2022 Kia Niro Review: The best plug-in hybrid family car?
Now like the outgoing nero it is available in three flavors. You can have a hybrid, a plug in hybrid and a full electric nero ev. This is the middle of those three options, its the plug in hybrid, and it combines an electric only range of up to 40 miles with a 1.6 liter petrol engine to fall back on when you run out of charge so whats it like well, obviously, im not Going to tell you that at the start of the video am i just going to have to keep watching and while youre doing that, why not hit the subscribe button and that way you can follow when our new cargos uk videos go live Music, so the nero It has been a hit for kia, in fact, its its second best selling model in this country. Now, a large part of that is because of the nero eevee or the e, nero as it was in the outgoing model, because that was not only very good value. For a long range ev, but its also a very good car, now well do a separate video review on the new nero ev when it arrives in the uk. But if you cant, wait until then head over to cargurus.com at uk and go to the research section because vickys driven abroad and done a full written review, it wasnt just the ev model that buyers loved the hybrid and plug in hybrid were popular too. So popular was it in fact that even as the outgoing nero was going off sale, it was still in the list of the top 10 best selling new cars in the uk, all of which makes you think it would really take something for kia to mess this New model up wouldnt it which i think is probably a good time to start talking about the cars styling.
Now the outgoing nero was not a pretty car. My colleague ivan acedrop described it as having a face like a slapped haggis. This new version, which, incidentally, sits on a whole new platform, certainly isnt dowdy, in fact its well im, not quite sure what it is to be honest, it is impactful lets, say its impactful, so very strange details on this car, these headlights, to me at least, look Like they should be a split level design, only theres, no upper element so actually its its almost as if theyve fallen from here down to here, and then you have this enormous grille, which almost scrapes along the ground, its just a very strange looking car. The side of the car is just as unconventional with tail lights that appear to be as much on the side as they are on the back and its even more striking. If you go for a top spec model with a contrasting three quarter panel thats available in either gray or black, and then there is the rear of the car, which surprise surprise, is fairly unconventional too. I actually think these lights remind me a bit of an mg3, but there are some nice details here so here, for example, theres some little air inlets that channel air through there and then out the back here, and that is good for aerodynamics. And you get this very slim high level brake light. I think that looks cool too um, but yeah its just a very distinctive quirky looking car, so the boot space in this plug in hybrid model is less than you get in the standard, hybrid, so 348.
Liters here versus 451 in the hev standard hybrid model, and that is because you lose pretty much all of the underfloor storage in the plug in all. You get. Is this cubby here where you store the cable, so that is useful in itself um its worth saying that if you are say a family of four or if youre, buying your nero plug in hybrid to use as an airport taxi or something this boot space might Get a bit tight at times, but its still usefully bigger than you get in something like a golf gte plug in hybrid in either the hybrid or plug in hybrid model. You can fold the rear seats to give a floor. That is virtually flat, and if you go for the top spec 4 model, you can make the back seats slightly more upright in order to free up a bit more boot space. Space back here is well actually its excellent, so im 511, the drivers seat, is set for me and look how much legroom ive got theres lots of space under the seat. For my feet, lots of headroom too. If you need to put three adults back here, it is gon na start to feel a bit narrow if youre doing that, often, but if theres three adults that are gon na be going in here, you probably need the next class of car up anyway. So something like a sportage neat features in here, so theres little bottle holders in the doors a couple more in there and kia.
I love the way they put these usbc chargers in the seats, so you can easily charge your devices in the back now. This is a two spec model, its the entry level one and in the two spec you dont get any air vents for the rear passengers. That is one of several reasons we would recommend getting to the three grade. If you can well go into more of those reasons in just a moment, Applause, the interior of this new nero, is in some ways as attention grabbing as the exterior, and there are some really nice details in here. So this two spoke wheel from the ev6 theres. These little grooves into the dash here they didnt need to do that, but it looks cool and quality as well its good everything pretty much feels solid. Its just a nice place to be now im going to mention the specs again, because if you want your nero interior to be all singing or dancing, you do need to go for the three spec car rather than this two spec model, because thats. When this eight inch screen gets replaced with a ten and a quarter, inch infotainment system, which looks much better and also gets rid of this big bit of black plastic here. The other thing it does is get rid of this gear lever, which my cameraman dave described as being like the gear lever in his dads 1973, volvo, which i think is probably a fair description.
