Kia Niro review

Kia Niro Hybrid (

We test drive the Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid and EV versions of the all-new second generation Kia Niro…

The Niro compact crossover is an important car for Kia. After the slightly larger Sportage, it’s the South Korean brand’s second most successful model.

A genuine game-changer when it was launched in 2016, it was available with self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid or 100% electric powertrains and offered practicality, peace of mind and economy at an affordable price.

Fast forward six years and more than 70,000 have been sold, while 55% of all Niro sales are fully electric. In fact, the e-Niro was the UK’s second best-selling EV in 2021.

The success of the all-electric version especially was no surprise, given the value for money it offered, plus that 282-mile range.

Kia Niro Hybrid

Now it’s time for the second-generation Niro. Again, there are hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions, and this time round it’s slightly bigger (65mm longer, 20mm taller and 10mm wider) and the interior features a higher proportion of sustainable and recycled materials.

Pricing starts at £27,745 (Niro Hybrid), followed by the Niro Plug-in Hybrid (£32,775) and the popular Niro EV from £34,995. Note, it’s no longer badged ‘e-Niro’.

There are three trim levels (‘2’, ‘3’ or ‘4’) and a choice of eight colours, with top spec ‘4’ models offered with an eye-catching two-tone paint option which features the C-pillar in contrasting Steel Grey or Black Pearl, depending on the chosen body colour.

Naturally, there are differences in spec and equipment between the trim levels, but as standard you get goodies such as LED headlights, rear parking sensors and camera system, a touchscreen display with DAB radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus driver assistance technologies such as Forward Collision Avoidance with car, pedestrian and cyclist recognition and junction crossing – and Smart Cruise Control.

Kia Niro Hybrid

Top-of-the-range ‘4’ grade models get a head-up display, twin 10.25-inch touchscreen, an instrument cluster display, heated rear seats and ventilated front seats, a power operated tailgate, electric sunroof, an uprated Harman Kardon premium sound system, driver’s side memory seating, and front passenger lumbar support.

There’s also Remote Smart Parking Assist, Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist and PU vegan leather seat coverings, containing Tencel from eucalyptus trees.

The all-new Niro EV combines a 64.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and a 201bhp electric motor.

Torque is rated at 255 Nm, and it can accelerate from 0-to-62 mph in 7.8 seconds. More importantly, an electric driving range of 285 miles is claimed.

Kia Niro Hybrid

Recharging from 10-80% takes as little as 45 minutes – up to nine minutes quicker than the outgoing model.

In colder months, the system uses navigation-based conditioning to pre-heat the battery when a charge point is selected as a destination, which helps shorten charge times and optimise battery performance.

The Niro Hybrid has a 1.6-litre petrol engine paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. There’s also a 43bhp electric motor and small 1.32kW battery, delivering a combined maximum power output of 139bhp.

It can accelerate from standstill to 60mph in 10.4 seconds, fuel economy is up to 64.2mpg, while CO2 emissions are 100g/km.

The Niro Hybrid (and Plug-in Hybrid) also feature a new ‘Green Zone’ drive mode, which automatically switches to electric power based on location guidance from the navigation system, driver patterns, or manual selection by the driver.

Kia Niro Hybrid

Expected to be popular with business users because of its low CO2 emissions and tax benefits, the Niro Plug-in Hybrid uses the same 1.6-litre engine as the Hybrid, a larger 11.1kw battery (it takes about 2.5 hours to charge it at home) and an 83bhp electric motor, producing a combined 180bhp and 265Nm of torque.

Crucially, it has an electric-only driving range of up to 40 miles – more than enough to complete the average daily commute in the UK.

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid can cover the 0-60mph sprint in 9.4 seconds, CO2 emissions are just 18g/km, while fuel economy could be as high as 353mpg (in theory).

Whichever version you go for, the new Niro is a much bolder looking crossover than the outgoing car with angular design cues and a hint of the larger Sportage. And those sharper looks continue to the rear corners which feature high-set upright boomerang-shaped lights.

