Twin test: Kia Niro PHEV vs MINI Countryman PHEV
Kia's practical and good-value plug-in hybrid family SUV takes on the stylish and sporty MINI Countryman S E ALL4
Kia has one of the widest selections of electrified cars in the business, with its Niro proving one of the most popular. Available with a hybrid, pure-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain as tested here, the Niro was updated for 2020 with new styling and a lot more technology.
The Niro is an established favourite in the sector, but has plenty of rivals, not least in the shape of the sportier, more style-conscious MINI Countryman PHEV. It plays a similar role in the MINI range, offering a five-door crossover SUV with a good balance of passenger and luggage space, plus all the benefits of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. However, the Countryman is altogether more powerful and driver-focused.
Kia Niro PHEV
Pros: Efficient, good electric range, great standard equipment
Cons: Less stylish, not exactly thrilling, smaller boot than MINI
MINI Countryman PHEV
Pros: Fun to drive, more boot space, greater customisation options
Cons: Lags behind on technology, shorter electric range, firm ride
We're big fans of the Niro at DrivingElectric, not least because of its enviable set of attributes and well judged pricing – but does it have what it takes to take on the cachet and driver appeal of the MINI? We've pitted these plug-in hybrid family cars against each other to find out...
In This Review
- 1Intro - currently readingKia's practical and good-value plug-in hybrid family SUV takes on the stylish and sporty MINI Countryman S E ALL4
- 2Range & chargingThe Kia has the MINI beaten on pure electric range and efficiency, although charging will take longer due to its bigger battery
- 3Running costs & warrantyThe Kia is better value for money than the MINI and should cost a little less to run; its warranty is fantastic, too
- 4Performance & handlingThe Kia isn't as fast or as fun as the MINI, but still drives neatly. The MINI is the drivers' choice
- 5Interior & infotainmentThe Niro is more comfortable and features better infotainment; the MINI feels a little more premium but has costly options
- 6Space & practicalityThe MINI has a bigger boot, but the Niro is still a very spacious family car
- 7Safety & reliabilityBoth cars should be safe, but the Kia has a stronger track record with owners and better warranty cover than the MINI
- 8Verdict & specificationsThe MINI Countryman is a good car, but can't quite compete with the all-round package that is the Niro PHEV