Kia Niro SUV (2016 -) Safety & Reliability

Review by Gareth Evans on
Last Updated: 10 Aug 2016
3.5
On an all-new platform with a completely new powertrain, this new small hybrid SUV, the Niro, does two important jobs for Kia. Firstly, it gives the company a much-needed rival to the likes of the Mazda CX-3, Nissan Juke and Renault's Captur; and, secondly, with both the hybrid and SUV segments growing strongly (the former, Kia anticipates, at the expense of diesel power) it provides eco-friendly competition for a growing raft of hybrids including Toyota's Prius.

4 out of 5

Safety

NCAP Test

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While the Kia Niro hasn’t been crash-tested by Euro NCAP at this point, we suspect it’ll perform well. The body is made from a combination of high-strength steel and aluminium, while seven airbags are installed as standard along with ISOFIX child seat lashing points.

Particular attention has been paid to scoring well in NCAP’s Safety Assist section, so the Niro is set to feature a number of advanced features in this regard. It’s not clear whether these will be standard, optional or even available at all in the UK, but given the sorts of systems on rival vehicles, we’d suspect many of the following to appear on our models:

  • Automatic low-speed braking – will stop the car for you if a collision is imminent
  • Adaptive cruise control – adjusts speed to the car in front up to your selected speed
  • Lane-departure warning – warns if you drift out of your lane without indicating
  • Lane-keeping assist – actively steers to keep you between the white lines on the road
  • Blindspot detection – lets you know if there’s a car in your blindspot
  • Rear cross-traffic alert – warns of vehicles crossing behind you that you may not have seen

4.5 out of 5

Reliability

Kia’s reliability record is going from strength to strength at present. There’s a long warranty covering manufacturing defects for seven years, but all the indications are that not many bits tend to go wrong in the first place.

There’s a noticeable shift to higher-quality componentry too, which should mean further gains in vehicle resilience.

The only potential fly in the ointment is the new hybrid system the Niro uses, but Kia has done a lot of development on it and it’s unlikely anything major will fail.

Car check problem points

Body

No problems reported

Engine/Gearbox

No problems reported

Other

No problems reported