Kia Niro PHEV vs MINI Countryman PHEV: space and practicality

The MINI has a bigger boot, but the Niro is still a very spacious family car

Kia Niro PHEV

Thanks to its shared underpinnings with the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the Countryman has a decent amount of versatility and practicality built in. Up front, there's enough space for all, with plenty of adjustment in the seats and good leg and headroom.

The rear seats, meanwhile, are set higher up to accommodate the car's batteries but that doesn't overly restrict headroom. Legroom is ample and there's a bigger boot than you'll find in the Kia, with 405 litres against 324. 

The MINI gets 40:20:40 split-folding seats and so is a little more flexible than the Niro when it comes to carrying a combination of passengers and awkwardly shaped items. With the rear seats folded flat there's 1,275 litres of space in the MINI, versus 1,322 litres in the Niro.

Access to the rear of both cars is easy for adults, while fitting child seats shouldn't be an issue in either. Extra family-car points are awarded to the Niro for its abundance of interior cubbyholes, while the MINI offers front doorbins that can accommodate larger bottles.

Another practicality point is fuel tank size – the MINI's 36-litre tank feels a little small next to the Kia's larger battery and 43-litre tank. You'll only really notice the deficit on longer trips, however.