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Driving test – Kia Niro Hybrid (2022)

July 11, 2022

Best selling car in the Netherlands

Thanks to chip shortages and logistical disruptions caused by corona measures, 2021 was a difficult year for the automotive industry. Still, Kia managed to sell 10,812 copies of the Niro in the Netherlands that year. As in 2020, in 2021 no model sold better in our country than the Kia Niro.

Why is the Kia Niro so popular?

Simple: for a tidy sum, you get a solid, reliable car that offers plenty of space. But there is more to it. Kia sells the Niro in three flavors: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric. Not only are the (plug-in) hybrid versions popular, the EV variant is also doing well. Just right, we should really say. The e-Niro was the second most popular EV in the Netherlands in 2021. Only the Skoda Enyaq was registered more often.

New Kia Niro

The Koreans are eager to keep up the success and are now introducing an all-new Niro. The new model is again available with three different powertrains. On the outside you can hardly tell the difference between the three versions, for that you have to look at the badge on the back. In Frankfurt – Kia’s European hometown – we get into the Hybrid variant. Together with the all-electric Niro, it is the most popular in the Netherlands. By the way, the electric Niro is no longer called the e-Niro from now on, but the Niro EV.


The new Korean looks a lot tougher and more modern than its predecessor. On its nose is once again the family face: the “tiger face,” as Kia likes to call the front design. Another striking element is the C-pillar, which has a contrasting color and accommodates the tail lights. Thanks to its new, hip appearance, the new Niro should appeal to a younger audience.


The new Niro is a bit larger than the outgoing model, resulting in more interior and luggage space. It is 4.42 meters long, 1.82 meters wide and 1.55 meters high. With leg and headroom, it’s all right in the back. Two adults sit in it gloriously and three children can sit side by side with ease. Thanks to two modern USB-C charging ports as well as a household outlet, anyone in the back can power their phone, tablet, laptop or, if need be, coffee maker or shaver.

Luggage compartment Kia Niro

The hybrid and plug-in hybrid have a luggage compartment of 451 liters (HEV) and 348 liters (PHEV), respectively. The EV is the one to get if you’re really looking for a lot of luggage space. There, 475 liters of luggage fit in the back, almost 130 liters more than in the Niro PHEV. Moreover, the Niro EV also has storage space under the hood, 20 liters to be exact. Not that you are short of space in the hybrid though. With all variants you can drive to the campsite in southern Europe packed and ready without any problems. However, not all Niro’s allow you to pull a hefty trailer or caravan. The maximum braked towing capacity of both the HEV (hybrid) and the PHEV is 1,300 kilograms, while the Niro EV can only tow 750 kilograms.

HEV and PHEV Driveline

Inside the Niro HEV and PHEV is a 1.6-liter GDi gasoline engine mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as well as an electric motor. The hybrid Niro has a maximum output of 141 hp, the PHEV 183 hp. The plug-in hybrid simply has a stronger electric motor and a larger battery pack, allowing you to drive 65 kilometers all-electric. The previous Niro plug-in hybrid did not get further than 50 kilometers on electricity.

Driving electrically with a Niro Hybrid

The hybrid Niro, unlike the PHEV, cannot travel long stretches electrically, but it can travel small stretches in the city. That’s where the Hybrid feels especially at home, and it’s nice and economical. Going from stoplight to stoplight is often all-electric. Especially if you recover a lot of energy by braking on the electric motor. Flippers behind the wheel allow you to set the degree of regenerative braking. If you put it in the strongest setting, it’s almost like driving a fully electric car when you let off the gas.

Range new Kia Niro EV

In Frankfurt, we also briefly step into the all-electric Niro: the Niro EV. Kia delivers the EV with a 64.8 kWh battery pack, the same battery pack as in the e-Niro, the previous model. However, the new Niro EV does come a little further than its predecessor, but it doesn’t make much difference. According to WLTP figures, it gets 463 kilometers far on a full charge of electricity. The e-Niro kicks it up to 455 kilometers. Only eight kilometers more than its predecessor, but in this price range it is still a very nice one.

How fast can the Kia Niro EV fast charge?

As standard, the Korean can handle 72 kW of charging power. That’s not hugely impressive, especially when you know that its bigger brother – the EV6 – can handle up to 240 kW at a charging station. However, according to Kia, the Niro EV can hold the peak charging power for a long time, so the battery pack is still full quite quickly. When it’s cold, the Niro even automatically preheats the battery pack when it senses through the navigation system that you are driving toward a charging point. This ensures that the battery is at the optimal temperature when you arrive at a charging station, allowing the car to charge immediately at full power. According to Kia, the battery pack charges from 10-80% in 43 minutes at a fast charger. The fact remains, however, that the Kia EV6 takes only 18 minutes to do this.


The new Niro EV is as powerful as its predecessor. The electric motor is good for 204 hp and 255 Nm of instant torque. The compact crossover needs 7.8 seconds for the 0-100 km/h sprint and the top speed is 167 km/h. He’s nice and smooth so.

Technology and sustainability

Interior finishes have been taken to the next level in the new Niro. It looks sleek and is very reminiscent of the interior of the Kia EV6. There are few physical buttons present, but there are a few touch-sensitive hot keys, which we also know from the EV6. This allows you to quickly navigate to the right menus. Pretty convenient while driving. Of course, Apple Carplay and Android Auto are available on the infotainment system.


The interior is full of recycled materials, such as Bio PU: a fabric made from eucalyptus leaves. In addition, there is especially a lot of technology present. In front of you, you get two 10.25-inch screens and, optionally, Kia provides a 10-inch head-up display. The central touch screen responds quickly and looks sharp and clear. The infotainment system has a clear layout. For mood lighting, you can choose from as many as 74 color combinations.

What will the new Kia Niro cost?

The new Kia Niro is now at dealers in the Netherlands. For the HEV you pay a minimum of 31,995 euros and for the PHEV 39,695 euros. The electric Niro EV will come to our country later in 2022. Kia charges a minimum of 41,795 euros for the all-electric Niro. Knowing more? Check out our driving test below: