Kia Niro Hybrid 2019 review: A fuel-efficient crossover to go the distance
2017 saw the debut of Kia Niro Hybrid, and now three years later, the model is back and fronting a more affordable reboot. Its pith still drums down to functional usability and hybrid efficiency — adapted from its all-electric sibling, the Kia Niro EV.
Comparatively, the new Niro Hybrid bears a more angular body, with sharp suave lines running down the front and rear bumpers. It's easy and effortless for the 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine to power up via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Granted, as compared to its predecessor, it holds less power and torque — which makes it a Cat A vehicle. It's also ultimately what you're paying for. Its steering? Light as a feather, which means maneuvering from lane to lane won't ever be a challenge. At one point, we were on auto-pilot rolling with just a few fingers on the wheel.
There are more safety functions in place with this vehicle. Starting with Lane Keeping Assist, which detects if you're changing lanes without your indicators turned on. It's the littlest things that matter, and sometimes that little beep or slight resistance is what you need to avoid an unfortunate accident.
Beyond the serious tech, also came some features meant for pure leisure and comfort. With the ventilated seats (that can also in turn, be heated if Singapore ever experiences freak weather like frigid temperatures), our bums were instantly cooled off after the car's time of baking in the parking lot under the scorching sun. Its wireless charging pad was a major bonus point to have, although we did have our devices plugged in most of the time via CarPlay.
Kia Niro Hybrid might seem like a typical sedan, but its back seat can be folded to unveil a spacious boot opening up to 1,434 litres. That means stashing your shopping haul, kid's pram, and even a full-sized luggage if the occasion calls for it. While it might not be the people-carrier a growing family needs, this automobile certainly doesn't wield when it comes to space or legroom for that matter.