Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

Editors' Review

The Kia Niro range is actually quite interesting. It's a trio of hatchbacks, all of which are electrified. There's the conventional hybrid for folks just dipping their toes in the green space, or the full EV, for those who are taking the plunge. For me, though, I think the best of all worlds is found here, in the Niro plug-in hybrid.

For 2020 the Niro gets a small mid-cycle refresh, with a new front fascia with a redesigned grille and LED running lights. The rear lighting also gets an update and there's a new Horizon Blue color on offer, too. Otherwise, the Niro is the same as it ever was, but that isn't a bad thing.

Plug-in power

The Niro PHEV is motivated by a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine and a 44.5-kilowatt electric motor. Together they make 139 horsepower and a healthy 195 pound-feet of torque. An 8.9-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery stores enough electrons for 26 miles of electric driving range. And when the gas engine comes on, it's mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic rather than a droning continuously variable transmission, like the Niro's rival, the Subaru Crosstrek PHEV. This makes the Niro far better to drive.

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The Good ~ Affordable price ~ Lots of features ~ Plenty of cargo space

The Bad ~ No all-wheel drive available ~ Not super fun to drive

The Bottom Line The 2020 Kia Niro PHEV is an affordable, fuel-efficient little crossover that's a great introduction to the electrified life.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7
  • Features 8
  • Design 8
  • Media 8.5

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