Home / Technology / 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Review: An Outstanding Subcompact Crossover

2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Review: An Outstanding Subcompact Crossover

The 2018 Kia Niro is a must-try subcompact crossover for those who’re available in the market for a small automobile. It comes as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid. They’re roomy for his or her dimension and each get excellent gas financial system, just about 50 mpg. The dashboard and device are particularly nicely laid out, and higher trim traces are chock filled with era and motive force assists. Now not many different subcompacts be offering a head-up show.

Whilst Kia calls Niro a crossover, this isn’t an SUV and no longer an off-roader. Recall to mind it as a front-drive station wagon with a half-inch extra flooring clearance than the wagon-like Toyota Prius V multi-purpose car. The PHEV Niro will get 26 miles on battery energy, however that comes at a base worth $Four,000 greater than the related hybrid. It worth delta is offset through an an to be had tax credit score and qualifying as an HOV lane car.

I drove the Niro plug-in on probably the most Northeast’s many storm from snow weeks, creating a hockey fan’s pilgrimage via New York State to Clarkson Faculty close to St. Lawrence, via Lake Placid (“Miracle on Ice” Olympic hockey) and residential. The Niro used to be succesful in snow as much as 5 inches deep on highways — and made me want for an even-more succesful all-wheel-drive model. Toyota and Lexus have taken front-drive hybrids and made them all-wheel-drive with the easy expedient of hanging an electrical motor on the rear of the car.

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Niro plowed via North Nation snow when different shipping used to be grounded.

Using a lot of the weekend round 40 mph and plowing via snow, preventing regularly to scrub the home windows and sensors, I averaged solely within the low 40s on gas financial system. Nonetheless, I traveled 900 miles on about 20 gallons of gas plus two battery fees.

On dry freeway pavement, driving for hours on finish, the auto used to be a little bit uneven from time to time — much less the fault of Kia engineering, extra a results of being a car solely 172 inches lengthy with a 106-inch wheelbase. The longer the wheelbase, the simpler the auto resists pitching. Kia’s limo-like Okay900 has a 120-inch wheelbase when compared.

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Niro cockpit is effectively completed. EX / EX Top rate motive force’s seat beats LX seat handily for convenience.

Kia Niro PHEV Trim Stroll

The Kia Niro plug-in hybrid is available in 3 trim traces: LX, EX, and EX Top rate. Adaptive cruise keep watch over, computerized emergency braking, ahead collision caution, and lane retaining lend a hand are on all 3 trim traces. The EX and EX Top rate have blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, a rear digital camera, and entrance and rear parking sonar. The LX fits what Honda supplies usual with Honda Sensing and Toyota provides with TSS-P. Kia simply doesn’t have a catchy title for it but, like KiaKare.

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2018 Niro

The Niro PHEV LX, $27,900 plus $940 delivery, overall $28,840, with material upholstery, sensible key with push-button get started, a Four-inch multi-information show within the device panel, a 7-inch middle stack contact display screen, AM/FM/satellite tv for pc radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a USB jack and two 12-volt jacks, temper lighting fixtures, a four-way motive force’s seat, a laminated acoustic windshield, and roof rails. There are not any choices, rather than pearl white or pearl black paint for $395. This can be a automobile that Kia can put it on the market for not up to $28,000 and for as soon as, “well-equipped” isn’t an exaggeration.

The Niro PHEV EX, $32,440 overall, completes the security set (BSD, LKA, RCTA), provides a rear USB jack (price solely), improves the driving force’s seat considerably with 10-way adjustment and lumbar toughen, places leather-based accents at the material seats, and provides rear HVAC vents. The seats are heated, as is the outdoor replicate.

The Niro PHEV EX Top rate, $35,440 overall, will get a 7-inch device panel MID, LED headlamps, fuller leather-based upholstery, cooled in addition to heated seats, a heated guidance wheel, an Eight-inch contact display screen, navigation, Harman/Kardon top class audio with Clari-Fi (improves low-bit-rate virtual audio), and a 110-volt AC socket.

The hybrid model of the Kia Niro features a stripper fashion, the FE, this is gentle on content material however is available in with a $24,280 checklist worth (with delivery). The LX runs $24,590 plus $1,450 for a complicated tech package deal that gives the security options the PHEV has usual. The EX is $27,090 plus $1,950 for the complex tech package deal or $five,300 for a top class package deal that provides in each protection, audio, and luxury possibility. The Niro Traveling rolls in each possibility of the EX for a complete of $32,940.