The smart interior is attractive, and well designed, with twin 10.25-inch displays giving the dashboard a wow factor. Featuring slick, sharp graphics, the infotainment system is intuitive to use – something of a Kia trademark. Broadly speaking, the quality of the cabin, in terms of materials used and build quality, is good, but it won’t worry premium rivals.

Kia Niro Hybrid

There’s a real feeling of space and plenty of leg and headroom for adults in the back, while luggage capacity varies depending on the model chosen. For the record, the Plug-in Hybrid has 346 litres, the Hybrid gets 451 litres, and the EV boasts 475 litres. Flip the rear seats and you get 1,342, 1,445 or 1,392 litres.

You sit quite high in the comfortable seats so there’s a commanding driving position. Visibility is generally good, but those chunky rear pillars leave a bit of a blind spot.

The three versions of the Niro each have their own character. Naturally, the Niro EV is the smoothest and most refined of the trio.

It’s swift without being gut-wrenchingly quick like some other electric cars. And for a crossover with no performance SUV pretensions, it handles well (with the accent on comfort). Sure, there’s some body roll if it’s pushed, but it’s well controlled and it generally feels planted.

There’s good traction through the front wheels, while the all-round grip is impressive. There are various drive modes, and you can also adjust the level of brake energy recuperation using paddles behind the steering wheel. It’s worth playing around with them, but we found the normal/mid settings worked best for us.

Kia Niro Hybrid

The Plug-in Hybrid is refined too, unless you floor it and the petrol engine kicks in. Drive sensibly and the transition between electric and petrol, and vice versa, is much smoother.

There’s more than enough performance on tap for everyday driving and it works well with the six-speed automatic gearbox. Obviously, EV mode is a joy, if not as quick as it’s pure electric sibling.

With a firm suspension and sharp steering, it’s a lively performer and more agile than you might think, but as with the EV, it’s at its best cruising along.

The lethargic full Hybrid is the most disappointing version of the Niro. It’s not a bad car, but its shortcomings are apparent when it’s tested alongside the PHEV and EV models.

Not only is it down on power compared to its siblings, but the six-speed automatic gearbox can be tiresome. It’s fine at city speeds, but can become hesitant on faster roads, meaning the engine is more vocal, resulting is a far less relaxed driving experience.

Kia Niro Hybrid

On the plus side, it will slip into EV mode for short bursts in stop-start traffic or when manoeuvring, CO2 emissions are low, and the fuel economy is comparable.

The Hybrid has a slightly softer ride than the PHEV, and again is easy to drive. Just don’t push it.

The Niro hasn’t been tested for safety by Euro NCAP, but we’d expect it to get a maximum five stars (like the Sportage and EV6) because it’s packed with driver assistance and safety technology.

Finally, the Niro comes with a large dose of peace of mind because, as with all Kia cars, it comes with a generous seven-year warranty.

Verdict: The all-new Kia Niro family-sized crossover is a step-up from its predecessor, offering a winning blend of good looks, space, safety, practicality, generous equipment levels and comfort.

Kia UK

Kia Sportage PHEV review

Kia Sportage PHEV review

Earlier in 2022 Kia launched the superb fifth-generation Sportage – one of the most striking new crossovers on the road.

Rocking a bold, confident new design and hi-tech interior, it was initially available with a choice of petrol, diesel and hybrid (mild, self-charging) engines.

Now a plug-in hybrid version has joined the award-winning range – and the best just got better.

Kia Sportage PHEV review

But first the bad news. Whereas the Sportage line-up starts at £26,775, the PHEV variant debuts at £38,395, rising to £43,795.

The good news is that it has a theoretical fuel economy of 252mpg, and an emissions-free EV driving range of up to 43 miles.

And with official overall CO2 emissions of 25g/km and 8% benefit in kind (BIK), it’s particularly attractive to company car users.

Kia Sportage PHEV review

The Sportage is the South Korean brand’s best-selling car and the new model is already a firm fixture in the UK’s Top 10 most popular new cars.

The PHEV looks much the same as its conventional and lesser hybrid powered Sportage siblings, except for the extra ‘fuel’ flap for plugging it in (the battery can be fully charged in as little as 1hr 45m via a 7.2kW connection) and it has a slightly reduced boot capacity (down from 591 litres to 540 litres) because of the larger battery.

