In-depth reviews

Kia Niro SUV - Practicality & boot space

There’s plenty of space for a family in the Kia Niro, plus it has a good-sized boot

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Interior space in the Niro is quite impressive. It’s roughly as long as a Kia Ceed hatchback, but has a decent-sized boot with underfloor storage. This has been made possible by Kia positioning the Niro’s batteries under the rear seats instead of under the boot floor, like in other hybrid cars.

Careful, though, as the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model isn't quite as practical – the layout means that the electrical systems eat into boot space; the load area is smaller than you'll find in a Renault Clio.

Kia Niro interior space & storage

As with most cars, the Niro is spacious up front, but there’s also enough room in the back for two adults to sit comfortably without their heads brushing the roof – although the middle seat feels quite narrow and is thus best reserved for kids.

There are also generously sized storage cubbies front and rear, so you won’t be short of somewhere to keep drinks bottles or other odds and ends. Getting into the Niro is easy: although it rides a little higher than the Ceed hatchback, you don’t have to step up into it like you would an SUV like the Kia Sportage.

Boot space

A large tailgate opening and low loading lip mean it’s easy to make the most of the Niro’s 382-litre boot space, which, although generous, is some way off the 502 litres you get in the Prius. Having said that, there's quite a lot of intrusion from the wheelarches, and the car's battery eats into space further. There is a false floor, but the polystyrene tray underneath doesn't provide masses of space for storing larger items out of sight.

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You can of course fold down the rear seats to free up more space (for a total of 1,380 litres), but while they drop down easy enough, they can be tricky to push back into place, as they’re quite heavy. Once they’re down, though, there’s a flat boot floor, so you can slide in large heavy objects without difficulty.

A larger battery pack means the Niro PHEV has a smaller boot, reducing its volume to 324 litres behind the rear seats and 1,322 litres with them folded down. The MINI Countryman Cooper S E ALL4 offers 405 litres, while the larger Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV from the class above has 463 litres.

The all-electric e-Niro is the biggest of all the Kia siblings, however, due to some really clever packaging. This version boasts a 451-litre load bay with the seats in place, expanding to 1,405 litres with the rear bench folded flat.

Towing

The previous Niro wasn’t deemed suitable for towing, but the facelifted hybrid and plug-in hybrids have a towing pack fitted as standard, which gives them the capability to haul a 1,300kg trailer or caravan. Many hybrids have a very limited towing capacity (or even none at all), so this could be very good news for some buyers. It's worth noting that the e-Niro isn't rated to tow at all.

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