Review: 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid

Posted by Motorama in Vehicle Reviews

The 2021 Kia Niro is the first Kia available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and an electric variant. That makes it Kia's first step in the world of alternative fuel and they don't skimp on the options they offer. Let's have a look at the hybrid first!

Initial Impression

The self-charging hybrid Kia Niro combines the efficiency of a hybrid with the a fun-to-drive aspects of a crossover SUV - and puts all of this is a sleek, modern jacket. The parallel, hybrid powertrain seamlessly blends petrol and electric power – without the need for external charging – for a ride with hybrid efficiency.

Inside, the Kia Niro gives you advanced connectivity, combined with of comfort and versatility, plus a range of intuitive technology and features. It looks the part, with ample road presence and cool styling. The Niro boosts the well known 'tiger nose' grill and recognisable headlights from other models in the family.


Driveability

With a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine the Kia Niro Hybrid has enough get up and go. Mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that smoothly transfers the power to the front-wheels you can choose to either drive the Niro more sporty or comfortable and in peace. It has an electric motor as part of the transmission, so it will actually change gears in electric driving. The hybrid has a 1.56kWh battery pack, and its electric motor has a maximum power output of 32kW and maximum torque of 170Nm

Fuel economy is good as to be expected, with a claim of 5.4L/100km, especially considering it's size: the Niro measure 4355mm long (which is just 5.0mm more than the Kia Seltos), has 160mm ground clearance and weights 1444kg. Meanwhile, Kia has reserved blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, and LED headlights with high beam assist for the Sport model and decided not to fit it to the base-model S.

ANCAP recently awarded the new Kia Niro a maximum five-star safety rating, so you know you're in safe hands.

Liveability

Starting in the drivers seat, the Niro’s driving position is quite practical, with a clear view of the widescreen digital instrument cluster from the very comfortable seat. All Niro models come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are easy to use via the large 10.25-inch digital touchscreen. The materials in the cabin are modern, and the design contemporary, as is to be expected from a car with 'futuristic' fuel possibilities.

Moving to the back seat, you'll see that there is enough space for another two adults, but they shouldn't be too tall. The Niro is a compact car after all, but you don't have to worry not being able to fit your passengers. This could also include your kids, who's seats are easy to fit due to the two ISOFIX mounting points and three top tethers. If not carrying people, there's enough space for all your cargo thanks to the 60:40 split fold and low rear bumper and tailgate allowing for a low load height. The cargo area is good for this size car: 410 litres in total and a space-saver tyre in the boot.

Standard safety equipment on all models includes seven airbags, autonomous emergency braking, radar cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, individual tyre pressure monitors, lead-vehicle departure alert (except EV models), and a rear camera and sensors. Next to that the Hybrid Niro is fitted with halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, 16-inch alloys, LED rear lighting, roof rails, auto headlights, auto wipers, auto high-beam lights and a leather steering wheel.

Cost

There are three variants in the 2021 Kia Niro range, each available in a S and Sport variant, the latter being the more expensive, better equipped version.

The Kia Niro Hybrid S starts just under $42k drive-away, while the Kia Niro Hybrid Sport sits just under the $46k mark.

The Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid S starts adds $7000 to the price of the equivalent hybrid, staying below $50k, while the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Sport starts around $54k drive-away.

The Kia Niro Electric S starts sets you back around $67k drive-away, while the top-level Kia Niro Electric Sport sits just above $70k.

Every variant in the range is covered by Kia’s seven-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty, along with seven-year roadside assist and capped-price servicing. With servicing, the Niro needs to visit the workshop every 15,000km (or 12 months), and will cost $3000 over these seven years.

Conclusion

With the Niro Kia has entered the market for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles all in one go! It's a quirky, funky car that has plenty of power for around town in all three versions. At the same time, is super capable on a long road trip without getting range anxiety. It's passenger comfort for adults and kids is exceptional, and with the latest safety tech, you know there isn't a safer car to be in.

Whatever version fits you best, you'll only know when you experience it for yourself at our Moorooka or Browns Plains dealership. Come & test drive one today!

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