Comfortable solution

to taxing times

Kia Niro, 2016, front
Kia Niro, 2016, rear, static
Kia Niro, side static
Kia Niro
Kia Niro, rear
Kia Niro, 2016, interior
Kia Niro, dashboard
Kia Niro First Edition rear seats
Kia Niro, boot (1)
Kia Niro, engine

HERE is the news. A leaked document which somehow slid out under the door of Sir Humphrey's Department of Environmental Revised Voracity (DERV) has revealed that the stocks will be reinstated throughout the U.K to punish those who drive diesel cars.

In the 20th century, car buyers were encouraged to go diesel based on more efficient combustion and much higher mpg despite creating more soot than end-to-end re-runs of Mary Poppins.

At the time petrol was shown to be nothing less than the devil's soup favoured by drivers who ate pet rabbits. Sometimes uncooked.

Those who bought performance cars incapable of doing a tour of the solar system on a gallon of Dante's unleaded were forced to sit on special 'sports' seats which had a large metal spike in the center.

None of this is true but on the other hand in these days of fake news it could be.

The ultimate dream of politicos was to get the whole population on a bus. Not the same bus, obviously.

Buses, and for that matter non-electric trains, spewed out so many particulates that scientists investigated the effects of a nuclear winter by standing at a request stop.

And many of us pointed this out.

But hey, before then why not buy a diesel car, they said, and you will pay less road tax thanks to lowered carbon dioxide emissions through massive mpg?

Seems the truth has had to be revised, or perhaps we all just had the same dream.

A dream which looks like turning into a tax nightmare.

So what to do?

You could go hybrid, even if they will no longer be tax exempt.

Latest into the fray is the Kia Niro. Specifically today, the 1.6GDi HEV 2 auto which for £22,795 puts the car smack bang in the middle of the four model range.

It is powered by a 1.6 petrol engine and a 32kW electric unit with a dual clutch automatic gearbox which together gives a combined power output of 139bhp for those of you good with numbers.

A more important set of figures suggests that you could manage 74.3mpg and I have seen it done in a hybrid which would make the Niro a very attractive budget proposition although there are 88g/km of emissions sins so you will pay tax.

If you are buying into this market it is hardly likely to be because you have a season ticket for the Nurburgring, so 0-60mph in 11.1 seconds is probably greenly acceptable. It certainly does not feel a sluggish car.

What is worthy of mention is that the styling of the Niro, a compact crossover, is refreshingly different to most of the bubble-backed opposition which seems so often to have used the same template.

Even so there is still plenty of room for five and a good boot with under floor storage. The Niro is based on a new platform designed exclusively for electric cars.

On the road the Niro is comfortable, a familiar EV drone when starting off without the engine engaged but a refined ride with little noise.

The interior finish is up there with the best, soft touch materials and well styled leather trim backing up a comfortable driving position and seats.

Instrument layout is nothing to send a telegram over but it is functional and inoffensive.

So what's in the package?

Well, just about everything including alloys, running lights and automatic wipers.

There is ample safety built in including adaptive cruise and auto emergency braking which bizarrely engaged when a horse came towards me on the opposite side of the carriageway.

In the toy box is touchscreen navigation, DAB, Bluetooth and the usual plug-in connections along with a reversing camera and android auto connection.

That's just the headlines, there is plenty more.

Meanwhile in other tax news: the self-employed will no longer be taken from this place to the Joan of Arc center to be deemed 'stakeholders', at least until the fire is well alight.

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