Kia Niro Review 2024

Kia Niro At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The new Kia Niro manages to be both rational and likeable. The looks may divide opinion but it's certainly more characterful than the old one, while it's decent (if unexciting) to drive, offers very low running costs and a spacious and high-tech cabin.

+Spacious, smart and well-equipped interior. Less bland than the old Niro. Smooth and easy hybrid driving experience.

-Looks may divide opinion. Self-charging hybrid feels strained when revved. No longer the class bargain.

The new, second-generation Kia Niro aims to double down on the huge success of the old model. Adding extra desirability inside and out, it continues the traits that make the old model so popular; namely very low running costs and the choice of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric power. In this review we'll see if the new Kia Niro can again hit the spot. 

Did you know how important the Niro is to Kia? The hybrid and electric SUV is the second most popular model Kia sells in the UK - only the bigger Sportage has outsold it. 

Not only that, but the fully electric e-Niro has been the second most popular EV in Britain for two years running. Only Tesla has pipped it after its remarkable recent growth. 

You don't want to mess up a car with that weight on its shoulders. But the new Kia Niro's positioning is a a bit confusing at first. You see, Kia now sells the Sportage with two types of hybrid, and also sells both the Soul EV and (rather excellent) EV6 as its electric SUVs. Oh, and there's also Stonic and Xceed to cover the smaller SUV sectors. 

So where does the Niro fit in? Well, it's the most affordable properly electrified Kia, if we forget the mild hybrids. And as the Sportage has grown in size, it sits in that in-between space by being much more practical than a small SUV but cheaper and easier to park than a chunky large family SUV. It's also lower to the ground, more like a tall hatchback, which benefits efficiency.

Key rivals for the hybrid Niro include the Honda HR-V, the Toyota C-HR and the Renault Arkana E-Tech. In this review we'll be focusing on the two hybrid versions of the Niro, but you can check out our new Kia Niro EV review here

As before you can choose your flavour of hybrid. The cheapest, simply badged Niro Hybrid, is the type of self-charging hybrid made popular by the Toyota Prius. As well as being affordable it's a lot lighter than the plug-in modes, doesn't require any effort to charge and delivers consistent fuel economy. 

Then there's the Niro Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). It's a good deal more expensive to buy, but it's noticeably faster, offers a pure electric range of up to 40 miles and - if your journeys keep within that distance - will barely use a drop of fuel. But its main appeal is with company car users thanks to huge benefit-in-kind tax savings. 

The new Kia Niro is larger, more generously equipped, more desirable inside and out and has a much bigger arsenal of tech than the old model. But, as is the way when a new car comes, it's also more expensive. Can Kia justify the extra cash? Read on to find out. 

Want a second opinion? Check out heycar's review of the new Kia Niro.

What does a Kia Niro cost?