Kia Niro received a plug in 2018. In its new role as a 4-door SUV plug-In hybrid, it’s a standout.
Three main factors that make the 2019 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid an excellent choice for consumers who want a Eco-friendly car that transitions them into the Next Gen Car Phase of EVs, plug-in hybrids and hybrids:
1: The base model FE MSRP is $23,490K.
2: The Niro PHEV qualifies for a $4,543 Federal tax credit, meaning the base MSRP of $23,400 is substantially reduced to around $18K before taxes and fees. Add in your $1500K state rebate from California and the price goes lower!
3: This plug-In gets 26 pure electric miles, averages 46 MPG combined, and gets a whopping 560 miles of total range.
The Kia Niro hybrid comes in 5 trims:
S Touring: $28,800
All of them use a 1.6 L 4-cylinder and Full Parallel Hybrid System gas engine, combined with an AC Synchronous permanent magnet motor that uses an 8.9kWh Lithium-Ion battery.
Autoweek’s Road Test Editor, Jake Lingeman says: “The Niro doesn’t have a ton of straight competitors at the moment – the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid and Prius Prime are probably closest, and they all start in the high $20K range. This Niro is better looking than those two, and it comes with 54 cubic feet of storage space to boot. If you have a charger close by, and live less than 25 miles from work, it could be exactly what you need to jump into EV ownership.”
Car and Driver reviewer Bent Halvorson says: “The best plug-in hybrids sell themselves on low running costs and not overcomplicating things, and that’s exactly what Kia has done with this Niro. The carmaker has managed to fit its battery under the back seat without encroaching on seating or cargo space. The Niro plug-in hybrid doesn’t sacrifice any livability for its additional electrons. Kia smartly pushed the stepped floor just a bit forward of the lower back-seat cushion to accommodate the larger battery pack under the floor, something that few back-seat occupants would likely ever notice. It has exactly the same hip point for the seat, the same seat cushion, and the same nearly flat seat-folding capability as the hybrid.”
The Niro Plug-in’s powertrain uses a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 104 horsepower; a 6-speed automatic transmission; and a 60-hp electric motor energized by an 8.9 kWh battery. The battery – tucked under the cargo area – and the electric motor, are larger than what’s found in the standard Niro. Kia says a 240-volt Level 2 charger replenishes the battery in approximately 2.5 hours, while charging with a standard 120-volt household outlet takes nearly nine hours.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid is available in three trims; LX, EX and EX Premium. The LX, which comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display and many advanced driver safety aids. The EX provides more convenience-oriented and safety features, while the top EX Premium adds luxury items such as leather upholstery and premium audio.
The base LX comes standard with 16-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, 60/40-split folding rear seats, keyless entry and push-button start, a 7-inch infotainment display, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, two USB ports, and a four-speaker sound system with satellite radio. A rearview camera, front collision warning and mitigation with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control are also included.
Niro Plug-In Hybrids in the EX trim level come with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear air vents, leather and cloth upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat and heated front seats. The EX Premium adds LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, a bigger driver information display, an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, a Harman Kardon eight-speaker surround sound system, a wireless phone charger and ventilated front seats.
All Niro plug-in models come with blue-accent trim and stitching, a 3.3-kilowatt onboard charger, a charge-scheduling function, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.
Says Edmunds reviewer Calvin Kim: “With the Niro Plug-In Hybrid, you get great fuel economy and SUV-like styling at a reasonable price.” Kim gives 5 stars for the Niro Plug-In’s driving position: “The tilt-and-telescoping steering column has a lot of adjustment, and the optional power driver's seat has two-way lumbar adjustment and height adjustment. It's pretty easy to find a comfortable driving position thanks to copious amounts of head and legroom to suit a wide range of drivers.”
Bent Halvorson: “It’s the inherent practicality and value that sells us on the Niro. It’s no wonder the hybrid has outsold the closely related Hyundai Ioniq by nearly 2.5 to 1 in the U.S. to date and is gaining on the Prius. With crossover-like seating, space, style, and versatility, there’s no real downside to the plug-in Niro. Charge it a couple of times a week when you can, and you’ll have one of the most efficient vehicles on the market that also can take your family anywhere on the weekend.”
Niro's low MSRP and excellent hybrid range, make this Eco-friendly car a huge value.
WRITTEN APRIL 2019
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