The subcompact class is normally noticed as automobiles 170-180 inches lengthy. The Niro measures 172 inches lengthy, 71 inches broad, and 61 inches top, with 6.three inches flooring clearance.

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Shipment capability is first rate for a subcompact: 19.Four cubic toes, 54.five with again seat down. PHEV rear seat doesn’t fold totally flat on account of better battery pack beneath.

139 hp Is Sufficient for the Town, Ok for Highways

Kia’s 26 miles of EV vary comes from a 258-pound, 360-volt lithium-ion polymer battery beneath the rear seats, and an power ranking of Eight.nine kWh. The AC synchronous everlasting magnet motor is rated at 60 hp. It’s mated to a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and twin snatch six-speed computerized gearbox. General horsepower blended is 139, no longer so much for three,400-pound automobile, about 400 greater than the hybrid model. 0 to 60 mph takes about 10 seconds, yet another than with the hybrid. That isn’t fast, nevertheless it’s surely peppy in city using because of the torque of the electrical motor, and it’s sufficient for buying up to the mark on freeway ramps. It’s no longer the auto for assured passing on two-lane highways.

The use of a Kia telephone app, you’ll be able to program the Niro to price at off-peak charges. The auto comes with a 110-volt charger cable; it takes 9 hours. A 240-volt charger does the task in 2.five hours.

I didn’t see 26 miles of EV vary in trying out, however I used to be using in depressing stipulations and my Adirondacks motel slightly had AC energy inside of, let on my own outdoor, for an in a single day fill-up. I did get a pleasant price close to the Clarkson pupil middle and hockey rink one night time. With parking quite a bit packed for a showdown between Cornell and Clarkson, two most sensible ten groups, the campus police guided me to an open charging station just about the rink. That is without doubt one of the casual advantages of getting a plug-in hybrid: most popular parking.

EPA scores are 48 mpg town, 44 mpg freeway, 46 mpg total. MPG scores are 110/99/105; that measures the EV portion of using the use of 33.7 kWh because the an identical of 1 gallon of gas. With a complete tank and entire price, you’ll be able to cross so far as 560 miles, Kia says. Different testers (in excellent climate) have discovered freeway mpg pushing 50 mpg.

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For a front-drive automobile, the Niro PHEV fared nicely in somewhat deep snow.

Must You Purchase?

The Kia Niro PHEV is a wonderful little car with various security measures, great external traces, and stylish trim inside of with touches reminiscent of contrasting gentle blue sewing. The bottom fashion is well-equipped. You get nearly all of the protection you wish to have with the center trim line, the EX, whilst the EX Top rate provides extra options which can be great to have. All 3 are simple to shop for for the reason that options are baked into the trim line, a lot as Honda does, and the best choice is $395 for top class paint.

The hybrid/PHEV subcompact marketplace remains to be shaking out. One shut competitor (on specifications) is the Ford C-Max Energi PHEV, nevertheless it’s slightly promoting in the USA and Ford is pulling the plug this yr. (It can be Ford sellers aren’t well-equipped to promote plug-ins, and it can be $2.50 gas is hurting Ford.) Toyota’s Prius V is a foot longer than the Niro and hybrid-only.

The Honda H-RV is kind of the similar dimension, however no longer hybridized; it does be offering all-wheel-drive, has yet another inch of flooring clearance, and gas financial system is decrease at 27/31/29. The champ amongst subcompact crossovers/hatchbacks/tall wagons for bad-weather using is the gasoline-only Subaru Crosstrek with Eight.7 inches flooring clearance and rated at 27/33/29 mpg.

Should you’re searching for an urban-centered using enjoy, and off-roading to you approach using a mile at the ski house’s plowed gravel get admission to street, the Kia Niro PHEV will have to be effective, particularly for those who upload wintry weather tires. We’d counsel the mid-level Niro EX PHEV at $32,440. The largest competitor to the Niro PHEV is almost definitely the Niro Hybrid with the tech package deal at $29,zero40, which is available in $three,400 not up to the Niro EX PHEV. Except for for something: The plug-in is lately eligible for a $Four,543 federal credit score. Your neighbors’ tax greenbacks at paintings.

Should you power 10-15 miles to paintings every method, the PHEV could be how you can cross, ditto for those who are living in a space with HOV lanes. The Kia Niro is a a laugh automobile to power, it’s usable on lengthy journeys, Kia has a name for forged workmanship, and the usual protection suite is as excellent as any individual’s.

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