Kia Niro 2 Hybrid SUV Family Car Review

I am bringing a completely different review to the mix today. We were recently given the opportunity to experience an extended test drive of the Kia Niro 2 a few weeks ago. Now I am definitely not a car expert but I can drive so I hope that counts for something. We are a family of five with young children that each need a car seat. Due to needed a car that can carry us plus all the baggage that comes with a busy family, we own a Range Rover which is a beast of the car. I was quite excited to see how this littler car would match to our family needs.

1

So the Niro is Kia’s first dedicated hybrid car. It combines electricity and petrol for a more economical drive. It has a 1.6 litre engine and is a 6 speed dual clutch transmission car. For those, like me, who have absolutely no idea what that means, it’s basically a smoother transition through gears. It is said to have a fuel economy of 74.3mpg which is becoming ever important when picking a car these days. A better fuel economy also means this car has lower running costs. The Kia Niro 2 has five doors and five seats.

2

I think the Kia Niro 2 looks so gorgeous. At one point during the five days that we had the car someone said to me that it looked very pretty. I think that is a lovely sum up of the car. I adore the bright colour and the sleek shaping of the exterior. It is obviously a much smaller car than our beast and I was really excited to drive it. I get super nervous when it comes to doing our normal every day drives like the school run and hoped the Kia Niro 2 would make these things much smoother for me.

3

We recently had to rent a smaller car when our one was being repaired and that one was classed as a mini SUV too. That one felt super cramped inside and a little bit like we were all sitting on top of each other. I was really pleasantly surprised with the Kia Niro 2 at just how spacious it felt inside. The ceiling height is really generous which is fantastic for ever growing children and my 6 foot tall husband. However, he did say that he felt the front window didn’t offer enough visibility from the higher point and he wished it could have been slightly higher.

4

So inside the Kia Niro 2 I was instantly taken back by all the buttons available. There are so many different things you can control inside. There are options for lane assist features and Hill-Start assist and cruise control. There is also a speed limiter option too which I quite like the idea of. In the Kia Niro 2 there is a 7 inch touchscreen navigation system. This has TomTom already loaded with European maps. This touchscreen also displays the rear reversing camera which took a while for me to get used too but super handy. I loved all the automatic features though such as the auto lights and rain-sensitive wipers. This gave me two less things to worry about when we were out as a family.

5

Inside just felt super technical and modern. I loved the digital speedo that you can set to appear. But there’s also loads of options you can scroll through which my video shows below. I quite liked seeing the driving style and was pleased to see that I had zero aggressive driving moments over the five days that we had the car. I actually found myself feeling super confident driving the Kia Niro 2 and especially enjoyed school runs as I didn’t feel I was overpowering the road like usual. We managed to get 49.8mpg which was significantly better than our usual 15mpg (hides in shame) and despite doing a long journey to and from Essex we did not need to top up any petrol in five days.

6

The Kia Niro 2 is said to have a harmonious transition between electric and petrol but I actually found it hard to get used to. When starting the car up, it is silent and you have to really look to realise if it has started up at all. This is quite nice but very odd when you are used to a loud roar when turning the ignition. There is also a foot brake rather than a hand brake which was strange and something I hadn’t experienced before. On other automatics we have experienced, the car gently rolls forward but the Kia Niro 2 takes a few seconds. When I slowed down to a stop but then carried on crawling, the Kia Niro 2 would slightly roll back for a second or so before the electric kicked back. I think this could be quite risky and is a little like having a manual car however I soon got used to this and remembered to leave more of a gap between cars to allow for this. It’s definitely not a smooth transition like advertised.

7

I think the Kia Niro 2 does brilliantly as a family car though. It has ISOFIX fittings on the rear seats so you can fix in car seats properly. We actually don’t use ISOFIX seats but the Kia Niro 2 still managed to fit all three of our larger car seats for the girls. The normal seat belt extension we use wouldn’t fit in the Kia Niro 2 which was a little odd and as the car seats were quite tight together, we couldn’t easily access P1s seat belt so she had to climb in and out of it each time. This could easily be resolved by finding a seat extension that fits the seat belt. There’s also child locks on the rear door and you can lock the electric windows from the front too.

8

As an overall, I am super pleased with the performance of the Kia Niro 2. I found that although this version didn’t have the memory seat positions, the seats were really comfortable and I didn’t have to use a foam wedge to be the correct height for driving. I loved this car if I’m honest and found myself doing more of the school runs than ever before and really being a part of family life whereas before I was far too nervous. Although it did feel like there wasn’t much power behind it when pulling out at junctions, I did feel like it was a nifty little run around car yet was fantastic during the long drive we did. I quite like the fact it has a USB port to charge devices which is really important to us as a technology based family.

This car costs around £22/23,000 to buy out right but Kia offer a blooming fantastic 7 year warranty or 100,000 miles which is pretty unheard of (according to Hubby who is more car minded than me). I would definitely consider buying a hybrid Kia car in the future. I felt like I was being more economical with our environment whilst doing all our little odds and bobs. I hope the video below is useful too!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

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