With the Niro Plug-In Hybrid electrical car (PHEV), Kia hopes to ease mainstream car consumers into plugging in, whereas nonetheless, filling up at fuel stations between fees, and concurrently fulfill an insatiable urge for food for utility automobiles. The PHEV model of the Niro crossover is nearly similar to its hybrid sibling, apart from the distinct exterior and inside badging and a bigger battery pack. The battery may be recharged from an external energy supply and supply 26 miles of electric-only energy. After electric-only energy is depleted, the PHEV Niro nonetheless will get the hybrid model’s wholesome 46mpg.
Moreover, being among only a handful of PHEV crossovers in the marketplace, the Niro’s easy infotainment system, complete (and customary) driver assists, and Kia’s 10-year/100,000-mile everyday guarantee sweetens the deal for these trying to go inexperienced. However, whereas the Niro PHEV has a CUV’s rugged seems to be, excessive driving place, and roomy inside, the cargo space is small in contrast with different crossovers, and there is not any all-wheel-drive choice.
Pricing and Design
The 2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is out there in three trim ranges—LX, EX, and EX Premium—all powered by a 1.6-liter, 4-cylinder, 104-horsepower gasoline engine, and a 60-horsepower electrical motor. Mixed, the hybrid-electric powertrain produces 139 horsepower. Energy is shipped to the entrance wheels utilizing a six-speed dual-clutch automated transmission.
The Niro PHEV’s lithium-ion battery may be charged by an equipped 120-volt cable, which takes below 9 hours to achieve full capability. With a Stage-2 240-volt house charger or business charging station, the battery may be topped off in about 2.5 hours. The battery can also be incrementally charged whereas driving through regenerative braking.
The bottom degree LX we examined begins at $27,900, and the one choice was $135 for carpeted ground mats. This introduced the ultimate sticker, together with a $940 inland freight and dealing with cost, to $28,975.
The LX comes with such exterior options as 16-inch alloy wheels, a matte black grille with satin-chrome trim, black fender and rocker cladding, a rear spoiler, body-colored and powered mirrors, roof rails, and unique blue accents.
Customary inside facilities embody cloth-trimmed 4-way energy entrance seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat with a middle armrest, dual-zone automated local weather management driver-only mode, keyless entry and beginning, and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel.
Customary tech options embody a 7-inch contact show, Kia’s Uvo infotainment system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, two USB ports, and a four-speaker sound system with satellite tv for pc radio. A rearview digicam, entrance collision warning and mitigation with automated emergency braking, lane conserving help, and adaptive cruise management come as regular driver assists.
The EX begins at $32,100 and provides xenon headlights, rear air vents, USB port, leather-based and fabric upholstery, a 10-way energy driver’s seat, heated entrance seats, a cargo cowl, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, lane-change help, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The flagship EX Premium begins at $35,200. It provides LED headlights, leather-trimmed seats, driver seat reminiscence, a heated steering wheel, ventilated entrance seats, a bigger instrument panel show, an 8-inch infotainment contact display screen with navigation, a Harman Kardon 8-speaker sound system, wi-fi telephone charging, a 110-volt energy outlet, and entrance and rear parking sensors.
Unlike the extra authentic styling of the Kia Optima and Stinger, the Niro’s exterior is relatively atypical however has the acquainted Kia grille accented by the wraparound headlights. The inside is equally mundane, with arduous plastics and a colorless grey color scheme.
The Niro supplies loads of passenger headroom, and legroom is the first-rate for each row; however, it does not have the cargo house of equivalent-sized crossovers and even hatchbacks, and the rear seats do not type a flat ground when folded.
Infotainment Interface and Connectivity
The Niro makes use of the identical primary infotainment system we have examined in different Kia automobiles, such because the Optima PHEV. Though Kia has utilized the Niro’s 8-inch touch-screen interface for years now, its sharp graphics, intuitive menu construction, and configurable My Menu characteristic that permits fast entry to favorite features makes it a keeper.
Kia’s Uvo eServices are equally accessible and are free for the preceding five years of possession. Uvo eServices embody roadside help, car diagnostics, 911 calls, and extra. In contrast, an Uvo smartphone app can be utilized to regulate features equivalent to door lock/unlock, car location, and geofencing, and speed-limit alerts.
The Kia Niro PHEV additionally provides Uvo eco distant app options equivalent to monitoring charging standing, scheduling cost occasions, and discovering charging station areas. The 8-inch in-dash contact display screen further reveals charging station location and information and can set charging events and monitor charging.
The automotive comes customary with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The mannequin we examined additionally has the subscription-based SiriusXM Journey Hyperlink service that gives real-time information on climate, sports activities, inventory costs, and extra. An LED on the left facet of the instrument panel reveals whether or not energy is being drawn from the gasoline engine or the battery and displays driving habits. In contrast, one other show within the heart permits adjusting driver help options in an easy-to-understand method.
Efficiency and Conclusions
The Niro has sufficient pep to chop utilizing crowded metropolis visitors; however, it feels sluggish when requested to rise to hurry on quicker roads. The powertrain also lacks the seamlessness we skilled within the Optima PHEV, inflicting the engine to interact, even in EV mode regularly. The change from regenerative to mechanical braking, nevertheless, is nearly invisible besides below heavy braking.
Regardless of its crossover-like proportions, the Niro handles extra like a tall hatchback, so it is planted and assured utilizing turns, if not sporty. Kia could name the Niro a crossover; however, it lacks the bottom clearance of an actual CUV, and it isn’t accessible with an all-wheel drive.
However, in case you are looking for a PHEV crossover or SUVs, your decisions are few. If you’re cross-shopping the Kia Niro, for instance, there’s just one non-luxury choice: the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which begins at greater than $35,000. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo all supply PHEV crossovers and SUVs with a lot of increased costs. So in the event you’re searching for a PHEV crossover that may run on battery energy for brief journeys, has a base mannequin with tons of ordinary options, and you do not want all-wheel drive and tons of cargo room, the 2019 Kia Niro is a strong guess.
- The easy infotainment system and connectivity.
- Base mannequin loaded with customary options.
- Automotive-like was dealing with.
- No AWD choice.
- Lacks cargo room in contrast with comparable crossovers.
- Sluggish acceleration.