2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid review: Practical PHEV

The Niro gets a smaller visible improve, such as chevron LED jogging lights.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The Kia Niro variety is basically really appealing. It is really a trio of hatchbacks, all of which are electrified. There is certainly the conventional hybrid for people just dipping their toes in the inexperienced place, or the whole EV, for all those who are using the plunge. For me, although, I believe the very best of all worlds is found right here, in the Niro plug-in hybrid.


  • Cost-effective cost
  • Loads of capabilities
  • Loads of cargo place

Will not Like

  • No all-wheel drive offered
  • Not super exciting to drive

For 2020 the Niro gets a smaller mid-cycle refresh, with a new entrance fascia with a redesigned grille and LED jogging lights. The rear lighting also gets an update and there is a new Horizon Blue coloration on provide, much too. Normally, the Niro is the identical as it at any time was, but that just isn’t a poor matter.

Plug-in ability

The Niro PHEV is enthusiastic by a 1.six-liter inline 4-cylinder engine and a forty four.5-kilowatt electric powered motor. Jointly they make 139 horsepower and a healthy 195 pound-feet of torque. An eight.nine-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion polymer battery stores enough electrons for 26 miles of electric powered driving variety. And when the gasoline engine comes on, it really is mated to a six-speed twin-clutch automatic instead than a droning consistently variable transmission, like the Niro’s rival, the Subaru Crosstrek PHEV. This helps make the Niro significantly better to drive.

Even now, the Niro PHEV just isn’t notably thrilling at the rear of the wheel — not that it requirements to be. There is a Sport method that provides some pep to its phase, but this hatchback is all about simple performance previously mentioned all. It is really at residence in the town, seamlessly switching in between pure EV and hybrid modes. Of system, I can plan the motor vehicle to preserve all my electric powered miles until finally I want to use them, but I believe the Niro will work really effectively when left to do its individual matter.

The Niro has paddle shifters, but they you should not usually control the transmission. When the motor vehicle is in Sport method the paddles perform as gear shifters, supplying me a small little bit far more control of the motor vehicle, but in Eco method they control the regenerative braking. Amount 1 is barely recognizable, although Amount three is a small much too jarring. Amount 2 is just proper, whilst the regen just isn’t robust enough to deliver the motor vehicle to a full quit.

On the freeway the Niro PHEV accelerates just fine thanks to its torquey powerplant and I like the adaptive cruise control and lane-maintaining guide units. The tech retains the Niro in the center of its lane, sweeping by turns with no ping-ponging or sudden actions. I also like that I can dial in the driver’s aids so I can have whole intervention or just an audible notify for the lane-maintaining guide.

On a Amount 2 residence charger, the Niro PHEV will fill its battery in about 2.5 several hours. When you might be out and about, the Niro’s optional navigation method can route you to nearby charging stations, although I am going to admit this tech did not usually get the job done seamlessly. (At times the plug was not suitable, other instances it was nowhere to be found.) Nevertheless, aggravating the GPS is in phrases of directing me to charging stations, it does have a number of cool tricks in its memory financial institution. It can predict how considerably electricity the motor vehicle will require to say, traverse a mountain go and preserve up electric powered electricity to get ready. I can also see the radius of my EV variety from my current location, which is useful if I want to stay on electric powered-only ability although I’m out for the working day.

The Niro PHEV gets forty six miles per gallon put together or one hundred and five MPGe when you use the highest electric powered and gasoline performance. At the finish of my week with it the computer system confirmed an typical of 63 mpg, which would seem about proper given that I relied on the gasoline engine an awful lot.

Updated Uvo tech joins the Niro’s cabin for 2020.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Updated tech and heaps of place

Within, there is a pleasant tech improve for 2020, with Kia’s Uvo infotainment method jogging on an optional ten.2-inch touchscreen (the normal display screen steps eight inches). Uvo is fine, with crisp, distinct graphics and the two Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle are normal.

Ironically, interior charging ports are on the sparse side in my tester, with just the wireless charging pad, two USB-A ports and a twelve-volt outlet up entrance. There are no stores in the armrest and none for rear-seat passengers, possibly.

I’m not a super-fan of my EX Quality model’s interior design and style. It is really just a little bit dim for my preferences but the supplies are of large high-quality and there are loads of normal capabilities like heated and cooled entrance seats, a heated steering wheel and wireless charging. The rear seats are loads roomy and with 22.4 cubic feet of place at the rear of the rear seats and 63.2 cubes with them folded down, there is loads of utility to be experienced. The rear seats, however, you should not fold entirely flat and there just isn’t a lot of smaller storage place up entrance.

The Niro is a excellent way to dip your toe into plug-in hybrid possession.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Frugal and practical

The only true competitor to the Kia Niro PHEV is the equally sized Subaru Crosstrek PHEV. It starts off at just more than $35,000 although the base Niro PHEV can be experienced for a number of thousand bucks a lot less. That said, no one particular at Roadshow has pleasant matters to say about the plug-in Crosstrek. Your only other choice for a plug-in crossover is the larger sized Toyota RAV4 Prime, which features forty two miles of all-electric powered driving variety. You could also verify out the Toyota Prius Prime which fees a number of grand a lot less than the Kia Niro PHEV, or the Honda Clarity PHEV, which is about $4,000 far more and ten instances as unappealing.

The 2020 Kia Niro PHEV is for people who treatment about gas economic climate but may perhaps not yet be prepared to commit to a whole EV. The beauty of PHEV is that you can get considerably of your in-town driving completed on pure electric powered ability, but not be trapped obtaining to recharge in the middle of a prolonged highway trip. The Niro PHEV features up loads of capabilities and driver’s aids for a pleasant cost, much too. All in, it really is a practical, economical plug-in.