I’m no novice at moving, but every time I do it I’m surprised at how much longer it takes than I expected. When you think you’re almost done, more items seem to materialize out of thin air. Normally, I would rent a U-Haul, but since I planned to sell my furniture before I moved, and I wanted the freedom to move gradually over a few weekends, I went for a somewhat risky plan B: packing all my stuff into the Kia Niro.
I’m sure you couldn’t blame me for dreading this endeavor. Turns out, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated. The cargo area offers 19.4 cubic feet of space, placing it in the middle of the pack among subcompact crossovers, behind the Honda HR-V and Nissan Kicks but ahead of the Toyota CH-R and Mazda CX-3. Although there isn’t much ground space, I was able to stack the items high to get more stuff to fit. In the trunk alone, I crammed in an oversized suitcase, four medium-sized boxes, and a tote bag. The Niro’s relatively low ground clearance makes it easy to load items into the back, although it would be nice if it had a hands-free power liftgate considering our tester is a top-level Touring. Not terribly quick to begin with, the Niro doesn’t perform dramatically differently on the road fully loaded than it does without cargo. So yes. Sans furniture, I was able to move with the Niro in just a few trips.
At $32,575, our Niro Touring offers pretty great value for the money. We enjoy the car’s Harman Kardon sound system, an 8.0-inch touchscreen that isn’t prone to smudging, park assist system with helpful graphic display, and seamless smartphone integration. That’s not to mention a decent suite of safety features including automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, HID headlights, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning. Less impressive are the cheap plastics that cover much of the dashboard. We also wish for improved graphics on the navigation system and other displays, such as the Energy Flow and Eco Driving screens. Other green vehicles including the Honda Accord Hybrid provide efficiency information in a more visually appealing way.
Read more about our 2017 Kia Niro:
- Arrival: Finding Niro
- Update 1: Ecobox or Econobox?
- Update 2: Those Windshield Wipers and That Transmission
- Update 3: Noise and Nuance