Kia Niro Has Three Ways to Drive into the Future

March 12th, 2021 by

A silver 2020 Kia Niro, a popular Kia EV, is parked in an empty lot at sunset.

Kia is gaining ground and branching out into new market segments. That not only includes stylish SUVs like the Telluride and performance cars like the Stinger, but it also includes some new Kia EVs and hybrids. The Niro is Kia’s most fuel-efficient SUV and comes with three powertrain options: hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric. Buyers seeking to reduce their vehicle emissions will not only love the Niro’s more eco-friendly powertrains but will also love the affordability and convenience of this compact SUV.

Safety is one of Kia’s hallmarks, as is the abundance of technology available on its affordable vehicles, and the Niro is no exception. All Niro trims come standard with electronic brake-force distribution to enhance braking for all wheels, plus additional features like brake force assist to apply more pressure in emergency situations. The vehicle stability management system helps control steering, and a traction control system prevents wheel slip in treacherous conditions. Other driver-assist safety features such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot Collision Warning, and a Lane Keep Assist System are available in upper trims.

All Kia vehicles come with the industry’s best warranty, which covers the powertrain for ten years or 100,000 miles. The quality and reliability of Kia vehicles are getting noticed in the automotive world, and the Niro is part of that incredible lineup of vehicles built to last. Technology in the Niro is plentiful even in the base trim level, and conveniences like push-button start and keyless entry are just a few of the features to be found in the trims available. We’ll look at each type of Niro to give an overview of pricing, features, and trim levels.

Niro Hybrid

The Niro Hybrid proves that buyers seeking a hybrid SUV can have a quality, fuel-efficient vehicle at a low price. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine sips fuel at 50 MPG combined and has a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. A lithium-ion battery is charged through regenerative braking, and driving the Niro is smooth and responsive with virtually unnoticeable shifts from electric to gas power.

With this hybrid version of the Niro, you have five trim options: LX, LXS, Touring, Touring Special Edition, and EX Premium. Space in the interior is generous, with 41.7 inches of legroom up front and 37.4 inches in the back, both of which can accommodate even tall adults. Cargo space in the rear is 19.4 cubic feet with the rear seat in place but folding them down expands that figure to 54.5 cubic feet.

The exterior of the Niro has a bold front end, curved roofline, and sporty black cladding that is accentuated by the LED daytime running lights and brake lights. On the inside, the Niro is spacious and comfortable but sporty with chrome detailing and sculpted seating. A standard eight-inch infotainment screen in the center stack has useful buttons and knobs to navigate through settings and apps, and the dual-zone automatic climate control has a driver-only mode that centers all the AC on the driver when it’s just you in the SUV.

Features for the exterior include roof rails, LED daytime running lights, a rear spoiler, and rear privacy glass, with equipment like a powered sunroof, LED headlights, and heated wing mirrors available in upper trims. The interior comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an automatic windshield defogging system, and a drive-mode system with shift paddles that include a higher-performance sport mode. Optional features for the interior include Kia’s UVO link system with a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen, mood lighting, a smart key, and wireless phone charging.

A red 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid is driving on a tree-lined road.

Niro Plug-in Hybrid

The Niro plug-in hybrid is similar to the hybrid in many ways but can drive up to 26 miles without using gas power. This gives it a combined fuel economy of an incredible 105 MPGe. Another benefit of a plug-in hybrid is that it can be charged by plugging it into a power source. Regenerative braking is also utilized to recharge the battery, so city driving with lots of stopping provides you with a bit more range than highway driving.

Buyers who choose the plug-in hybrid can charge their Niro at home with a level two charger that will fully charge the battery overnight, though any household outlet can be used in a pinch, even if it works more slowly. There are thousands of charging stations located across the country where level three chargers can fully charge your battery in under an hour for buyers who don’t have access to exterior charging or a garage with outlets. Charging stations can be located using an app that will direct you and tell you what type of charger is available.

Features for the Niro plug-in hybrid are similar to the Niro hybrid, though the plug-in has only three available trims, consisting of the LXS, EX, and EX Premium. The base trim of the plug-in hybrid is the LXS, leaving the remaining trim levels the same as the hybrid. Interior and exterior appearance and dimensions are the same as the hybrid, but a few extra features are added to the standard equipment in comparison to the hybrid.

On the interior, the base trim for the plug-in hybrid can enjoy the benefits of the UVO system to utilize in-car connectivity for hands-free driving and voice commands for the audio system. The UVO link will allow for remote features to be accessed via your smartphone from anywhere, including checking fuel and battery levels, unlocking, or starting your Niro. A smart key and push-button start are standard for all trims, allowing access to the Niro when the key is close enough to the Niro to unlock it automatically and to start it with the button. All the exciting features of the hybrid upper trims remain the same for the plug-in, including the same powertrain and driving experience.

A closeup shows the charging port of a black 2020 Kia Niro EV.

Niro EV

To enjoy the exhilaration of the fully electric Niro EV, Kia provides two trim levels: EX and EX Premium. The driving range of the Niro EV is up to 239 miles on a fully charged battery, and at 201 horsepower, the electric motor has more muscle than its hybrid cousin. The 64 kWh lithium-ion battery is equipped for D/C fast-charging capability to reduce the time it takes to charge fully. Again, many features available for the hybrid options are similar for the Niro EV, though the base EX trim starts buyers with far more features.

A slight shift in the allotment of space for cargo and rear legroom amounts to an inch or less of space difference, which will most likely be unnoticed by most buyers. Driving the Niro EV is likely to be more thrilling than the hybrids, as the electric power offers more torque and responsiveness for acceleration. Buyers of the Niro EV will notice the biggest difference between electric and hybrid powertrains is the silence. Gas engines are noisy, while electric motors make virtually no sound. It does mean city driving requires more caution when approaching pedestrians, who may not hear your vehicle when they prepare to cross your path.

A few differences in the exterior will be evident in the Niro EV’s appearance compared to the hybrids, such as the front grille no longer being open for airflow. Without a gas engine, the grille no longer serves a purpose, so the grille is solid instead of vented. Front and rear blue accents on the bumpers are exclusive to the Niro EV to set it further apart in appearance, and mirror-mounted turn signal indicators are standard for both trims. On the inside, heated front seats are standard, and a heated steering wheel is optional. The upper trim will gain the Harmon Kardon audio system, the larger 10.25-inch touchscreen, and the fully-loaded UVO system.

Choose Your Niro

Which Niro is right for you? Whether you choose the Hybrid, the Plug-In Hybrid, or the EV, you will be saving money on gas and protecting the environment in a stylish new SUV. Each Niro also comes with Kia’s amazing warranty that will keep your vehicle covered for many years to come. Every Niro will help reduce emissions for our environment, and the affordable price is certain to make it possible for anyone who wants a more fuel-efficient vehicle to become an owner today.

Posted in Kia EVs