January 5, 2022
As Kia’s smallest SUV, the 2022 Niro provides practicality and value in a petite package. But the Niro is unique in its segment due to its hybrid powertrains with rivals not offering such an option. The entry-level powertrain is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that combines with an electric motor to make 139 horsepower. A plug-in hybrid version is also offered and can drive up to 26 miles on electric power before engaging the gasoline engine. For buyers seeking an SUV with impressive fuel efficiency, there are few choices better than a Niro hybrid.
Standard features on the base LX trim include 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a rear spoiler, cloth seats, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, 60/40-split/folding rear seats, rear- occupant alert, and seven airbags. The standard infotainment system is an 8-inch screen with Bluetooth, one USB port, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Upgrading to the LXS trim adds more modern safety tech features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-following assist, automatic high beams, and a driver attention warning. The LXS model also adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a rear center armrest, and remote start.
The Touring SE model is where the Niro starts to get more luxurious. It has an upgraded 10.25-inch infotainment system with navigation, highway driving assist, adaptive cruise control, cyclist detection, Harman/Kardon premium audio, paddle shifters, an electronic parking brake, and wireless charging.
A 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor team up with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in the regular Niro. The plug-in-hybrid version uses the same basic powertrain as the standard model, albeit with a larger battery pack for increased EV range. That battery adds up to 26 miles of EV operation, according to the EPA. The Niro easily tackles uneven roads, delivering a controlled, stable ride. Steering responses in the Niro are swift and accurate. Multipurpose steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are available which can be used for changing gears or cycling between four levels of regenerative braking, depending on the selected drive mode.
The fuel economy of the Niro varies depending on which trim you choose because of factors like weight and wheel size. The most efficient version achieves an impressive rating of 53 city/48 highway mpg.
The base LX features a fuss-free interior that is heavy on plastic and cloth. Leather appointments enter the mix starting on the mid-level Touring trim. Also standard across the lineup is two-zone automatic climate control, with controls for the driver and front-seat passenger. There’s even a button to turn the passenger’s climate control off if that seat is empty, which could save energy. The Niro was designed from the outset to be a hybrid, not converted from an existing gasoline-powered vehicle. As a result, cargo space is not reduced by its battery pack. If you won’t be hauling lots of cargo or bulky items regularly, the Niro has a good amount of room. The back seats have enough legroom and headroom to seat two adults comfortably.
The standard infotainment system is an 8.0-unch touchscreen, with a larger 10.3-inch unit installed on higher trim levels. Both are supplemented by hard buttons that include a physical volume and tuning knob. The systems are intuitive and simple and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Base Niros include smartphone connectivity and SiriusXM compatibility. The optional navigation system uses GPS data to predict energy demands and will, for instance, save up energy in the battery in anticipation of a hill climb.
While the base model isn’t offered with any of the most common driver-assistance technology, the rest of the lineup comes standard with equipment such as automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist, and more.
Key Safety Features Include:
Kia offers one of the most comprehensive vehicle warranties available. The 10-year powertrain warranty is the cornerstone, but Kia beats the competition almost across the board.
The Kia Niro is an excellent value for drivers looking for a practical hybrid. It’s a small crossover with good interior space for its size, and it boasts a combined fuel economy rating of up to 50 mpg. It also carries a starting MSRP of under $26,000. This all adds up to one of the most practical and value-conscious vehicles that money can buy.
Check out the new 2022 Kia Niro here or call us to set up your test drive.