The Sportage Plug-in Hybrid features a 1.6-litre T-GDi petrol engine, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, working in tandem with a 66.9kW electric motor and a 13.8kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack.

Kia Sportage PHEV review

This powertrain combination delivers a total of 261bhp, a 0-60mph time of just 7.9 seconds, and a top speed of 119mph. What’s more, all plug-in hybrid versions of the Sportage get all-wheel drive.

Elsewhere, the Sportage PHEV is much the same as the rest of the range. In other words, it has serious road presence, echoing some of the futuristic styling cues of its pure electric big brother, the EV6.

Inside, it’s just as radical with a smart two-screen infotainment set-up. As standard, there’s a an 8.0-inch main touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and additional digital driver’s display on the right. From GT-Line spec up there’s a larger 12.3-inch screen in the centre.

Kia Sportage PHEV review

The curved console is clear, bright, responsive and intuitive to use. There’s plenty of space for adults front and back, while the luggage capacity expands to a useful 1,715 litres when the 40:20:40 split rear seats are flipped.

On the road, the Sportage PHEV is easy to drive with light steering and a commanding driving position, delivering good all-round visibility.

Kia Sportage PHEV review

The overall ride is on the firm side, but not uncomfortably so, and there’s a bit of roll in more challenging corners, but overall it’s a relaxed cruiser.

Switching from Eco to Sport mode alters the throttle and steering responses of the car, but stay in the latter for too long and it will dent your fuel economy (which can dip into the late 40s on longer runs when the battery has depleted).

In addition, there are two main drive modes – EV (prioritises battery power) and HEV (blends power from the engine too, which is more efficient on longer journeys), plus AWD terrain modes for Snow, Mud and Sand.

Kia Sportage PHEV review

The PHEV powertrain delivers a surprising amount of poke and the switch from engine to electric and vice versa is seamless. The engine itself is refined, only becoming vocal if pushed hard.

A slick-shifting gearbox completes the picture. It’s a traditional automatic, as opposed to a high-revving CVT which so often blights hybrid driving experiences.

The PHEV is heavier than other Sportages, but it hides the extra battery weight well, while grip and traction are impressive, partly down to the AWD system.

Kia Sportage PHEV review

The Sportage is packed with the latest safety and driver assistance kit including autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and, as with all Kia cars, it comes with a generous seven-year warranty.

Rivals in the family PHEV SUV sector include the Hyundai Tucson, Peugeot 3008, Ford Kuga and Vauxhall Grandland.

Rivals in the family PHEV SUV sector include the Hyundai Tucson, Peugeot 3008, Ford Kuga and Vauxhall Grandland.

Verdict: The plug-in hybrid version of the Kia Sportage is the highlight of an already fantastic family SUV line-up. Its blend of economy, striking looks, hi-tech interior, practicality, top safety features and peace of mind make it stand out from the crowd.

Kia UK

Kia Sportage PHEV review

Wimbledon stars and their cars

Novak Djokovic – an ambassador for PEUGEOT

With Wimbledon fast approaching, all eyes are on the world’s elite players as they battle for one of the sport’s most lucrative prizes.

Overall, there’s £40.35 million worth of prize money to play for, spread out over four rounds, the semi-finals and the finals.

The 2022 Wimbledon winners will win £2m each and the runners-up get a cool £1.05m, with much more to be earned via sponsorships.

As a result, the most famous tennis players boast some of the world’s best car collections.

Prestige car experts Anglo Scottish Asset Finance know a thing or two about luxury cars, and they’ve taken a look at some of the car collections of some of tennis’s most famous players to find out who’s got the biggest and best car collection.

Novak Djokovic
Estimated value of car collection: £830,000
Six-time Wimbledon winner and holder of 20 Grand Slam Men’s singles, Serbian legend Novak Djokovic is a well-known petrolhead. A brand ambassador for Peugeot, Djokovic is the owner of numerous electric cars, one of which is a limited edition E-208 bestowed on him by Peugeot. He is also the proud owner of a Tesla Model X.

