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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Kia Niro

Overall verdict
Not at all charismatic, but if you want low running costs it has logic.


Quiet and economical in town and suburbs, roomy enough


Lacks performance for open-road overtaking


What is it?

On paper, it’s among the most fashionable cars on the planet. It’s both a crossover (very much the body style of the moment) and a hybrid (the powertrain _de nos jours_). OK so the crossover part is a bit unconvincing: it hardly has the aggression buyers usually demand. But it does have pretty decent space for family duties. The hybrid system uses a smallish naturally-aspirated petrol engine plus an electric system to recapture wasted deceleration energy and re-use it to augment the engine when you ask for full-beans acceleration. By the way, Kia says there will never be a combustion-only Niro, but next year there will be one with a bigger battery and plug-in capability.


Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
1.6 GDi PHEV 3 5dr DCT
10.8s 29g/km 217.3 139 £31,140
The cheapest
1.6 GDi Hybrid 2 5dr DCT
11.5s 86g/km 76.3 139 £23,690
The greenest
1.6 GDi PHEV 3 5dr DCT
10.8s 29g/km 217.3 139 £31,140
Continue: Driving