One of the nice things about Christmas is that we always host the family, so everyone comes to us, which means that we don’t have a lot of travelling around to do. With all of them living within a ten-mile radius, and the fact that we’re lucky enough to have a couple of spare bedrooms, everyone can leave the car keys on the hook and imbibe on some of the festive fall-over juice without fear of falling foul of policeman plod. From Christmas Eve Eve (23rd December), the Niro barely left the driveway until well into the new year. Like most families, we bought enough food to last us a year, and aside from newspapers, fresh bread, milk and vegetables, there was no need to go out.
When it came to kicking out the last of the relatives and delivering them off home, the Niro’s large 451-litre boot came into its own and was big enough to carry most of the presents handed out. That’s one of the benefits of its relatively tall structure, with additional carrying capacity available by folding the rear seats down, liberating up to 1,445 litres of extra space. If you’re lucky enough to have a black Labrador, like my brother has, Baxter is perfectly happy laying in the boot, stretching out on the back seat, or joining you up front. Maybe it’s a reflection on my brother’s driving, but he doesn’t seem so keen to get into their family car as he is when he comes to stay with us. Maybe it’s because he prefers our Niro over his Dad’s Peugeot van or Mum’s Ford Focus Estate. I couldn’t possibly say, but Baxter certainly has impeccable taste. He has even got used to our three cats when he visits, despite the felines being firmly in control.
And even if our Christmas celebrations weren’t very vegan friendly – we love lashings of turkey, and plenty of residual sandwiches and curry in our house – our choice of car certainly is, as the car’s upholstery is made from faux leather, meaning that no animals were endangered in the creation of the car. It’s a similar story when it comes to the steering wheel, too, with artificial materials used to create the circular device. It’s a feature on all Niro hybrids, plug-in hybrids and EVs from grades 2 to 4, and shows that Kia has an eye on the bigger picture in terms of climate change and animal friendliness. I can honestly say that I haven’t really noticed the difference between the man-made surfaces and traditional animal-sourced materials, and this means it shouldn’t offend those in either camp.
With the onset of colder weather, and many mornings where the car is completely iced over, I have noticed a slight decay in the overall fuel economy figure. But not by much, and I’m sure that other cars that I have run have been affected more. Even when the temperatures are well into freezing, we’re still achieving 58.1mpg, which is just 2mpg off Kia’s official WLTP combined economy figure. That’s pretty impressive considering a large proportion of our family driving is around town and when the engine is cold.
Arrived 20th September 2022
Price when new £33,745
Price as tested £34,490
Economy 60.1mpg (combined) 58.1mpg (on test)
Costs None Faults None