Space for five plus luggage was the model’s conventional design criteria, and although that leaves one person feeling inevitably short-changed, the hybrid is accommodating of adults in both the front and back.
However, its lack of genuine SUV-style height is noticeable. There’s the distinct feeling of plopping into a seat rather than stepping comfortably up into the cabin – and that’s a potentially crucial difference for some buyers.
The interior is unlikely to set many hearts racing. Its organisation is highly credible and the fit typically decent but, as ever, Kia tends to tick the essential boxes while leaving all the aspirational ones firmly unchecked.
Those shopping around will find their fingertips better indulged by the latest Volkswagen Tiguan, and most likely their eyeballs, too.
Even so, the grade of plastics is generally satisfactory and the temptation to go confusingly off piste with the hybrid readouts is well tamed; charge, eco and power dials in place of a rev counter are legitimate and perfectly legible.
Up front, Kia has incorporated a new seat design, reportedly 1.3kg lighter than its current equivalent. It features a higher density of cushioning in slimmer bolsters and affords a reasonable level of comfort. It’s certainly superior to the rear pew, which is left wanting somewhat for padding.
There’s no backrest or slide adjustment, either, although the Niro’s general spaciousness makes this non-essential.
The boot is adequately proportioned without the need to move the seats, too, and it comes with the convenience of a luggage undertray (even if this does reduce the height of the load space somewhat). The 60/40 rear seats fold forward, providing 1371 litres of flat-decked capacity – provided you keep the hefty Z-fold floor in its upper deck position.
That’s not prodigiously big, but neither is there any impression on the inside that the Niro’s practicality is being impeded by its hybrid running gear.
Every Niro meets our bog-standard entertainment requirements — a DAB tuner and Bluetooth connection — although you’ll need to opt for 2 spec to get the 7.0in infotainment touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard.