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2023 Kia Niro PHEV

This week we were equipped with the 2023 Kia Niro PHEV, and I must say it is one of the top 5 for best city cars we have driven to date.

The Niro is your standard four door hatchback. Not the most attractive vehicle in Kia’s lineup; but it gets you to point A and then B, plus C, with little fuel and in little time.

There were no red flags and nothing that really hindered the experience. I just wasn’t keen to be working with a manual seat adjustment, but that is just me being spoiled and forgetting that is like. There also isn’t any lumbar support for your lower back, though you do get a firm head rest. Therefore, despite the Niro having more gas economy than other vehicles, by a generous 200km more, this would not be a vehicle I would want to own.

The seat is just not comfortable to rest in, so I wouldn’t advise driving in it for extended trips, but for a 20-30 minute commute it works. I find the most important factor for any car is comfort. I drive a lot for my job and if I do not have a supportive seat it means a lot of back ache and discomfort for my work day that drags on into the night.

You do get all the expected safety measures and modern conveniences. Sounding censors from front to back and left to right, plus back up cameras, but not a 360 degree aerial view.

And you have your creature comfort with the heated seat and heated wheel function, wireless charging, push button start, turn dial shifter, and spring to action cup holders. The speakers are pretty decent too, you get a nice echo with the base.

The aesthetic of the cabin was modern bordering on space age for a more basic model. It also felt very spacious as the doors concaves inward and converges at a point. Visual highlights include a carbon fibre-like honey comb patterned dash and a glowing highlight led strip across it. The materials were a mix of matte on the door and for push bottoms, with a glossy finish on the centre console.

The centre console was flat and sleek, easy to maneuver with visible neon icons. The arm rest adjoined it was set at a taller height and especially comfortable to rest on. And all the regularly used buttons were set before you for easy reach and control.

As for the way it handles, the Kia Niro does spring to life. You feel the vibration of a lot of power from behind the wheel. Handing it, it feels fast, like you have the potential to speed out of control if you aren’t careful. Fast enough to give you the inertia feeling in the pit of your stomach.


In short, this isn’t the sexiest vehicle, but it is one of the better daily drivers. It is excellent on gas in general, and even more so when plugged in and running on its electric battery. A great first car with long term purchase potential.


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