Twin test: Kia Niro PHEV vs MINI Countryman PHEV

Kia's practical and good-value plug-in hybrid family SUV takes on the stylish and sporty MINI Countryman S E ALL4

Kia Niro vs MINI Countryman

Kia has one of the widest selections of electrified cars in the business, with its Niro proving one of the most popular. Available with a hybrid, pure-electric or plug-in hybrid drivetrain as tested here, the Niro was updated for 2020 with new styling and a lot more technology.

The Niro is an established favourite in the sector, but has plenty of rivals, not least in the shape of the sportier, more style-conscious MINI Countryman PHEV. It plays a similar role in the MINI range, offering a five-door crossover SUV with a good balance of passenger and luggage space, plus all the benefits of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. However, the Countryman is altogether more powerful and driver-focused.

Kia Niro PHEV

Pros

  • Efficient
  • Good electric range
  • Great standard equipment

Cons

  • Less stylish
  • Not exactly thrilling
  • Smaller boot than MINI

MINI Countryman PHEV

Pros

  • Fun to drive
  • More boot space
  • Greater customisation options

Cons

  • Lags behind on technology
  • Shorter electric range
  • Firm ride

We're big fans of the Niro at DrivingElectric, not least because of its enviable set of attributes and well judged pricing – but does it have what it takes to take on the cachet and driver appeal of the MINI? We've pitted these plug-in hybrid family cars against each other to find out...