THE Kia Niro crossover is available in three guises - hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric.
It was launched back in 2016 but in true Kia fashion was given a major revamp last year after only three years in production.
Hybrids are becoming increasingly popular and important in today's market and the Niro combines petrol/electric power with an attractive SUV style body that provides more room than the average family hatchback.
It sits on a platform that is only used for electricified cars and since its original arrival as a Hybrid the Korean company has also introduced it as a plug-in version and a full electric. Demand for the all-electric Niro is so strong that it has a long waiting list.
The biggest seller is the self-charging hybrid version I have been sampling and it features a 1.6-litrepetrol engine combined with a 32kw electric motor which is housed under the rear seats.
Capable of producing 139bhp with very low emissions, the Niro is very fuel efficient and this version can return up to up to 62.8mpg and 54.3 on average according to the official figures.I averaged just over 52mpg which is still very respectable.
This latest version benefits from exterior style changes which include a new ‘tiger nose' grille, new bumpers front and rear, new headlamps and a bigger choice of alloy wheels.
Things have also got better inside the cabin which is capable of seating up to five in comfort.
A larger 10.25-inch TFT widescreen for the main display features in this 3 model and above and there is gloss black trim and lots of soft touch materials. The kit list is really impressive and includes full connectivity and the dash display dazzles and provides info on battery and electric motor use.
The leather seats provide good comfort and are easily adjustable to find a good driving position. There is good all-round visibility and there is lots of storage space.
The Niro was designed as a family car and so it is also very practical with a big boot and the ability to carry up to 1,380 litres of luggage with the rear seats dropped.
Three trim grades - 2, 3 and 4 are available with Kia ditching the 1 version for the UK with prices starting at £24,590. The 2 car sits on 16-inch alloy wheels, the latter pair have 18-inchers, and all cars have DCT automatic transmission.
The entry level 2 grade gets the likes of auto air-con, electric windows, privacy glass, reversing camera, six-speaker DAB radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and all have Kia's fully transferable seven year/100,000-mile warranty.
This 3 trim car added LED front fog lights, black leather upholstery, heated front seats and an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat.
The Niro boasts all the latest safety aids and equipment to keep you and your family safe with many features that you only find on much more expensive vehicles.
The Niro is also good to drive and copes with our damaged urban roads. The suspension deals well with even the worst surfaces and provides a comfortable ride. It cruises nicely at motorway speeds and the six-speed DCT automatic gearbox makes the driver's job easy.