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2022 Kia Niro Hybrid Review: Hybrid de Niro

Lionel Kong
06/10/2022
2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX in Singapore

The new Kia Niro Hybrid is practical, stylish, and surprisingly quite posh, with a properly economical hybrid drivetrain


2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX

Launched: September 2022, Price S$168,999 with COE (September 2022)
Four-door, small crossover SUV, five seats
130hp, 1.6-litre petrol-electric hybrid, VES A2, 4.0L/100km


PROS

Exciting new design
Spacious and upmarket cabin
Comfortable and economical on fuel

CONS

Driving character is a little staid
Not hugely more efficient than
the old model



SINGAPORE

Crossover SUVs are a big thing everywhere right now, and while cars like the Honda HR-V and Hyundai Tucson are still riding on a bit of hype carried over from the success of the generation before, Kia has been steadily making inroads with its range as well and the new Kia Niro Hybrid is a car that seems tailor-made for Singapore.

2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX in Singapore

It’s a model that was first revealed in early 2022, and replaces the last one which dates back to 2019, which at the time of its launch was the cheapest Category A COE hybrid car you could buy. 

The basics of the Kia Niro is that it’s a small crossover SUV, front-wheel driven and powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor combo. It’s got entirely new bodywork, features the new Kia logo and front ‘face’. It’s promoted as a car that’s comfortable for the family, and also a huge step forwards in refinement over the old car.


Be sure to read our Kia Niro launch story for the full breakdown on the price and spec differences before you proceed.

While the small Kia Stonic always seemed a bit underwhelming, the Niro Hybrid might very well be the total opposite.


If reading so many words is too much of a drag, watch our walkthrough of the new Kia Niro Hybrid here!

Design and Interior

The Kia Niro Hybrid is sold in Singapore in two trim variants, the basic EX and more premium SX version. Thankfully, the now outdated idea of stacking plastic bolt-ons to the product to make a car appear more expensive and ‘aggressive’ than it really is, is now firmly in the rearview mirror. 

2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX cabin in Singapore

The external differences between EX and SX, are not major, but a lot of the S$15k price difference between the two is down to standard equipment fitted in the cabin. The car seen here is the Niro Hybrid SX, and externally it differs from the EX with its LED lights, roof rails, and sunroof.

2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX in Singapore

The interior is where it’s all at, and the Niro Hybrid SX features a very contemporary flat panel, full-width video screen and a rotary drive mode selector. It’s not quite the gigantic hyperscreen of the Mercedes-AMG EQS 53, but it does feel pretty spiffy. Actually, the Niro shares some components with the Hyundai Avante, and despite the different window dressing the controls and touchscreens do operate very similarly to present-gen Hyundais. 

2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX screen in Singapore

Ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, aluminium sports pedals, adaptive cruise control, rear air-con vents and dual zone climate control top off the SX variant.

2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX in Singapore

The central control strip does the magic trick where it toggles between the climate control settings panel and the ‘other features’ mode. A marked icon changes the touch surface between the two modes, and new users may find it mystifying to find no volume control in the car, until you discover that the temperature dial doubles as the volume dial as you flip modes. 

2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX in Singapore

It sounds a bit complicated, but it’s really quick to get used to.

All round space in the cabin is pretty good, and the width of the second row is much better than many of its direct rivals. The glossy black plastics scattered around the dashboard can be a problem in bright sunlight however, reflecting the glare of the sun around the cabin.

2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX in Singapore

The knock-on result is that the Niro Hybrid does look like a very wide car from the outside, with the squared off rear section looking especially chunky. It does have decently good aerodynamic efficiency however, with a unique C-pillar fin channelling air smoothly over the rear window to reduce air turbulence in the car’s wake. It’s a clever bit of design, and this type of air channelling used to be strictly the domain of supercars and luxury cars. 

2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX in Singapore


The car’s front end and side view isn’t exceptionally different from the rest of Kia’s present lineup like the big Sorento Hybrid, and that’s a good thing as there’s a strong family connection running across the brand’s crossover SUVs big and small. 

2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SX in Singapore

To Page 2: Driving Experience and Conclusion

Pages: 1 2

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5 seat 5-door Hybrid Hybrid SX Kia niro SUV

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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