In case you haven’t noticed, nearly every manufacturer is rushing to get their own offering onto the forecourt & Kia is no different.
The Niro is one such car sitting alongside the brand’s other crossovers, the Stonic & the X-Ceed. It was Kia's first ever dedicated hybrid model & in recent years the company has been no stranger to automotive electrification. Having established the Niro range, Kia has now moved to improve it, hence the upgraded range we're being introduced to for 2020.
The Niro occupies a useful space within the brand's model line-up in terms of its size. It's 4,355mm in length, 1,800mm wide & 1,535mm tall, making it smaller overall than the brand's larger Sportage Crossover, though occupying a larger footprint than the Cee'd hatchback or the Stonic small SUV. There's nothing particularly exciting about the shape of the Niro but it's likely to attract customers looking at the larger end of the compact crossover segment.
The updated Niro now has better quality than its previous version & has a revised exterior too. There are some things, however, the Niro doesn't do well. This isn't the quickest or most powerful vehicle in its class, & it doesn't offer all-wheel drive, which is rare for an SUV. It also doesn’t feel as upscale as some other hybrid & electric SUVs.
The Niro is, however, a sensible choice for shoppers looking for a small, practical vehicle that has good fuel economy. There are a lot of SUVs that fit that description, many of which are larger & afford more passenger & storage space than the Niro. The Kia Sportage is one of these vehicles & doesn’t cost too much more than the Niro, either.
“Niro will maintain all the practicality & appeal of a compact SUV, while offering greater fuel economy. Engineered from the ground up as a dedicated hybrid vehicle, its attractive, modern styling will help the car stand out in a traditionally conservative sector.”