The Kia Niro 2022 is Kia’s smallest SUV, but it packs a lot of utility and good value into a very tiny vehicle. The powertrain for the base model has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that works in conjunction with an electric motor to provide 139 horsepower. There is also a plug-in hybrid variant available, which can go up to 26 miles solely on electric power before having to switch to using the gasoline engine. Kia also has the Niro EV for those who are interested in converting to an all-electric driving lifestyle.
KIA Niro performance
The EPA says that this battery gives the EV 26 miles of range. The Niro handles bumpy roads well and gives a stable, controlled ride. But when driving over bumpy roads, there was a strange amount of impact noise coming into the cabin. The Niro responds quickly and precisely when you turn the wheel. There are also paddle shifters on the steering wheel that can change gears or switch between four levels of regenerative braking, depending on which drive mode is chosen.
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The regular Niro has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine, an electric motor, and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The system makes a total of 139 horsepower. During testing, the Niro went from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds, which puts it in the hunt with most of the competition. The fully equipped EX Premium trim, which was slower because of all the extra stuff, needed 9.5 seconds to do the same thing. The plug-in hybrid version has the same basic powertrain as the standard model, but the battery pack is bigger to give it a longer range on electric power alone.
The Niro hybrid with the best gas mileage gets 53 miles per gallon in the city, 48 miles per gallon on the highway, and 50 miles per gallon overall. The Niro plug-in hybrid has an impressive combined rating of 105 MPGe for both the city and the highway, and it also offers an estimated all-electric driving range of 26 miles.
2022 KIA Niro Interior and Comfort
The LX trim level comes standard with a streamlined cabin that relies heavily on textile and plastic components. Even the most luxurious Niro has synthetic upholstery since leather accents don’t become available until the Touring trim level, which is the middle tier of the lineup. Automatic temperature control with two separate zones and individual settings for the driver and front-seat passenger is another feature that comes standard across the board. There is also a button to switch off the climate control for the passenger seat if that seat is unoccupied. This might save energy during the warm summer months when hybrids often lose efficiency owing to the increased load from the air conditioner. The Niro was not adapted from an existing gasoline-powered automobile but rather was conceived from the very beginning as a hybrid car. As a direct consequence of this, the amount of space available for cargo is unaffected by the battery pack. Unfortunately, when folded, the back seats do not form a level load floor, and other crossovers of comparable size may hold more stuff.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The infotainment system that comes standard is a touchscreen measuring 8.0 inches, while higher grade levels come equipped with a bigger device measuring 10.3 inches. Both of these features are complemented with physical controls that include volume control and a tuning knob. The technologies are user-friendly and uncomplicated, and the provision of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment wins Kia a great amount of goodwill. Only smartphone connectivity and compatibility with SiriusXM are the only infotainment bells and whistles that come standard on Base Niros. The optional navigation system makes use of GPS data to make predictions on the amount of energy that will be required. For example, it will charge the battery more quickly in preparation for a hill climb.
Safety and Driver Features
Even though the most common driver assistance technology isn’t available on the base model, the rest of the lineup comes standard with equipment such as automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist, and more. The base model is the only model in the lineup that doesn’t offer any of the most common driver assistance technology.
Key features are:
- Available forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology
- Available blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert