It’s hard to imagine a car more conspicuously of its time than the all-new Kia Niro.
For a start, it is that most prized family-sized possession: a compact crossover – supposedly as useful as a double-decker pram and three times as covetable.
And second, it’s a hybrid and therefore as overtly voguish and right-on as a soy cashmere jacket.
It isn’t, though, a plug-in model – for now, at least.
Instead, like the Toyota Prius, its electric motor is generally run in parallel with a petrol engine via an automatic gearbox.
However, its use of well-established technology doesn’t prevent the Niro from potentially standing out.
This is the first Kia hybrid to be available in the UK, after all – a notable bullet point when you consider that its parent, the Hyundai Motor Group, has been successfully dabbling in alternative-fuel solutions for well over 20 years.
It is also not a late-to-the-party adaptation of existing architecture. Instead, the Niro is built on an entirely new platform that is destined to underpin only hybrid and all-electric vehicles.