2023 Kia Niro blends crossover style and 49 mpg

2023 Kia Niro blends crossover style and 49 mpg

The redesigned 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid receives larger, bolder, and mostly much better for its next act. The tall hatchback arrives only with front-wheel travel and a preference of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric powertrains. I just lately analyzed the most obtainable and least high priced iteration, the 2023 Niro Hybrid. 

On a long weekend absent, the leading Niro SX Touring proved roomy enough to haul two of us and a smelly load of hockey goalie gear, comfy enough to permit that goalie to snooze most of the two approaches, and successful adequate to justify its increased selling price above the 1st-gen Niro that launched in 2017. 

Eco more than Sport

The powertrain is largely the exact, but effectiveness enhances because of to updates to the cooling and friction components, Kia states. The 1.6-liter inline-4 carries around with a 32-kw electrical motor sandwiched among the engine and a 6-pace dual-clutch transmission. It tends to make 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, and a travel manner button on the steering wheel toggles among Eco and Sport modes. The Niro is created for the previous.

Like the Toyota Prius, the Niro Hybrid is sluggish. Like 10-seconds-to-60-mph gradual. Passing moves need careful thing to consider of life’s wishes and requires. Still for drivers who choose quiet to chaos, the tranquil cabin and virtually unnoticeable shifts of electric power give it a clean confidence that compensates for its lack of energy. 

The paddle shifters on the again of the steering wheel give drivers the decision in how to increase the Eco or the Activity modes. Very same as its predecessor, when in Eco mode, the paddle shifters permit a few regenerative braking configurations. Ordinarily, it is a characteristic reserved for plug-in hybrids and electrical autos. In the Niro Hybrid, pull and keep on the remaining paddle to access a fourth mode dubbed Max that will come to a full stop for just one-pedal driving. It proved challenging to modulate in my tests. At sluggish speeds coming into a stoplight with the best regen environment presently activated, it was doable, but I did not have assurance performing it with congestion. Might be a me detail.

On the other hand, in Sport mode, the paddles come to be common shifters to toggle by means of the 6-speed twin-clutch automated. It’s enjoyment, and places additional electrical power in the driver’s hand. Yet another intelligent duality takes place on the electronic temperature manage panel. Press the arrow and the show turns to buttons for the infotainment push the fan icon and the screen switches to weather controls.  

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

Even although the powertrain remains generally the identical, the EPA-rated gasoline economic system will increase at the very least 3 mpg to 53 mpg town, 45 highway, 49 mixed with the 18-inch wheels on the tester. (It’s 53 mpg blended on normal 16-inch wheels). But we didn’t occur near to that, averaging underneath 40 mpg on freeway speeds that averaged 75 mph. Blame it on the hockey equipment. 

The ranking trails the Toyota Prius but the 2023 Niro Hybrid is a a lot far more desirable auto, and the design and style changes have a extra significant impact on the greater effectiveness more than its predecessor. 

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

Blades of glory

Kia restyled the Niro for a a lot more standout existence. Chunky LED headlights with running lights like mascara underliner flank a slim higher grille that provides way to a widemouth decrease grille. Shiny gloss black cladding handles the bumpers and operates in excess of the round wheel arches and down the rockers ahead of abruptly ending right before the rear wheels, wherever the two-tone exterior features get interesting if not polarizing. 

In the tester, a black boomerang frames the rear, working from the roof down to the rear wheel like a stirrup. It’s not just an additional quirky Kia design aspect. It is an air blade with small inlets and outlets intended to channel air from the sides and earlier the tailgate to lower aerodynamic drag. 

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

There is a structure functionality, much too. It replaces the rear quarter window that generally frustrates or conjures up designers to create these matters as floating roofs or quirky kinks, specially on the lesser true estate of a smaller crossover. 

My son and his grandfather favored the difference of the air blades, when the women of all ages that I questioned responded by inquiring why. It stood out in bright light-weight, but retreated at sure angles to blend in with the Cityscape Eco-friendly of the tester. 

The Niro’s air blade serves one more goal by visually distinguishing it from other smaller crossovers and hatchbacks, including the Kia Seltos. The Niro has grown significantly given that the 1st generation.

At 174 inches, it is 2. inches extended than the Seltos, and the 107.1-inch wheelbase is approximately four inches lengthier. The Seltos nevertheless sits virtually a few inches taller, so the Niro retains its squat stance, however it is 2.5 inches more time and substantially roomier than the 2022 Kia Niro. 

Massive gains inside of

The cargo quantity powering the rear seats grows 3.4 cubic toes to 22.8 cubes, and the wide opening created it uncomplicated to healthy my daughter’s large hockey goalie bag, with leg pads stuffed within. The reduce load ground of the Kia Soul is far more hockey and pet dog welcoming, even so. 

Folding down the 60/40-break up rear seats expands the cargo room 9.2 cubic toes to 63.7 cubic ft total. With the seats up, rear-seat passengers have 2.4 inches far more leg area to 39.8 inches, which is improved than the next rows in quite a few three-row crossovers. Head room is mostly superior too, but one caveat back again there is the hard plastic seat backings are unforgiving for bonier knees. This may be a as well as for entrance seat riders, nonetheless. 

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

Up entrance, Kia channels the EV6 with a extensive, very low, horizontal dash fronted by a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.3-inch touchscreen in all but the foundation models. The infotainment program and cluster show are dazzling, neat, and intuitive, for the most component, but Kia overdoes the black-gloss plastic on the dash trim, doorway panels, heart console, in all places. After a week of testing it experienced far more fingerprint smudges than a criminal offense scene at an MDMA rave. 

Kia claims the inside is completed in sustainable products these kinds of as recycled wallpaper for the headliner and seat upholstery built from eucalyptus leaves. I want they’d recycle the gloss black plastic for some thing softer, cleaner, less smudgier. 

Basic safety 1st

A person detail keeping back again the previous Niro was a four-star basic safety rating from the NHTSA and a deficiency of regular driver-assist features. Crash-test success are pending, but Kia equips the 2023 Niro with computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lively lane control, blind-spot monitors, a harmless-exit watch so you really don’t open up the doorway into a bike owner or auto, and a rear occupant inform system. The top-line tester added adaptive cruise management with energetic lane regulate that enabled hands-cost-free driving for almost a moment on lengthy straight highway stretches. 

The 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid is difficult to beat for small crossover performance without having a plug. A a little more compact gas tank (down from 11.9 gallons to 11.1 gallons) interprets to a range of about 540 miles for every tank, so we didn’t have to stop a lot on our highway journey. The EPA estimates that the 2023 Niro Hybrid will help you save about $4,750 in gas costs more than the future five decades in comparison to the regular new automobile, and that rather minimal price of possession will especially favor drivers who log a lot more miles all over town than on the highway.  

The 2023 Niro Hybrid starts off at $27,785 which includes a $1,295 supply rate, whilst the SX Touring I tested cost $36,435, together with $195 for the black C-pillar. It’s sharper than a Prius, superior outfitted, fresher, and in a section most purchasers prefer. It may lag the Prius in performance, and its polarizing type could switch away some customers, but the 2023 Niro makes a ton of perception if you’re not ready for a plug.