2023 Kia Niro blends crossover style and 49 mpg

The redesigned 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid gets greater, bolder, and mostly superior for its next act. The tall hatchback will come only with entrance-wheel push and a decision of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric powered powertrains. I just lately examined the most obtainable and minimum highly-priced iteration, the 2023 Niro Hybrid. 

On a very long weekend away, the best Niro SX Touring proved roomy plenty of to haul two of us and a smelly load of hockey goalie equipment, cozy enough to enable that goalie to sleep most of the two approaches, and effective enough to justify its greater selling price around the initial-gen Niro that launched in 2017. 

Eco in excess of Sport

The powertrain is generally the same, but efficiency enhances thanks to upgrades to the cooling and friction aspects, Kia states. The 1.6-liter inline-4 carries about with a 32-kw electric motor sandwiched involving the engine and a 6-velocity dual-clutch transmission. It will make 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, and a travel mode button on the steering wheel toggles between Eco and Sport modes. The Niro is made for the previous.

Like the Toyota Prius, the Niro Hybrid is sluggish. Like 10-seconds-to-60-mph sluggish. Passing moves involve very careful consideration of life’s desires and demands. But for motorists who prefer quiet to chaos, the silent cabin and just about unnoticeable shifts of power give it a sleek self-confidence that compensates for its lack of electricity. 

The paddle shifters on the back again of the steering wheel give drivers the option in how to maximize the Eco or the Sport modes. Same as its predecessor, when in Eco mode, the paddle shifters enable a few regenerative braking configurations. Normally, it is a attribute reserved for plug-in hybrids and electric powered vehicles. In the Niro Hybrid, pull and maintain on the remaining paddle to access a fourth mode dubbed Max that arrives to a entire quit for one particular-pedal driving. It proved difficult to modulate in my testing. At slow speeds coming into a stoplight with the maximum regen placing presently activated, it was doable, but I didn’t have confidence doing it with congestion. Could possibly be a me detail.

On the other hand, in Sport method, the paddles come to be common shifters to toggle by the 6-speed twin-clutch automated. It’s enjoyment, and puts a lot more ability in the driver’s hand. A different intelligent duality happens on the digital temperature regulate panel. Press the arrow and the exhibit turns to buttons for the infotainment push the enthusiast icon and the display screen switches to local climate controls.  

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

Even however the powertrain remains largely the exact same, the EPA-rated gasoline financial state increases at minimum 3 mpg to 53 mpg city, 45 freeway, 49 mixed with the 18-inch wheels on the tester. (It is 53 mpg put together on standard 16-inch wheels). But we didn’t appear near to that, averaging underneath 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 lot more attractive automobile, and the design and style changes have a extra major impression on the greater effectiveness over 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 jogging lights like mascara underliner flank a slim upper grille that gives way to a widemouth lessen grille. Shiny gloss black cladding handles the bumpers and operates about the spherical wheel arches and down the rockers ahead of abruptly ending just before the rear wheels, where the two-tone exterior factors get attention-grabbing 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 is not just yet another quirky Kia design factor. It is an air blade with modest inlets and outlets meant to channel air from the sides and previous the tailgate to minimize aerodynamic drag. 

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

There’s a style operate, as well. It replaces the rear quarter window that generally frustrates or conjures up designers to develop this sort of points as floating roofs or quirky kinks, particularly on the lesser real estate of a tiny crossover. 

My son and his grandfather favored the difference of the air blades, even though the ladies that I questioned responded by inquiring why. It stood out in vivid light-weight, but retreated at selected angles to blend in with the Cityscape Environmentally friendly of the tester. 

The Niro’s air blade serves a different function by visually distinguishing it from other little crossovers and hatchbacks, like the Kia Seltos. The Niro has developed substantially given that the first era.

At 174 inches, it’s 2. inches for a longer period than the Seltos, and the 107.1-inch wheelbase is nearly 4 inches for a longer period. The Seltos still sits practically three inches taller, so the Niro retains its squat stance, even though it is 2.5 inches extended and a great deal roomier than the 2022 Kia Niro. 

Significant gains inside

The cargo volume at the rear of the rear seats grows 3.4 cubic feet to 22.8 cubes, and the large opening created it quick to fit my daughter’s substantial hockey goalie bag, with leg pads stuffed within. The lower load floor of the Kia Soul is more hockey and canine pleasant, however. 

Folding down the 60/40-split rear seats expands the cargo space 9.2 cubic ft to 63.7 cubic toes full. With the seats up, rear-seat travellers have 2.4 inches extra leg home to 39.8 inches, which is superior than the next rows in several 3-row crossovers. Head place is primarily superior also, but 1 caveat back again there is the difficult plastic seat backings are unforgiving for bonier knees. This may be a plus for front seat riders, even so. 

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

2023 Kia Niro Hybrid

Up entrance, Kia channels the EV6 with a extensive, minimal, horizontal dash fronted by a 10.3-inch electronic instrument cluster and 10.3-inch touchscreen in all but the foundation styles. The infotainment method and cluster show are brilliant, neat, and intuitive, for the most aspect, but Kia overdoes the black-gloss plastic on the dash trim, doorway panels, middle console, everywhere. Immediately after a 7 days of testing it experienced a lot more fingerprint smudges than a crime scene at an MDMA rave. 

Kia claims the inside is finished in sustainable materials this sort of as recycled wallpaper for the headliner and seat upholstery produced from eucalyptus leaves. I want they’d recycle the gloss black plastic for some thing softer, cleaner, significantly less smudgier. 

Protection 1st

A person point keeping again the aged Niro was a 4-star security rating from the NHTSA and a absence of normal driver-assist functions. Crash-check results are pending, but Kia equips the 2023 Niro with automated crisis braking with pedestrian detection, active lane command, blind-place displays, a safe and sound-exit check so you don’t open up the door into a bicycle owner or car, and a rear occupant warn procedure. The best-line tester included adaptive cruise command with energetic lane regulate that enabled palms-cost-free driving for practically a minute on prolonged straight highway stretches. 

The 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid is tricky to conquer for little crossover performance without a plug. A a bit more compact gasoline tank (down from 11.9 gallons to 11.1 gallons) translates to a variety of about 540 miles for every tank, so we didn’t have to halt a lot on our street vacation. The EPA estimates that the 2023 Niro Hybrid will save about $4,750 in gasoline expenses about the following 5 several years in contrast to the average new automobile, and that rather reduced price tag of possession will specifically favor drivers who log a lot more miles all-around city than on the freeway.  

The 2023 Niro Hybrid begins at $27,785 like a $1,295 supply rate, although the SX Touring I examined value $36,435, including $195 for the black C-pillar. It’s sharper than a Prius, much better geared up, fresher, and in a section most consumers prefer. It may possibly lag the Prius in performance, and its polarizing design and style may turn absent some consumers, but the 2023 Niro makes a ton of feeling if you are not prepared for a plug.

Kitty Gochal

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