2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid review: Practical PHEV

The Niro will get a tiny visible upgrade, together with chevron LED jogging lights.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The Kia Niro selection is truly pretty interesting. It is a trio of hatchbacks, all of which are electrified. There is certainly the standard hybrid for individuals just dipping their toes in the inexperienced place, or the complete EV, for those people who are using the plunge. For me, however, I assume the greatest of all worlds is uncovered in this article, in the Niro plug-in hybrid.


  • Affordable cost
  • Lots of features
  • Loads of cargo place

You should not Like

  • No all-wheel travel readily available
  • Not tremendous exciting to travel

For 2020 the Niro will get a tiny mid-cycle refresh, with a new entrance fascia with a redesigned grille and LED jogging lights. The rear lighting also will get an update and you will find a new Horizon Blue coloration on present, also. Otherwise, the Niro is the very same as it ever was, but that isn’t really a terrible factor.

Plug-in electricity

The Niro PHEV is determined by a one.six-liter inline four-cylinder engine and a forty four.5-kilowatt electric motor. Collectively they make 139 horsepower and a healthier 195 pound-ft of torque. An 8.nine-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery retailers sufficient electrons for 26 miles of electric driving selection. And when the fuel engine comes on, it can be mated to a 6-speed twin-clutch automated somewhat than a droning repeatedly variable transmission, like the Niro’s rival, the Subaru Crosstrek PHEV. This makes the Niro considerably much better to travel.

However, the Niro PHEV isn’t really specifically thrilling at the rear of the wheel — not that it requires to be. There is a Sport manner that provides some pep to its step, but this hatchback is all about effortless performance higher than all. It is at household in the city, seamlessly switching amongst pure EV and hybrid modes. Of class, I can application the car or truck to help save all my electric miles right until I want to use them, but I assume the Niro functions really perfectly when left to do its have factor.

The Niro has paddle shifters, but they do not always command the transmission. When the car or truck is in Sport manner the paddles functionality as equipment shifters, providing me a minimal little bit additional command of the car or truck, but in Eco manner they command the regenerative braking. Degree one is barely visible, while Degree three is a minimal also jarring. Degree 2 is just proper, despite the fact that the regen isn’t really solid sufficient to convey the car or truck to a full prevent.

On the freeway the Niro PHEV accelerates just fantastic many thanks to its torquey powerplant and I like the adaptive cruise command and lane-preserving support programs. The tech keeps the Niro in the centre of its lane, sweeping via turns with no ping-ponging or unexpected actions. I also like that I can dial in the driver’s aids so I can have complete intervention or just an audible alert for the lane-preserving support.

On a Degree 2 household charger, the Niro PHEV will fill its battery in about 2.5 several hours. When you’re out and about, the Niro’s optional navigation process can route you to nearby charging stations, however I will acknowledge this tech didn’t always perform seamlessly. (Sometimes the plug was not suitable, other moments it was nowhere to be uncovered.) On the other hand, disheartening the GPS is in phrases of directing me to charging stations, it does have a couple neat tricks in its memory financial institution. It can forecast how substantially power the car or truck will need to have to say, traverse a mountain pass and help save up electric power to put together. I can also see the radius of my EV selection from my recent locale, which is practical if I want to stay on electric-only electricity while I am out for the working day.

The Niro PHEV will get 46 miles per gallon put together or 105 MPGe when you use the optimum electric and fuel performance. At the finish of my week with it the personal computer confirmed an average of sixty three mpg, which appears to be about proper considering the fact that I relied on the fuel engine an dreadful large amount.

Current Uvo tech joins the Niro’s cabin for 2020.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Current tech and loads of place

Within, you will find a pleasant tech upgrade for 2020, with Kia’s Uvo infotainment process jogging on an optional 10.2-inch touchscreen (the common screen actions 8 inches). Uvo is fantastic, with crisp, clear graphics and both equally Apple CarPlay and Android Car are common.

Ironically, inside charging ports are on the sparse facet in my tester, with just the wireless charging pad, two USB-A ports and a twelve-volt outlet up entrance. There are no retailers in the armrest and none for rear-seat travellers, both.

I am not a tremendous-enthusiast of my EX Quality model’s inside design and style. It is just a little bit dim for my preferences but the components are of large quality and there are a good deal of common features like heated and cooled entrance seats, a heated steering wheel and wireless charging. The rear seats are a good deal roomy and with 22.four cubic ft of place at the rear of the rear seats and sixty three.2 cubes with them folded down, there is a good deal of utility to be experienced. The rear seats, however, do not fold entirely flat and there isn’t really a large amount of tiny storage place up entrance.

The Niro is a fantastic way to dip your toe into plug-in hybrid possession.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Frugal and practical

The only real competitor to the Kia Niro PHEV is the likewise sized Subaru Crosstrek PHEV. It begins at just more than $35,000 while the base Niro PHEV can be experienced for a couple thousand dollars less. That claimed, no one at Roadshow has pleasant points to say about the plug-in Crosstrek. Your only other alternative for a plug-in crossover is the larger Toyota RAV4 Key, which gives forty two miles of all-electric driving selection. You could also look at out the Toyota Prius Key which prices a couple grand less than the Kia Niro PHEV, or the Honda Clarity PHEV, which is about $four,000 additional and 10 moments as hideous.

The 2020 Kia Niro PHEV is for individuals who care about gasoline economy but may perhaps not still be ready to dedicate to a complete EV. The splendor of PHEV is that you can get substantially of your in-city driving accomplished on pure electric electricity, but not be stuck obtaining to recharge in the center of a extensive street trip. The Niro PHEV gives up a good deal of features and driver’s aids for a pleasant cost, also. All in, it can be a practical, very affordable plug-in.

Maria J. Danford

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