2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

Review: The 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid has all the rationality of a car

The 2023 Kia Niro combines three cars into one.

It’s also available in three different versions.

There are three versions of the Niro: an all-electric, plug in hybrid, and a traditional hybrid.

Although sharing a platform with three different powertrain designs may not be optimal, it allows Kia to price its Niro Hybrid at $27,785.

Although Kia calls it an “SUV”, it is actually a tall compact hatchback. The EPA classifies it as a small stationwagon.

The Niro’s power comes from a 1.6-liter four cylinder engine and an electric motor combination. It is sent to the front wheels by a six-speed auto transmission.

It’s rated at 53 MPG combined for all except the EX Touring, $36,085 SX Touring, and the top-of-the-line $36,085 SX Touring, which dropped to 49 MPG due to different tires, wheels, and other equipment.

The powertrain’s output is rated at 139 horsepower and 195 lb/ft of torque. It is simply amazing. It isn’t fast but it isn’t slow. It does its job and doesn’t really think about it.

A few design details are made to improve its aerodynamic efficiency include a visible seal at the front panel gap and hidden channels behind the blades at the rear roof panel. These clean up air as it flows through.

This makes it very quiet for a car this small and in this price range. It is probably a trickle down effect of engineering the electric version at $40,745. Because they don’t have a throbbing engine to muffle wind and road noise, full EVs must be quiet.

The Niro’s cabin has plenty of space and is well-packaged. Six-footers can sit next to six-footers with enough legroom. They have 22.8 feet of cargo space behind them, which is ample if not overwhelming.

The dashboard of the Niro features the dual-digital displays that are found on all Kia models today. The LX gets an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment screen, while the LX has a larger unit with SiriusXM radio. The other is upgraded to a 10.25 inch unit. Both models come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.

All models come standard with blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency brakes and lane-keeping assistance. Higher trims can have lane-centering adaptive cruise controls. As you move up the range, additional features include folding mirrors and climate-controlled front chairs. The SX Touring comes fully loaded with all the amenities.

The Niro is not an exciting car. However, it is difficult to imagine a more rationally designed vehicle that provides practical, affordable, and efficient transportation.

This is a nice trio for people who are passionate about this kind of thing.

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