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Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid interior

It’s all very nicely put together with some ncie trims, but it’s also really dull.

Style

The Kia Niro’s cabin might not look particularly exciting but all the controls are within easy reach and most of its materials look and feel reasonably upmarket. The dashboard and door trims have a nice squidgy finish while the staggered heating and ventilation controls on the centre console all operate with a pleasing solidity.

Explore the areas under the dashboard or around the gear lever and you’ll find the plastics are a little more brittle and the glossy plastic frame around the touchscreen infotainment screen will scratch fairly easily.

Step up to a 3 car and you get some eight-way-adjustable heated front seats.

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Infotainment

The entry-level Kia Niro PHEV comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and smartphone mirroring for Apple and Android phones as standard.

The screen’s mounted high up on the dashboard so it’s relatively easy to glance at quickly while you’re driving and its bright display and clear menus make it easy to read, even in direct sunlight.

Unfortunately, you don’t get any physical shortcut buttons so switching between key features takes a little longer than in the Nissan Qashqai. Even so, inputting a postcode or tweaking the radio tuning is fairly easy and the menus aren’t too tricky to sift through.

Pairing your phone using the Bluetooth connection is a breeze but the standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay features are even better. They allow you to use a wide selection of your phone’s navigation and music streaming apps through the Kia Niro’s built-in screen. The 3 models up the screen size to 10 inches, which is every bit as easy to use, plus fancier to look at.

The standard car’s stereo sounds passable rather than particularly impressive but 3 models come with a much improved eight-speaker JBL unit. It’s far from concert quality but it’s easily loud and bassy enough to embarrass the kids on the school run with some karaoke tunes.