Kia has really started to push into new European markets in 2016. It recently launched its new D-segment estate, the Optima Sportswagon, and its first foray into the world of hybrids with the Niro SUV.
Although economy-wise it’s not quite as impressive as a Toyota Prius, it’s a slightly less expensive alternative with a decent interior and more conventional styling. That’ll be attractive to many buyers, as not everyone wants to shout about their car’s eco credentials.
So if you’re considering Kia’s handsome crossover but aren’t sure which specification to go for, we’ve done the hard work for you.
There’s only one drivetrain option, which simplifies matters. A 1.6-litre petrol engine works alongside a 32kW electric motor, achieving 74.3mpg and 88g/km of CO2. It is also available with Kia’s seven-year warranty.
As for the rest of the kit on offer, here’s our handy guide to the Kia Niro.
The smart choice for saving money – Grade 1
The entry level Rio starts at £21,295 and does without a lot of the exterior ‘bling’ seen further up the range. With its 16-inch alloy wheels, however, it is the most frugal Niro in the range.
The interior looks and feels fairly basic, but comes with some decent creature comforts such as air conditioning, steering wheel-mounted controls and cruise control.
The infotainment system is well equipped, with DAB radio, MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth connectivity standard across the range.
Safety and security are key selling points for Kia, so the list of standard items makes for impressive reading. Lane assist, impact-sensing auto door unlocking and electronic stability control are all included, while autonomous emergency braking is available as an optional extra.
The smart choice for value – Grade 2
The Grade 2 costs little more than £1,000 more than the 1 and offers a decent amount of extra kit that makes it worth going for if you can afford to.
The interior feels much more luxurious as the black cloth seating is improved with part leather upholstery, while the steering wheel and gearshift are also leather trimmed. Gloss black trim is also added across the interior to add to the premium feel.
A seven-inch touchscreen is also fitted to ‘2’ cars, with satellite navigation and European mapping, reversing camera and Android Auto connectivity.
The smart choice for technophiles – First Edition
To celebrate the launch of its new model, Kia has made a ‘First Edition’ trim level. It’s comfortably the most expensive Niro variant starting at £26,995 but the upgraded kit is impressive.
The 18-inch wheels do negatively affect fuel consumption, dropping the quoted figures to 64.2mpg and 101g/km. They do vastly improve the look of the car, along with other exterior upgrades such as metallic paint as standard and privacy glass.
Bi-Xenon headlights and an electric sunroof are only available on First Edition cars.
Inside, a stone grey leather upholstery is unique to these top-spec cars. The seats are heated and ventilated, while trim on the steering wheel, lower console and door insert are white gloss.