Although it looks broadly identical to the Niro Hybrid, the Niro PHEV has subtle exterior differences to mark it out. These include a satin chrome grille surround, chrome brightwork with a metallic-blue finish on thin blades in the front and rear bumpers, full LED headlamps, 16-inch aerodynamically optimised alloy wheels and discreet 'Eco Plug-in' badging. There's also a charging port on the nearside front wing, which of course the regular Niro does not have.
Kia engineered the Niro to be a part-electrified model capable of accommodating a range of hybrid drivetrain options from the start, but while the carmaker tries to claim that the PHEV running gear has a 'minimal effect of packaging and versatility', the plug-in has lost boot space in order to fit the bigger battery pack under the cargo bay floor - it's down to 324 litres here, where as the existing Niro offers 427 litres, although at least there is a dedicated space for storing the charging cable under the boot floor. The roominess of the passenger cabin is unaffected by changes, while (like the outside) a few minimal cabin alterations aim to differentiate Hybrid from PHEV. Single- or two-tone leather upholstery with blue stitching, a blue surround for the dashboard air vents and a seven-inch full-TFT driver instrument cluster, which displays key information about the powertrain, are the changes within.
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