2018 Kia Niro PHEV EX Premium review

Kia’s Niro PHEV is a plug-in hybrid for stealth environmentalists

The 2018 Kia Niro is a car for people who don’t really know what they want. We tested it with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but Kia also offers a conventional hybrid, and will soon add an all-electric model to the lineup. The Niro’s tall body and low ride height blur the line between crossovers and hatchbacks. But in trying to fill every niche, has Kia created a car that doesn’t quite fit anywhere?

Kia Niro PHEV shown at Fully Charged Live (Image: T. Larkum)

Kia Niro PHEV shown at Fully Charged Live (Image: T. Larkum)

To find out, we borrowed a 2018 Kia Niro PHEV EX Premium for a few days. This is the highest of three trim levels so in addition to standard features from the more basic LX and EX models, such as 16-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, our test car benefitted from leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, navigation, and an upgraded eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

Our tester also wore the optional snow white pearl paint ($395) and came with carpeted floor mats ($135). The base Niro PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) LX starts at $27,900, but our EX Premium tester rang in at $35,970 with destination.

The Niro’s competitors include the Toyota Prius Prime, Chevrolet Volt and Kia sibling Hyundai’s Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid. Like the Niro, they’re dedicated green models that don’t have non-electrified counterparts. Since Kia considers the Niro to be a crossover, it’s conceivable that people might cross-shop it against the larger Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV as well.

Read more: Digital Trends

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