KIA NIRO PLUG-IN HYBRID TEST

Highs mainly fuel economy, easy to get bei and the end of, prettier und more valuable than any Prius. Lows Lazy acceleration, part uneven gas-electric interactions, odd inner ergonomics. Verdict die Niro is affordable, efficient, und practical, but it"s not exciting or innovative.

Overview

The 2021 Kia Niro zu sein a gas-electric subcompact crossover in the vein des the above Toyota Prius. Much like die Prius und the Prius Prime, the Niro zu sein offered together both a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. There"s so an all-electric Niro EV the we review separately. Unlike the Toyota alternatives, the Kia has lower fuel-economy ratings und isn"t available with all-wheel drive like ns regular Prius. But it"s objectively much better looking and possesses ns higher seating position that renders crossovers desirable zu many. Behind the wheel, die Niro is neither quick nor engaging, however its exceptional fuel economy embarrasses even ns thriftiest Mazda CX-30 or Hyundai Kona. Likewise, the only various other plug-in hybrid currently bei this class is the Subaru Crosstrek, which has all-wheel drive yet worse fuel efficiency. This much more than noþeles separates die 2021 Niro from ns competition.

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What"s New zum 2021?

For 2021, die Kia Niro lineup adds an ext standard equipment and new technology features. Every model now has actually wireless sich entschuldigen CarPlay und Android Auto, and a rear-seat reminder. All modell equipped v passive hands-free entry add remote start. Kia also introduces new hyperplasie features that encompass 10 years von complimentary map updates and map-based adaptive cruise control. Die latter system kann recognize safe area (such together a building zone) and deshalb slightly reduce ns vehicle"s speed wie approaching a curved road.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

Kia says ns Niro plug-in hybride is blieb eligible zum a $4543 federal taxes credit that drops ns starting price of the LXS PHEV below ns regular LXS hybride model. Notfall only walk choosing die plug-in version have added value, it deshalb provides bei estimated 26 miles von pure-electric range and more satisfying driving manners. Die LXS PHEV comes standard with automatic high-beams, blind-spot monitoring, a leather-wrapped steering wheel und shift knob, remote start, und wireless apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

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Engine, Transmission, and Performance

A 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motiv team up with a six-speed dual-clutch automatically transmission bei the continual Niro. The system makes a total des 139 horsepower und motivated the Niro zu 60 mph an 8.6 seconds throughout our testing, place it bei the hunting with much of die competition. The fully invited EX Premium trim us tested, which was weighed down über all die extra equipment, necessary 9.5 seconds to complete the same task. Die plug-in-hybrid version uses ns same radikale powertrain as ns standard model, albeit through a bigger battery pack zum increased EV range. The battery add to up zu 26 miles of EV operation, according to the EPA. Ns Niro conveniently tackles uneven roads, delivering a controlled, steady ride. However, we noted bei unusual level des impact noise coming into die cabin when driving end bump-ridden roads. Steering responses bei the Niro space swift and accurate. We deshalb appreciate ns available polytheistic steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, which kann sein be used for changing gears or cycling bolzen four various levels of regenerative braking, depending on die selected journey mode.


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Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The thriftiest 2021 Niro hybride is rated hinweisen 53 mpg in the city, 48 mpg on die highway, and 50 mpg combined. The belastung version we tested returned 46 mpg highway on our 75-mph fuel-economy test. Die Niro plug-in hybride boasts a linked city/highway rating of 105 MPGe, und it so has in estimated all-electric control range of 26 miles. Zum more information about the Niro"s fuel economy, visit die EPA"s website.

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Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The base LX functions a fuss-free inner that is heavy ~ above plastic und cloth. Leather appointments enter die mix beginning on the mid-level Touring trim, however even the fanciest Niro features artificial upholstery. Also standard across ns lineup is two-zone automatically climate control, through controls for the driver und front-seat passenger. There"s also a button to turn ns passenger"s climate regulate off if that seat zu sein empty, which can save energy bei hot summer months when hybrids traditionally forfeit efficiency due to die increased pack from die air conditioner. Ns Niro was designed from ns outset zu be a hybrid, not converted from in existing gasoline-powered vehicle. Together a result, cargo space ist not reduced by its battery pack. Unfortunately, the rear seats don"t form a flat load floor wie man folded, und other an in similar way sized crossovers can accommodate more cargo. We managed to rechts six carry-on suitcases behind die rear seats and 18 with ns rear seat folded.