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Kia Niro In love with the shape?

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Hybrid cars are hot. As are crossovers, which are selling like hot cakes, except with a higher price tag! And here comes a new combo – a hybrid crossover. Say hello to the Kia Niro, an all-new hybrid in the shape of… you guessed it, a crossover.

So what is the Kia Niro all about, and should you buy one?

1. What is it?

The Niro is Kia’s first dedicated hybrid car; now being offered for sale globally. To capitalise on the crossover boom, Kia has wisely opted to clothe its eco creation in ‘crossover body-style’. This, combined with the car’s attractive pricing and extensive list of standard features, should go a long way towards helping the Niro become a sales success.

2. What’s it like?

Quite normal really. While some hybrids make a big show about their green credentials, the Niro chooses to take a quieter, less showy road. There is actually very little to give away the Niro’s hybrid status, other than a few badges, the battery display in the instrument panel, and the sheer silence of the drivetrain upon startup.

Otherwise, the Niro is just like any other crossover out there. There’s plenty of space thanks to its high roof and clever interior packaging, and like most recent Kia offerings, the Niro is well packed with goodies. Among the standard equipment, you get ventilated seats, a blind spot indicator, an electric driver’s seat with memory function, and a wireless phone charger. Neat.

The Niro shares its drivetrain with its sister hybrid, the Hyundai Ioniq, and thus is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to an electric motor, for a total output of 141bhp and 265Nm of torque. It drives like any other crossover, easy to handle and fuss free, and the hybrid powertrain provides the Niro with a fair bit of pep in its performance. All good really.

3. Should I buy one?

There really aren’t that many options out there for those looking for a hybrid-powered crossover. Kia has spotted the opening in the market and is capitalising on it with the Niro. In time to come, this gap may well be filled by other carmakers, but in the meantime, if you want to save the planet without compromising your weekend activities, the Niro makes for a very good choice.

For more car reviews and motoring tips, look out for regular posts in this series.

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