As well as his electric cars, Djokovic’s collection includes a series of sportier motors, including an Audi R8, Aston Martin DB9 (worth over £200,000), and Bentley GT Continental. For everyday use, where a more understated car is required, he also has a Fiat 500.

With Djokovic’s Aston Martin retailing for over £200,000, and his Bentley, Audi R8 and Mercedes S500 all retailing for over £100,000, his collection will be the envy of petrolheads around the world.

Rafael Nadal
Estimated value of car collection: £836,000
With 21 Grand Slam titles and two Wimbledon wins, Nadal holds the most Men’s singles titles in history. Having faced Djokovic 58 times, their rivalry is considered one of the greatest ever – and their car collections rival each other too.

Sponsored by Kia, Nadal was gifted their most exciting sports car – the Kia Stinger GT, boasting 365hp and twin-turbo V6 engine. Nadal clearly feels the need for speed, as the owner of an Aston Martin DBS and Ferrari 458 Italia, the fastest car in his collection, with a top speed of 203mph. He even owns a Mercedes AMG GTS, adorned with an eye-catching tennis ball paint job.

When it comes to cars, Nadal might just edge Djokovic out. With the Aston Martin and Ferrari alone worth almost £500,000, the estimated value of his collection just pips that of his competitor.

Serena Williams
Estimated value of car collection: £637,000
Winner of 23 Grand Slams, Serena Williams is one of the most decorated women’s players of all time, and has the car collection to match! Williams owns an Aston Martin Vanquish, having been previously sponsored by the British car manufacturer, and is also the owner of a Bentley Continental GT.

Williams is the owner of a Mercedes G-wagon, and her garage is also home to some slightly more accessible ‘everyday’ cars, like a 2016 Mini Cooper, and a Lincoln Navigator. Upon becoming the face of Lincoln in 2018, Williams immediately got behind the wheel of a Navigator, which she had owned as her first car years prior – her beloved SUV was back.

Williams’ Aston Martin Vanquish, worth over £300,000, is the figurehead of her collection, which is estimated to be worth well over £600,000.

jaguaripace.

Andy Murray
Estimated value of car collection: £444,000
Having passed his driving test just five months before, Scottish hero Andy Murray ditched his understated VW Polo for a bright red Ferrari 430 – quite the improvement! However, after admitting that he felt like ‘a bit of a prat,’ Murray switched the Ferrari for a classier Aston Martin DB9, made famous by James Bond.

In 2015, Murray won the Munich Open, his first title on clay. A BMW i8 was included as part of his prize, and he also became the owner of a Jaguar I-Pace as a result of a sponsorship deal with Jaguar. Despite his ever-growing car collection, Murray still owns his original VW Polo, stating: ‘I enjoy driving it. It was my first car and I’m attached to it.’

Murray’s understated British charm extends to his car collection – whilst not as lavish as Nadal or Djokovic, his garage oozes class.

Roger Federer
Estimated value of car collection: £638,000
Suave Swiss player Roger Federer has developed a stunning car collection over the years, having held a lucrative contract with Mercedes-Benz since 2008. Federer owns at least six different models.

Federer is famously the owner of a sunburst-yellow Mercedes AMG GTS, as well as an AMG G63, more commonly known as a G-wagon. Boasting a Mercedes for every occasion, Federer has a convertible SL AMG for a sunny afternoon and a 4×4 Mercedes AMG GLE 63 S – there’s plenty of horsepower in his garage. He also owns a Range Rover – a staple of the pro sportsman’s car garage.

Though we’re sure Federer will have paid nothing for his car collection, it’s still the envy of car owners around the world, worth well over £600,000.

Naomi Osaka
Estimated value of car collection: > £250,000
A four-time Grand Slam singles champion, Naomi Osaka secured a sponsorship with Nissan in 2018 after beating Serena Williams in the U.S. Open. As part of their partnership, Nissan released a series of limited edition GT-Rs.

Osaka helped pick the colour combinations for the new GT-Rs, which she described as her ‘dream car.’ Available in Midnight Opal, Brilliant White Pearl and Meteor Flake Black Pearl, the production run of the new GT-Rs was limited to 50, making Osaka the owner of one of the rarest cars on this list. 

