2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Review

By Anqoinette Crosby

The 2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid should be at the top of your shopping list if you’re looking for a vehicle capable of reducing the number of your trips to the gas station. The crossover SUV is the latest addition to the Niro line-up and delivers an EPA rating of 48 city/44 highway and 46 combined.

The Niro PHEV will also take you about 26 miles on electric power alone, before switching over to normal hybrid operation. This is achieved in part through some clever innovations. For example, the climate control system  is capable of directing air toward the driver only to reduce the power consumption of the air conditioning system. With the electric and gasoline systems working in unison, you have a driving range of about 560 miles. That gives you some impressive commuter and weekend getaway driving options.

The Niro hybrid uses a 139-horsepower powertrain, a six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) and front-wheel drive. Perfectly adequate for the needs of the car, the system provides enjoyable and delightful driving—in addition to outstanding fuel economy. Niro’s four driving modes include EV, Eco, Sport and Hybrid .

You can choose from among three levels of trim; LX, EX and our tester, the top-of-line EX Premium. The Niro's nifty interior fits a lot into its small size and can comfortably seat five people. Its tall stature makes that possible while also providing drivers a favorable elevated seating position for clearer visibility of outside surroundings. Another benefit of the Niro’s high profile is cargo space. There’s over 19 cubic feet of carrying capacity with the rear seats deployed. This nearly triples to 54 cubic feet when they are folded flat.

High-quality materials abound in Kia’s modern and chic interior, even as the eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system pumps out pleasantly melodic sounds. There’s also a heated steering wheel to keep your hands warm during the cold winter months and wireless phone charging, both of which are handy conveniences you’ll be glad to have. Kia’s UVO system with an eight-inch screen and navigation, fitted to Niro, is easy to use and reach.

As for safety features, a rear view camera comes standard. With the grade-topping EX Premium, you get a bevy of fantastic safety and comfort features which include a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, and ventilated front seats.

The 2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid starts at $28,500.

 

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