The Kia Niro has a logically laid-out interior that isn’t particularly eye-catching, but it feels well built and has loads of standard equipment
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 standard seven-inch touchscreen infotainment screen will scratch fairly easily.
The infotainment system in entry-level Kia Niro 2 cars comes with satellite navigation and intuitive Android Auto smartphone mirroring as standard, but you don’t get Apple CarPlay nor any handy shortcut buttons (like in a Nissan Qashqai), so it’s a little tricky to use on the move.
Step up to a mid-range 3 car and you get a larger eight-inch screen, an upgraded stereo and some plush heated leather seats. In range-topping 4 trim, these come with a neat memory function that’ll return them to your ideal seating position – handy if you’ve lent the car to someone else.
You won’t be bowled over by the Niro’s interior but it does come with plenty of high-tech goodies as standard
The entry-level Kia Niro come with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB digital radio, satellite navigation, a Bluetooth connection and Android Auto smartphone mirroring features as standard.
The screen’s mounted high up in 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 feature is even better. It allows you to use a wide selection of your phone’s navigation and music streaming apps through the Kia Niro’s built-in screen. Unfortunately for iPhone users, Apple CarPlay isn’t available.
The standard car’s stereo sounds passable rather than particularly impressive but mid-range 3 models and above 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 ‘90s throwback tunes.