Whilst we don’t know much about Osaka’s other motors, you can expect her uber-rare limited edition GT-R to fetch at least £250,000!

From powerful sports cars to G-wagons and luxury 4x4s, tennis’s biggest stars rightly own some of the best cars on the planet – which will maintain their value on account of being owned by a famous tennis player!

Despite having the option of owning any car on the planet, it’s nice to know that there’s still room in Andy Murray’s garage for his old VW Polo.

“Many of the world’s top sportspeople pride themselves on their car collection, and tennis is no different,” said Allan Hetherington, Head of Prestige Car Finance at Anglo Scottish.

“However, with personalised prestige car finance options available, you need not feel priced out of affording your dream car.”

Wimbledon stars and their cars

Novak Djokovic – an ambassador for PEUGEOT

With Wimbledon fast approaching, all eyes are on the world’s elite players as they battle for one of the sport’s most lucrative prizes.

Overall, there’s £40.35 million worth of prize money to play for, spread out over four rounds, the semi-finals and the finals.

The 2022 Wimbledon winners will win £2m each and the runners-up get a cool £1.05m, with much more to be earned via sponsorships.

As a result, the most famous tennis players boast some of the world’s best car collections.

Prestige car experts Anglo Scottish Asset Finance know a thing or two about luxury cars, and they’ve taken a look at some of the car collections of some of tennis’s most famous players to find out who’s got the biggest and best car collection.

Novak Djokovic
Estimated value of car collection: £830,000
Six-time Wimbledon winner and holder of 20 Grand Slam Men’s singles, Serbian legend Novak Djokovic is a well-known petrolhead. A brand ambassador for Peugeot, Djokovic is the owner of numerous electric cars, one of which is a limited edition E-208 bestowed on him by Peugeot. He is also the proud owner of a Tesla Model X.

As well as his electric cars, Djokovic’s collection includes a series of sportier motors, including an Audi R8, Aston Martin DB9 (worth over £200,000), and Bentley GT Continental. For everyday use, where a more understated car is required, he also has a Fiat 500.

With Djokovic’s Aston Martin retailing for over £200,000, and his Bentley, Audi R8 and Mercedes S500 all retailing for over £100,000, his collection will be the envy of petrolheads around the world.

Rafael Nadal
Estimated value of car collection: £836,000
With 21 Grand Slam titles and two Wimbledon wins, Nadal holds the most Men’s singles titles in history. Having faced Djokovic 58 times, their rivalry is considered one of the greatest ever – and their car collections rival each other too.

Sponsored by Kia, Nadal was gifted their most exciting sports car – the Kia Stinger GT, boasting 365hp and twin-turbo V6 engine. Nadal clearly feels the need for speed, as the owner of an Aston Martin DBS and Ferrari 458 Italia, the fastest car in his collection, with a top speed of 203mph. He even owns a Mercedes AMG GTS, adorned with an eye-catching tennis ball paint job.

When it comes to cars, Nadal might just edge Djokovic out. With the Aston Martin and Ferrari alone worth almost £500,000, the estimated value of his collection just pips that of his competitor.

Serena Williams
Estimated value of car collection: £637,000
Winner of 23 Grand Slams, Serena Williams is one of the most decorated women’s players of all time, and has the car collection to match! Williams owns an Aston Martin Vanquish, having been previously sponsored by the British car manufacturer, and is also the owner of a Bentley Continental GT.

Williams is the owner of a Mercedes G-wagon, and her garage is also home to some slightly more accessible ‘everyday’ cars, like a 2016 Mini Cooper, and a Lincoln Navigator. Upon becoming the face of Lincoln in 2018, Williams immediately got behind the wheel of a Navigator, which she had owned as her first car years prior – her beloved SUV was back.

Williams’ Aston Martin Vanquish, worth over £300,000, is the figurehead of her collection, which is estimated to be worth well over £600,000.

jaguaripace.

Andy Murray
Estimated value of car collection: £444,000
Having passed his driving test just five months before, Scottish hero Andy Murray ditched his understated VW Polo for a bright red Ferrari 430 – quite the improvement! However, after admitting that he felt like ‘a bit of a prat,’ Murray switched the Ferrari for a classier Aston Martin DB9, made famous by James Bond.

