractive with a relatively
modern look.

The Niro Hybrid has 425 litres of boot space with the rear seats up, or 1419 litres with the
second row folded. To achieve this volume there’s a space-saver spare under the boot

The model we tested has a 10.25-inch central screen as well as a 10.25-inch instrument
display. These sit in a wide panel that stretches across most of the front of the dash area.

The quality is high and it’s easy to read them at a quick glance. This is an important safety
feature as, despite my best intentions, I do tend to look at the centre screen to change
radio stations or for other reasons.

Niro has a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine producing 77kW of power and 144Nm of
torque. It combines with a 32kW 170Nm electric motor to produce 104 kW and 265 Nm.

Kia Niro has autonomous emergency braking including car, pedestrian, cyclist and
intersection intervention.

Lane-keep and lane-follow assist is handy for driver who aren’t paying full attention and
tend to wander about from time to time.

Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert and avoidance is fitted to all models of the Niro.

Our test car had safe-exit assist to prevent opening the door into an approaching car or
cyclist. Reverse parking collision avoidance is handy as it can be all but impossible to see
others vehicles, or people on foot when revising in tight carparks.

Performance is very good with the usual instantaneous response from the accelerator
that’s such a delightful part of any vehicle with electricity as part, or all, of its powertrain.

It’s a comparatively heavy vehicle so it doesn’t have a huge amount of get up and go that
we like in our vehicles. Those using it in a normal manner will almost certainly find it more
than adequate.

Handling is good as Niro and other Kia models are specially set up to suit the needs and
desires of Australian drivers. It turns in promptly and holds the road at speeds that aren’t
likely to be used by drivers of family cars.

There is a head-up display for the driver, but as happens all too often it doesn’t work well if
you’re wearing polarising sunglasses – as I do. Some carmakers have prevented this
problem by angling the display in a slightly different direction. Kia may care to try this in an
update – here’s hoping.

The front seats are a good size and we found them comfortable even after several long
drives we did as part of our road test reviews.

The squared off rear end mean that the getting in and out of the back part of the cabin is
easy. Rear seat passengers also have space but if those in the front set their seats back a
long way some in the back may find their legroom is tight. It makes sense to take people
who are going to be sitting in these seats to come along to the showroom and try them out
for size. This may mean you not buying this model and perhaps trying a larger Kia, or
perhaps going to look at rival cars.

There are air vents in the back of the centre console so the passengers have an even
more pleasant ride.

Hyundai says the hybrid models have combined fuel usage of 4.0L/100km for the hybrid.
We used three to four litres per hundred during open road driving and five to seven litres
per hundred kilometres in city and suburban running.

Kia Niro hybrid is an exceptional vehicle in many ways, it has minimal fuel consumption if
driven correctly and is still pretty economical if you push hard. It’s attractively styled and
practical. Combined with that very impressive warranty it’s certainly one to be added to
your list of vehicles under consideration in its class.


Looks: 8/10
Performance: 7/10
Safety: 7/10
Thirst: 8/10 (HEV), 9/10 (EV)
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 8/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 8/10 (HEV), 5/10 (EV)

Niro S HEV: $44,380
Niro GT-Line HEV: $50,030
Niro S EV: $65,300
Niro GT-Line EV: $72,100
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Kia dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Kia Niro HEV petrol/electric hybrid five-door wagon)

Capacity: 1.580 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 77 kW @ 5700 rpm
Maximum Torque: 144 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Fuel Type: 91 RON
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02):4.0 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 91 g/km

DRIVELINE: Six-speed automatic

Length: 4420 mm
Wheelbase: 2720 mm
Width: 1825 mm
Height: 1545 mm
Turning Circle: 10.6 metres
Kerb Mass: 1454 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 42 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Seven years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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