Kia Niro (2016) Review

Looking for a Kia Niro (2016 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Kia Niro (2016) At A Glance

Easy to drive. Impressive fuel economy and low running costs. Space for a family. 450 litre load area.

Ride quality is sometimes unsettled over country roads.

New prices start from £21,635, brokers can source from £21,161
Contract hire deals from £212.41 per month
On average it achieves 71% of the official MPG figure

It might look like any other crossover, but the Kia Niro is a hybrid, much like a Toyota Prius. That means it has a high driving position and plenty of space for a family, but it's also economical, with low emissions and impressive economy in real world driving.

Power comes from the combination of a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 44PS electric motor, with a total output of 141PS and 265Nm of torque. Official economy is 74.3mpg and emissions are 88g/km, with no plugging in necessary. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard, as opposed to a CVT like the Prius.

The result is a driving experience that will feel more familiar to drivers used to a conventional automatic transmission or a manual gearbox. In fact, the Niro just feels like any other car for the most part, particularly out of town, where it's easy to drive and very comfortable. 

It can operate on electricity alone under some circumstances, such as at low speeds in traffic or when cruising at a steady speed. However, most of the time the engine needs to be working. Fortunately, while it is audible, it’s only really noticeable when accelerating very hard for overtakes or joining motorways.

If you can charge a car at home, there's also a plug-in hybrid model, with an official 36-mile range under electric power alone. The PHEV is only available in one trim level, the 3, meaning it's well equipped but also quite expensive.

Aside from the hybrid system, the Niro is very much like any other crossover. It’s spacious, comfortable and comes with plenty of modern technology, including standard-fit lane keep assist, Bluetooth and cruise control plus, on mid-grade ‘2’ versions, there is navigation and smartphone mirroring through Android Auto.

Space in the back is adequate even for adults, while the boot is a perfectly decent 421 litres, expandable to 1425 litres with the rear seats folded flat. Like all crossovers it has a fairly high load deck compared to hatchbacks, but that’s par for the course and the Niro is no worse than anything else.

If space, performance and convenience technology matter more to you than running cost then there are better choices, including Kia's own Sportage. But the Niro's ease of use, low running costs and impressive economy make it a great alternative to petrol or diesel-powered crossovers like the Nissan Qashqai or the SEAT Ateca - just be prepared to pay a small premium for its hybrid system. 

Looking for a Kia Niro (2016 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Kia Niro (2016)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

42–122 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.


Will my hybrid get the new, green number plate?
Will a 2017 Kia Niro petrol hybrid have the new green number plate?
No, the green number plate is for zero emission vehicles (electric vehicles) only. Hybrid vehicles won't get the part-green reg plate when it's rolled out in autumn.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Can you recommend a small, automatic SUV?
I'm after a small, used SUV with an auto gearbox. I have a budget of £11,000 - £12,000. I'm doing 7000-8000 miles of mixed driving per year. So far I've narrowed it down to Suzuki Vitara, Skoda Yeti and Nissan Qashqai. Any advise will be appreciated.
I really like the Skoda Yeti, but it has had a lot of reported problems over the past few years and it is probably best avoided. I'd say the same for the Qashqai, after its poor showing in our latest Satisfaction Index: The Suzuki Vitara, on the other hand, is a very good car. It also has a strong reputation for reliability and comfort. I would add the Kia Niro and Toyota C-HR to your list, too, as both are easy to use and have a good reputation for build quality.
Answered by Dan Powell
Can I trickle charge a hybrid car?
You recommend trickle charging on a hybrid during self-isolation. We've got a Kia Niro, but I couldn't find visible battery terminals. Any idea where they are?
The 12V battery in the Niro is positioned under the rear seat with the hybrid battery. You can't trickle charge it - instead, if it becomes flat, you need to press (and hold) the 'battery reset' button on your dash. This will use the high voltage battery to charge the 12V battery. If you have any problems, we'd recommend contacting a Kia dealer.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can we afford an eco-friendly car?
We currently have a diesel Skoda Superb. We are looking to change it for the most eco-friendly car we can afford. The Superb is a 2016 model with about 40,000 miles on the clock so we have that to trade in and about £5000 - £7000 extra. Are there any cars that are either electric or hybrid (which might be the only thing available in our price range) that you'd suggest? We like the space of the Superb but could go a bit smaller. Ideally, not smaller than a saloon or crossover.
You could probably get an electric Nissan Leaf or Kia Soul EV within budget, but I'm not sure either will be big enough for your needs. How about a plug-in hybrid like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV? This is a good compromise if you can charge a car at home and you regularly cover short journeys. Most of your journeys can be under electric power with the backup of a petrol engine if required. PHEVs can be thirsty on longer journeys without regular charging, however. Alternatively, consider a conventional hybrid like a Lexus IS 300h or Kia Niro.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Kia Niro (2016) cost?

Buy new from £21,161 (list price from £24,855)
Contract hire from £212.41 per month
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