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The Top Gear car review:Kia Niro
For:Quiet and economical in town and suburbs, roomy enough
Against: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.