While Kia is on a roll introducing new electric vehicles on its E-GMP platform, the company is also updating other electrified vehicles on its K3 platform, namely the Kia Niro. For 2023, Kia has completely redesigned all models of the Niro lineup and we had a chance to sample the PHEV variant for a week. Not only is this re-design refreshing for the lineup but it also stays in-line with the current design language across the Kia lineup.
For the 2023 model year, the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid starts at $33,740 and introduces two trims, provides a handful of exterior color options (with a unique aeroblade color), and offers two different interior options. The only downside about the aeroblade color is it is only available in the SX Touring trim and only with the Mineral Blue exterior color for $195. Kia should have offered multiple color options for the aeroblade like it does in other versions of the vehicle. This SX Touring we tested came with the Cold Weather Package (Rear Heated Seats and a PTC Heater) for $500, bringing the total of this vehicle to $41,480 before any incentives.
A breakdown of the battery specs of the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid include a 11.1 kWh battery pack, which offers a range up to 33 all-electric miles (31 for SX). Charging time at a max of 3.8 kW for 0–100% comes in at just under 3 hours of charge time. In our testing, we managed 32–35 all electric miles before the gas engine kicked in. We always kept the car plugged in, so we rarely had the motor turn on during our entire week of testing.
On the interior, the Niro offers some great tech and a few surprises. Did you know that the headliner is made of recycled wallpaper? Or that the seats themselves are made from the eucalyptus plant? It’s great to see manufacturers investing in recycled materials or eco-conscious materials inside and outside of their vehicles. The Niro offers a wrap-around driver’s display with a 4.3” instrument display and a 10.25” touchscreen that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This Niro also offers a heated steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, dual-zone climate, a standard size sunroof, wireless charging, and a Harman Kardon Premium Audio System (which definitely had more bass than the Meridian in the Kia EV6).
It also has a very unique ambient lighting feature which we wish was more prominent in the interior on the door cards or center console than just on the passenger side of the dashboard. A small miss on Kia’s behalf is that, while the driver’s display is very unique, it isn’t the full digital driver’s display found on the full electric Niro model, and for this price, it would have been nice to see that included in the SX Touring trim.
The interior is comfortable and quiet thanks to the acoustic front windshield and window glass, and the seats are very comfortable to sit in while driving or being a passenger. You have plenty of cargo space with the seats folded up or down depending on your needs. Kia’s Drive Wise Tech is also a fantastic package here in the Niro, but don’t expect the full Highway Driving Assist II package (like in the Kia EV6 or Hyundai IONIQ 5) to be in the Niro, as it only comes with the basic Highway Driving Assist features — which do an ample job.
What is the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid like to drive? We’ll save that portion for the video, which you can check out here. A big thank you to Kia America for giving us this opportunity to review the 2023 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid.
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