Kia Niro EV review: interior, dashboard & infotainment

Prices for the Niro EV can quickly reach over £42,000, at which point it no longer represents best value for money

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Interior, dashboard & infotainment rating

4.5 out of 5

It’s not just the styling where Kia has moved the game on with the second-generation electric Niro. All models feature two screens housed under a single curved panel – a setup swiped from the flagship EV6 – along with some clever touches and a few flourishes that make the cabin feel more premium than its rivals like the MG4 EV or VW ID.3.

Kia Niro EV dashboard

While the Niro’s dashboard is dominated by the aforementioned pair of screens, the cabin also features ambient lighting buried in the dashboard, soft touch materials and marble-effect panels on the doors. Kia’s handy switchable panel for the climate control and media shortcut buttons also makes an appearance.

The touch points all feel high-quality, and everything seems well screwed together. We’re just not huge fans of the gloss-black plastic used on the centre console, as it acts as a magnet to scratches, dust and fingerprints. There are also some cheaper-feeling plastics lower down but, all-in-all, the cabin design up front is very nice.

Equipment, options & accessories

The Niro is available in three trim levels, called 2, 3 and 4. Even the entry-level model gets plenty of standard kit, including LED headlights, rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, a 10.25-inch driver’s display, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, plus 17-inch alloy wheels. 

The next step, 3, adds a 10.25-inch central touchscreen, front parking sensors, rear privacy glass, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, plus keyless entry and start, and vehicle-to-load capability. 

The range-topping 4 adds lots of luxuries, such as a head-up display, sunroof, faux-leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a powered tailgate, a Harman Kardon sound system and the option (for £150) to have contrastingly coloured C-pillar ‘blades’. For around £900 extra, you can add a heat pump to the 3 and 4 models to more efficiently warm the cabin – something we think is especially helpful in winter months here in the UK.

We’d avoid springing for the top-of-the-range Niro EV as it doesn’t represent the best value for money. For a similar amount of money, you could buy a Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Skoda Enyaq iV, while entry-level versions of the more sophisticated Toyota bZ4X and Kia EV6 are just a few thousand pounds more. 

In our opinion, the Kia Niro 3 model with its heat pump is the sweet spot in the range, as it still comes well-equipped with all the creature comforts you might expect from a £40,000 family car, while also saving you a couple of grand over the lavish-feeling 4.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

The entry-level Niro EV has a 10.25-inch driver’s display paired with an eight-inch touchscreen for infotainment, while the 3 and 4 specs increase the second screen to 10.25 inches. They’re both housed under a single curved panel and, from our extended time and experience with the car, it’s well worth upgrading to the 3 model, for the extra screen real estate alone. The base eight-inch setup looks cheap and lacks some of the functionality of the larger unit, such as sat nav.

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Upgrade to the bigger screen, though, and you’ll be greeted by crisp graphics and a system that is overall much more responsive than what you get in the Niro’s competitors from VW and MG. It’s also worth noting that wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto feature as standard, too, should you wish to bypass Kia’s own software.

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