Way more style than before with all the same practicality
Still rather tame from behind the wheel, but that’s missing the point
What is it?
You’re forgiven for asking that question, because this second-generation Niro couldn’t look more different from the dull-as-dishwater first-gen if it tried. Well, it could, but it’d have to miraculously transform into a two-seat sports car or a dune-bashing pickup truck. We can only dream.
As family crossovers go though, this is now a rather striking one. The design was inspired by the brilliantly-named HabaNiro concept that we first saw at the New York auto show back in 2019. It also apparently follows Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ design language, although if you can work out what that means then you clearly understand designer speak better than we do. Not sure if that’s a good thing, really.
Tell me more about the design…
The new Niro gets an angry-looking face with an updated iteration of Kia’s Tiger Nose grille. Up front is where you’ll find the biggest differences from the Niro EV too. You can click these blue words for our full review of that, whereas here we’ll focus on everything with a combustion engine (although that does mean we’re only talking about different types of hybrid).
Anyway, back to the design. There’s plenty of crossover-style black plastic cladding lower down, whilst the side profile is dominated by that contrast-painted sideblade. The rear gets an extended spoiler and boomerang-shaped LED lights. Handsome, we reckon.
You mentioned hybrid powertrains?
We did. If you don’t fancy a Niro EV then your only option is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. You can then combine that with a 43bhp electric motor in a standard hybrid setup, or with an 83bhp e-motor and a bigger battery in full plug-in hybrid form.
What else is different from before?
Worth noting that this Niro is built on Kia’s third-generation K-platform, and it’s actually 65mm longer, 20mm wider and 10mm taller than before, with 20mm added into the wheelbase.
What’s it like inside?
Rather large update in here too as you can see. Click through to the interior tab for more, but we’re fans of the happy-looking two-spoke steering wheel and the curved twin-screen display. Very smart.
How much will it cost me?
Good question. In the UK Niro prices start at £27,745 for the Hybrid and £33,525 for the base spec PHEV.
Our choice from the range
What's the verdict?
Underneath the Niro is as strong as ever in this second-generation. It’s still not the most exciting thing in the world and the EV is the better car to drive thanks to its super smooth power delivery and pleasant silence inside. The combustion-engined Niros are worthy (and economical) enough though, and they’re both practical and well-priced.
You still get the boxy shape and hybrid powertrains, just with slightly more style pasted over the top.