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
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.
In This Review
- 1IntroKia'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 & practicality - currently readingThe 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