Vanilla immediately springs to mind when stepping into the 2022 Kia Niro Hybrid. It perfectly represents simplicity, affordability and practicality in an age swiftly moving towards sustainability.
The self-charging variant from Kia adds to the ever-expanding, environmentally friendly line up, and features all the expected technological perks, like electric windows, and a centre console sporting USB connectivity.
An aesthetically pleasing infotainment screen is also included in an interior that has a leather-wrapped steering wheel as its most distinguishable feature, simply because it provides complete control over the vehicle, with a button for almost every digit.
In addition, the inclusion of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto feels like a bonus considering the car’s affordability. A neat trick was to include a USB port inside the centre console storage compartment, which neatly tucks away your phone.
If you have more devices, there’s also another two USB ports in the front tray. Standard 6-speaker audio is as you might expect it to sound, and there’s nothing much to report beyond that.
The polished black finish surrounding the 7.0-inch colour LCD panel screen in the centre of the dashboard looks nice but will probably be prone to scratches. The cabin is spacious, and seating is quite reasonable.
An 8-way adjustable driver seat is coupled with 6-way front passenger seat and the rears are kid friendly as well, with child restraint anchorage points (three top tether / two ISOFIX), as well as child-proof rear door locks.
Boot space is quite generous too, with 60:40 folding rear seats. We didn’t even need to fold the seats when loading our first electric mower purchase into the boot. It was in its box, so don’t get too carried away with the space.
There’s an impressive list of safety tech in the Kia Niro Hybrid, including sublime active cruise control was sublime, and lane keep/follow assist that is legitimately ahead of its time. Kia have perfected the art of their lane sensing capabilities.
There’s a driver attention alert, but we didn’t trigger it. Might come down to how much attention we’re paying reviewing cars. If you do find yourself distracted though, the forward collision warning could help you avoid an unfortunate situation.
Old school safety is also alive and well in the 2022 Kia Niro Hybrid, including a bevy of airbags, and impact sensing auto door unlocking should an accident occur. It’s no surprise that it’s been awarded 5-stars from ANCAP.
On the outside, it continues to be, vanilla. There’s that word again. Plain, if you will. Snippets of chrome across the handles and front grille makes the car glisten in the brighter days, but a disappointing front-grille is reminiscent of the days when plastic was trending.
We have to say it, the gloss black ‘tiger nose’ grille just needs to stop, and we’ll leave it there. The wheels are slightly more aesthetically palatable, with 16-inch alloys, while the sharp headlights helping to smoothen a relatively well contoured yet simplistic design.
The addition of roof-rails underlines an inclination towards practicality over style too. And even though we don’t really rate the look of this car, there is a beauty in its simplicity. Everything doesn’t always have to be flashy – and we all like vanilla right?
You can choose from an array of colours for a new 2022 Kia Niro Hybrid, including Clear White, Snow White Pearl, Aurora Black Pearl, Silky Silver, Runway Red, Platinum Graphite, Sunset Orange, Deep Cerulean Blue, and Yacht Blue.
The 2022 Kia Niro makes up for simple with space, technology, safety, and efficiency. Kia clearly backs their builds by offering a healthy 7-year unlimited kilometre warranty and capped price servicing.
Its drive away price is worth commenting on too. Our 2022 Kia Niro Hybrid in Deep Cerulean Blue could have been had for $42,555. If its practicality you seek, in a hybrid SUV, you don’t need to look much further than this, for the price.
You can build and price a new 2022 Kia Niro Hybrid at the Kia Australia website.
Our test vehicle was provided by Kia Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Kia Niro Hybrid, contact your local Kia dealer.