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, the Kia has got it’s finger on the ecological pulse when it comes to its motive force. Not only is there a hybrid (as tested here), there’s also a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric, the Kia e-Niro. It’s basically as voguish and right-on as a soy cashmere jacket.
The Niro has been the electrified vanguard for Kia, being its first hybrid model to be available in the UK. Yet since its launch only five years ago it’s been joined by the Kia Soul, Kia Ceed, Kia X-Ceed and Kia Sorento that have variously been made available with hybrid, plug-in and EV power, plus there’s the all-electric Kia Kia EV6 that packs a Porsche Taycan-baiting 577bhp in top GT guise. No surprise 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 bespoke platform that allowed it to accept the three different forms of electrified propulsion.