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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 even larger, bolder, and typically improved for its 2nd act. The tall hatchback arrives only with entrance-wheel drive and a choice of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electrical powertrains. I recently examined the most obtainable and least highly-priced iteration, the 2023 Niro Hybrid. 

On a lengthy weekend absent, the major Niro SX Touring proved roomy plenty of to haul two of us and a pungent load of hockey goalie equipment, comfortable sufficient to make it possible for that goalie to sleep most of each methods, and successful adequate to justify its better price around the to start with-gen Niro that released in 2017. 

Eco above Sport

The powertrain is mainly the exact, but effectiveness increases thanks to updates to the cooling and friction components, Kia states. The 1.6-liter inline-4 carries more than with a 32-kw electrical motor sandwiched between the motor and a 6-velocity dual-clutch transmission. It will make 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, and a push manner button on the steering wheel toggles in between Eco and Sport modes. The Niro is developed for the previous.

Like the Toyota Prius, the Niro Hybrid is sluggish. Like 10-seconds-to-60-mph sluggish. Passing moves need cautious thing to consider of life’s needs and demands. Nonetheless for drivers who prefer calm to chaos, the quiet cabin and practically unnoticeable shifts of energy give it a easy self confidence that compensates for its absence of electricity. 

The paddle shifters on the again of the steering wheel give drivers the selection in how to optimize the Eco or the Sport modes. Same as its predecessor, when in Eco manner, the paddle shifters empower 3 regenerative braking options. Normally, it’s a feature reserved for plug-in hybrids and electric powered cars. In the Niro Hybrid, pull and hold on the still left paddle to accessibility a fourth method dubbed Max that comes to a full prevent for 1-pedal driving. It proved tough to modulate in my testing. At slow speeds coming into a stoplight with the maximum regen location previously activated, it was doable, but I did not have self confidence doing it with congestion. Might be a me point.

On the other hand, in Sport method, the paddles grow to be traditional shifters to toggle by way of the 6-speed twin-clutch computerized. It is fun, and places far more energy in the driver’s hand. Yet another intelligent duality occurs on the digital temperature manage panel. Press the arrow and the exhibit turns to buttons for the infotainment push the supporter icon and the show switches to weather controls.  

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

Even nevertheless the powertrain stays mostly the same, the EPA-rated gasoline economic climate increases at minimum 3 mpg to 53 mpg city, 45 freeway, 49 blended with the 18-inch wheels on the tester. (It is 53 mpg merged on common 16-inch wheels). But we didn’t appear near to that, averaging less than 40 mpg on freeway speeds that averaged 75 mph. Blame it on the hockey equipment. 

The score trails the Toyota Prius but the 2023 Niro Hybrid is a a great deal extra attractive automobile, and the design and style adjustments have a far more significant influence on the enhanced performance in excess of its predecessor. 

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

Blades of glory

Kia restyled the Niro for a far more standout existence. Chunky LED headlights with operating lights like mascara underliner flank a thin higher grille that presents way to a widemouth lessen grille. Shiny gloss black cladding covers the bumpers and operates over the spherical wheel arches and down the rockers just before abruptly ending in advance of the rear wheels, the place the two-tone exterior features get appealing if not polarizing. 

In the tester, a black boomerang frames the rear, jogging from the roof down to the rear wheel like a stirrup. It is not just one more quirky Kia style component. It is an air blade with tiny inlets and outlets intended to channel air from the sides and previous the tailgate to cut down aerodynamic drag. 

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

There is a structure purpose, far too. It replaces the rear quarter window that generally frustrates or evokes designers to build this sort of factors as floating roofs or quirky kinks, in particular on the more compact actual estate of a modest crossover. 

My son and his grandfather preferred the distinction of the air blades, while the gals that I asked responded by inquiring why. It stood out in dazzling mild, but retreated at certain angles to mix in with the Cityscape Inexperienced of the tester. 

The Niro’s air blade serves a different objective by visually distinguishing it from other little crossovers and hatchbacks, including the Kia Seltos. The Niro has grown noticeably because the very first generation.

At 174 inches, it’s 2. inches extended than the Seltos, and the 107.1-inch wheelbase is virtually four inches for a longer time. The Seltos still sits almost 3 inches taller, so the Niro retains its squat stance, however it is 2.5 inches longer and significantly roomier than the 2022 Kia Niro. 

Big gains inside

The cargo quantity driving the rear seats grows 3.4 cubic feet to 22.8 cubes, and the huge opening produced it effortless to suit my daughter’s significant hockey goalie bag, with leg pads stuffed within. The reduce load ground of the Kia Soul is much more hockey and doggy helpful, however. 

Folding down the 60/40-split rear seats expands the cargo home 9.2 cubic toes to 63.7 cubic toes complete. With the seats up, rear-seat travellers have 2.4 inches far more leg room to 39.8 inches, which is superior than the next rows in lots of 3-row crossovers. Head room is largely superior far too, but a person caveat back there is the really hard plastic seat backings are unforgiving for bonier knees. This may be a moreover for entrance seat riders, having said that. 

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

Up front, Kia channels the EV6 with a lengthy, very low, horizontal dash fronted by a 10.3-inch electronic instrument cluster and 10.3-inch touchscreen in all but the base designs. The infotainment procedure and cluster display are vivid, neat, and intuitive, for the most element, but Kia overdoes the black-gloss plastic on the sprint trim, doorway panels, center console, almost everywhere. Immediately after a week of screening it experienced more fingerprint smudges than a criminal offense scene at an MDMA rave. 

Kia states the interior is completed in sustainable supplies these types of as recycled wallpaper for the headliner and seat upholstery created from eucalyptus leaves. I desire they’d recycle the gloss black plastic for something softer, cleaner, fewer smudgier. 

Basic safety initial

A single thing keeping again the aged Niro was a four-star safety score from the NHTSA and a absence of common driver-help functions. Crash-test outcomes are pending, but Kia equips the 2023 Niro with automatic crisis braking with pedestrian detection, active lane manage, blind-location screens, a protected-exit keep track of so you really don’t open up the doorway into a bicycle owner or motor vehicle, and a rear occupant inform system. The major-line tester included adaptive cruise regulate with active lane command that enabled fingers-free driving for almost a minute on extended straight highway stretches. 

The 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid is difficult to conquer for modest crossover efficiency without a plug. A somewhat smaller sized fuel tank (down from 11.9 gallons to 11.1 gallons) interprets to a vary of about 540 miles per tank, so we didn’t have to end considerably on our road trip. The EPA estimates that the 2023 Niro Hybrid will help save about $4,750 in fuel expenses above the next 5 a long time as opposed to the average new automobile, and that comparatively lower value of ownership will specifically favor motorists who log much more miles about town than on the freeway.  

The 2023 Niro Hybrid starts at $27,785 such as a $1,295 shipping charge, although the SX Touring I tested price $36,435, which includes $195 for the black C-pillar. It is sharper than a Prius, superior outfitted, fresher, and in a segment most consumers choose. It might lag the Prius in performance, and its polarizing design may well convert absent some shoppers, but the 2023 Niro can make a ton of perception if you are not all set for a plug.