Kia spruces up its Niro hybrid range for 2021

These fuel-sipping crossovers gain a few more features and amenities than before.

No, there's nothing exciting to report here, but the Kia Niro is getting some enhancements for 2021.

The Kia Niro is receiving some noteworthy updates for 2021. The South Korean automaker's hybrid-crossover family benefits from more standard equipment and new convenience features.

Preventing drivers from forgetting precious cargo like children or pets in the backseat, a rear-occupant alert system has been added for 2021. Niros equipped with keyless entry gain remote engine start, a godsend to drivers living in colder climates. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can now connect wirelessly in versions fitted with the 8-inch infotainment screen. Before, you'd have to plug your phone in with a cable like some rube to enjoy these helpful smartphone-mirroring systems.

Niros fitted with embedded navigation are now set to receive complimentary map updates for a whopping 10 years, something that should go a long way to helping these cars age gracefully. Kia's DriveWise suite of advanced driver aids has been expanded for 2021, gaining Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control and Curve. Basically, what this does is allow vehicles equipped with a navigation system to preemptively and automatically slow down for corners when the adaptive cruise control is set, a pretty clever safety feature.

As for pricing, it's crept up, but only slightly. The base Niro LX's window sticker appears to have increased by exactly one Benjamin Franklin to $25,865, including $1,175 in destination fees. The top-shelf EX Premium variant is about $215 pricier than before. As for the plug-in hybrid Niro PHEV, the entry-level LXS model starts at $30,765, a figure that also includes $1,175 in delivery charges. That price has also increased by $100, ditto for the midrange EX model. The Niro PHEV EX Premium is around $160 richer than last year. Prices for those plug-in models do not include any federal tax credits, which should reduce the sticker by an additional $4,543, making them even more enticing.

Despite those modest price increases, the Kia Niro is still a great option for people looking to save money at the pump. Even the standard hybrid model can average as much as 50 miles per gallon combined, which is nothing to scoff at.

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