2018 Kia Niro

Interior


$23,340 MSRP
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2018 Kia Niro Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 7.8

The 2018 Kia Niro's interior is more upscale than you might expect from a vehicle in this price range. It looks good, and there are mostly high-end materials. Both rows of seats are spacious and comfortable, and the Niro has more cargo space than most rivals. A user-friendly infotainment system headlines the features list.

  • "A number of years ago, Kia's interior design went from frumpy to fantastic, and the cabin of the 2018 Kia Niro is one of the finest in its class. The design is clean and simple with an upscale feel and high-quality materials. The layout is intuitive and all of the controls work with precision." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Interior quality is quite basic even in our mid-trim EX. To the Niro's credit, its controls are intuitive and free of any confusing features. The gear selector operates in a traditional fashion, and the 7-inch infotainment system is a piece-of-cake to use. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility is standard." -- Consumer Reports
  • "Lesser trims get either plain cloth or cloth and leather seats. After that, the surfaces you touch – the center armrest, door handles and doorsills – are soft and feel good in quality. While there is a lot of hard plastic in the dash area, it looks good and isn't the sort of thing one normally touches while driving or riding anyway." -- Cars.com (2017)

Seating

The Kia Niro seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel. Leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, driver's memory settings, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Seating positions in the Niro are all pretty good. Both rows have enough head- and legroom for tall adults to be comfortable, and the seats have plenty of support. The seating positions are high, too, so drivers have good visibility.

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats. The system is generally easy to use, and most types of car seats will fit without too much trouble.

  • "Interior space is sufficient, with good headroom for everybody and nice hip- and shoulder room up front. In the back, this 6-foot-tall journo was able to sit very comfortably even after positioning the driver's seat where I would need it." -- Motor Trend (2017)
  • "The Niro's backseat provides plenty of headroom and legroom for 6-footers and beyond." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "The seats were comfortable, with good support and a leather-trimmed seat that looked and felt good. Lesser trims get either plain cloth or cloth and leather seats." -- Cars.com (2017)

Interior Features

Standard features in the Kia Niro include dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker sound system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a USB port, and Kia's UVO infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio.

Available features include push-button start, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, a rear-seat USB port, a Harman Kardon eight-speaker audio system, HD Radio, a sunroof, wireless phone charging, and an upgraded UVO system with an 8-inch touch screen, real-time traffic conditions, and a voice command navigation system.

The infotainment system features physical controls in addition to the touch screen. You may not even need them because the touch screen has sharp graphics and responds quickly to inputs. The interface is intuitive, and everything is easy to see and reach from the driver’s seat.

See 2018 Kia Niro specs »
  • "The instrument cluster is simple, direct, and easy to use. There's an 8-inch touch screen for all the technical data, graphics, and navigation system with knobs for the stereo and controls on the steering wheel as well. A wireless cell-phone charger is located beneath the USB port and is definitely a necessary modern touch." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)
  • "Audio and climate controls are smartly situated, there's a handy open bin with USB and power ports ahead of the transmission selector, and the buttons and knobs all feel like they were designed, engineered and manufactured with attention to detail." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "Designed to be enjoyable to live with on a daily basis, Kia rightly emphasizes how easy this car is to use. Everything is located where you expect to find it, and interaction with the infotainment display screen is minimized through inclusion of real buttons and knobs that make it easy to reference and adjust the most commonly used vehicle features." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Cargo

The Niro has 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in use and 54.5 cubic feet with them folded. Those are good totals for the class. Standard 60/40-split-folding rear seats give the cargo area more versatility, and the rear seats fold completely flat, giving you a convenient cargo floor.

  • "Unlike other hybrids with whose utility is compromised by how and where the battery is stored, the Niro's lithium-ion battery is located under the rear seat, which allows for a flat, uninterrupted cargo floor when the rear seats are folded." -- Consumer Reports
  • "Located beneath the Niro's load floor, a compartmentalized storage area helps to organize your things. When you fold the rear seats down, they lie flat and create 54.5 cubic-feet of cargo volume." -- New York Daily News (2017)
  • "The Niro's cargo area isn't bad. I generally find hatchbacks easiest to load a wider variety of items into, and the Niro is no exception. If you're cross-shopping the Niro with the Prius, though, the Prius is bigger; I find it to be among the easiest cars to load things into. The Niro's one advantage, though, is that it doesn't have a lip on the cargo area to snag things, as does the Prius. As much as Kia wants to define the Niro as a crossover, it's probably best to think of it as a small hatchback when it comes to storage. I think it could take four people and their roll-aboard luggage to the airport, but I'm not sure how it'd do if those same four people had bigger bags." -- Cars.com (2017)
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