Road Test Review: Kia Niro 3

Independent review by Jon Smith

4-minute read

Kia Niro 3 Exterior Front

Road Test: Kia Niro 3

Explore the key features of the Kia Niro 3 in our expert road test review

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Not only is the Kia Niro 3 an exceptionally attractive SUV, it's also packed with a hefty amount of impressive technology.


  • Efficient plug-in hybrid technology
  • Lots of standard equipment
  • Smooth driving experience
  • Looks the part
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Just how electrifying do you want your next motor to be?

Well, if you’re going for a Kia Niro you can choose between a self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid or a fully electric version.

Pitched against the Peugeot 2008, Nissan Juke, Ford Puma, and several other notable crossovers, the second generation Niro faces some stiff competition, but the '3' model driven here manages to keep up well.

Engines and Performance

The freshened and smartened plug-in Niro driven here gets a similar 1.6-litre petrol engine coupled to a 63bhp electric motor, which knocks out a punchy 180bhp.

With a full charge, it’s capable of running about 40 miles on electric only.

Acceleration is nimble and rather swift, reaching 62mph in below 10 seconds.

As with most electric models, take-off is smooth and immediate the moment you dab the throttle. Top speed is a relatively modest 100mph, which is probably academic to most owners.

A 6-speed dual clutch automatic box looks after the gear changing and nicely matches the electric-petrol power. By switching into Sport mode, the steering wheel paddles become gear changers rather than a method to allow braking regeneration.

Sport mode also makes the steering system a tad weightier and cajoles the petrol engine into earlier action.

Cornering roll is slight, and the ride is good over smooth surfaces, but a tad choppy when travelling on rippled or undulating roads.

There’s a welcome silence about the Niro plug-in hybrid, and excellent smoothness while driving.
Jon Smith


Although the cabin is spacious enough, luggage space is reduced to make room for the battery.

The 348-litre boot is decently sized, however, it's almost a third less spacious than the normal hybrid version.

The door pockets and storage bins for absorbing the usual family clutter are on the skinny side, but will do just fine for most families.

Equipment and Technology

The ‘3' version gets all the bells and whistles such as front and rear skid plates, roof spoiler, LED headlights, heated front seats, and electric folding door mirrors.

This model is treated to a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen, faux leather seating, sat nav, and front and rear parking sensors.


Smart looking in its new design and appealing both to drive and travel in, the Kia Niro is yet another attractive choice in the electric car sector.

It's even more attractive in mid-spec model '3', offering all the bells and whistles you could want and more at a reasonable price.