In 2015, Murray won the Munich Open, his first title on clay. A BMW i8 was included as part of his prize, and he also became the owner of a Jaguar I-Pace as a result of a sponsorship deal with Jaguar. Despite his ever-growing car collection, Murray still owns his original VW Polo, stating: ‘I enjoy driving it. It was my first car and I’m attached to it.’

Murray’s understated British charm extends to his car collection – whilst not as lavish as Nadal or Djokovic, his garage oozes class.

Roger Federer
Estimated value of car collection: £638,000
Suave Swiss player Roger Federer has developed a stunning car collection over the years, having held a lucrative contract with Mercedes-Benz since 2008. Federer owns at least six different models.

Federer is famously the owner of a sunburst-yellow Mercedes AMG GTS, as well as an AMG G63, more commonly known as a G-wagon. Boasting a Mercedes for every occasion, Federer has a convertible SL AMG for a sunny afternoon and a 4×4 Mercedes AMG GLE 63 S – there’s plenty of horsepower in his garage. He also owns a Range Rover – a staple of the pro sportsman’s car garage.

Though we’re sure Federer will have paid nothing for his car collection, it’s still the envy of car owners around the world, worth well over £600,000.

Naomi Osaka
Estimated value of car collection: > £250,000
A four-time Grand Slam singles champion, Naomi Osaka secured a sponsorship with Nissan in 2018 after beating Serena Williams in the U.S. Open. As part of their partnership, Nissan released a series of limited edition GT-Rs.

Osaka helped pick the colour combinations for the new GT-Rs, which she described as her ‘dream car.’ Available in Midnight Opal, Brilliant White Pearl and Meteor Flake Black Pearl, the production run of the new GT-Rs was limited to 50, making Osaka the owner of one of the rarest cars on this list. 

Whilst we don’t know much about Osaka’s other motors, you can expect her uber-rare limited edition GT-R to fetch at least £250,000!

From powerful sports cars to G-wagons and luxury 4x4s, tennis’s biggest stars rightly own some of the best cars on the planet – which will maintain their value on account of being owned by a famous tennis player!

Despite having the option of owning any car on the planet, it’s nice to know that there’s still room in Andy Murray’s garage for his old VW Polo.

“Many of the world’s top sportspeople pride themselves on their car collection, and tennis is no different,” said Allan Hetherington, Head of Prestige Car Finance at Anglo Scottish.

“However, with personalised prestige car finance options available, you need not feel priced out of affording your dream car.”

Kia EV6 GT to debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Gareth Herincx

3 days ago
Auto News

The high performance version of Kia’s award-winning EV6 crossover will be taking to the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s famous hillclimb several times throughout the weekend (June 23-26).

Kia claims the all-electric EV6 GT “combines exhilarating performance, first-class long-distance travel capabilities, ultra-fast charging tech, and an impressive real-world driving range for effortless cross-country touring”.

Kia’s most powerful production car to date, its dual-motor powertrain delivers 577 bhp (585 PS) and 740 Nm torque. It can accelerate from 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds and boasts a top speed of 162mph (260km/h).

The car features a GT button on the steering wheel, activating its ‘GT’ mode. This automatically optimises the vehicle’s e-motors, braking, steering, suspension, e-LSD and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems for their most dynamic settings for a more engaging drive.

Drivers can also tailor the car’s ride, handling and performance characteristics to suit their individual preferences by selecting the ‘My Drive’ mode.

The car will be driven throughout the weekend by rally pro Jade Paveley – 2021 British Rally Cross Country Championship (BXCC) Class T2 Champion and 2018 Junior Welsh Tarmac Rally Champion.

She is also the end-of-stage reporter for the World Rally Championship and European World Rally Championship, and Marketing Director for Llandudno Kia, a Kia dealership in North Wales.

Between drives, the EV6 GT will be on display throughout the event in the ‘First Glance Paddock’. UK customer deliveries of the EV6 GT start at the end of 2022, with the car available to order from £59,995.

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