Instead on three spec cars and top spec four models, you get a rotary controller, which just looks much nicer. The layout of the dials also varies depending on spec two and three models get the part digital display seen here, whereas 4 spec cars get a full 10 and a quarter inch display now feature wise. This 8 inch infotainment system actually has all the stuff youre likely to want so carplay android, auto its very easy to use. It has very slick menus and its quick to respond so really its just mostly about the aesthetics getting the bigger screen now elsewhere in the interior, weve got lots of storage so cubby there. The glove box is really big. Actually, more storage there, these cup holders that spin round and like in the ev6 and the sporties you get this panel here, which switches between shortcuts for the infotainment and the heater controls its just about a triumph of function over form and its better than having the Controls buried in the touchscreen, but it is a little bit fiddly to use on the move. Music, somewhat unconventionally im going to start this bit of the review by talking about a different car, still a nero but the standard hybrid version, rather than this plug in hybrid model. Now that car is less powerful and slower than this one, it uses a 1.6 litre. Petrol engine and electric motor and battery, of course, and it makes a total output of 1′ horsepower and get from naught to 62 in 10.
4 seconds. This plug in hybrid uses the same 1.6 liter petrol engine, but it has a more powerful electric motor, and so this one makes 180 horsepower and can get from naught to 62 miles per hour in 9.6 seconds. Both cars are adequate when it comes to performance and great when it comes to fuel consumption. In our test of the standard hybrid model we average 52 miles per gallon. As for your plug in hybrid, your fuel economy is going to depend on how often you charge its 11.1 kilowatt hour battery as with all plug in hybrids. If you never plug your nero in, then the fuel economy is going to be disappointing. Youll get around 35 to 40 miles per gallon in mixed driving. However, once you plug it in and charge it up, then it can become ridiculously efficient. It will do around 30 to 40 miles on battery power and if you want to save your battery power for later in the journey, you just select this ev button down here and go to hybrid mode. That will keep the battery charge where it is and as long as the battery has got a decent level of charging in this hybrid mode, it will still do around 60 miles per gallon. So running costs in one of these are going to be very low charging. The car takes around three hours from a wall box and like most plug in hybrids, there is no rapid charging so that three hours is as quick as youre gon na be able to charge it.
The drivetrain in this plug in hybrid model, is its actually really well integrated. Its very smooth. The gearbox is a six speed, its not the quickest to respond and change gear, but its fine, its fit for purpose and juggling between the power modes is easy. You just use, as i said before this button down here so theres, the hybrid mode. We talked about theres, electric mode, which will hold it into electric mode as long as youve got enough charge and then theres the automatic mode which will juggle between electric and petrol, depending on the type of driving youre doing and so on. Now, the way it switches between the petrol engine coming in and out is actually very smooth in normal driving. You dont really notice it its only when you put your foot down yeah, it becomes a little bit noisy, not that we should judge the nero too harshly because of this. After all its not meant to be sporty. It does, however, have a sport mode which you access via this handy button, on the steering wheel. Now, sport mode increases the throttle response. It puts a bit more weight in the steering, and it holds on to the gear ratios for longer theres, a decent difference between sport mode and the other driving mode, which is eco. Now that sport mode prompts me to think about specs again, because if you have a three spec car or above you get paddles on the back of the steering wheel and in sport mode, they let you change the gears for yourself in this car.
With this skier lever, you have to move this over and do it that way, but the other clever thing about those paddles is in eco mode. They let you control the level of brake regen. You dont get that in the two spec car, its actually a really neat feature in the nero so another reason to think about getting the three as for ride and handling the neros, its fine. It was never going to be a sports car was it, but actually the ride is pretty decent. Its best on the 16 inch wheels of the two spec car. Once you go to three or four spec, it comes with 18 inch wheels, which are also okay, but they do introduce a bit more of a firm edge, a bit of patter at low speeds. But given weve told you several times now that you should really try and go for the three spec car. Well, i guess youre, just gon na have to live with that arent you, the steering, is slightly vague around the straight ahead and although it weights up consistently, it lacks anything in the way of feel. We will say that the brakes are particularly well judged in this car. They switch between regenerative, braking and friction, braking really smoothly, which isnt always the case with plug in hybrids. So, all in all dynamically, this car is thoroughly competent, its not fun and its not exciting, but it doesnt make any major missteps, either Music, its like a news bulletin when you switch this car off right.
So this new nero despite its fairly wild styling and its high tech interior, it does feel very much like an evolution of the old model. But i think, if youre coming to it, having had the old model for a while, it is going to feel like a decent upgrade and it is just a decent car. You know its roomy inside it drives well running costs are going to be very low. Indeed, the smaller boot in the plug in hybrid model versus the hybrid, i think, is probably going to be the biggest consideration for a lot of people. But overall, this bodes very well for the new nero ev which, as i say, well, do a separate review of soon. In the meantime, i think it is safe to say that this new nero is off to a very good start. Would you consider a kia niro plug in hybrid over the largest sportage or any of its plug in hybrid rivals? Let us know – and please do remember – to subscribe to the channel as well as heading to cargurus.