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You’re not alone if you’re interested in buying a small SUV in 2022. Many automakers are even limiting their sedans and coupes lineup to make way for small SUVs. Most consumers need a little more space than a sedan provides without being too large. However, many models have declined in sales over the last year thanks to rising costs and low production. Contrarily, one small SUV’s sales are up over 25% year-to-date. Why is the 2022 Kia Niro selling so much better than it did in 2021?

2022 Kia Niro sales are up

A red 2022 Kia Niro parked outside. It's the only small SUV with sales up over 25% year-to-date.
2022 Kia Niro | Kia

According to GoodCarBadCar, Niro sales have increased more than any other small SUV compared to last year. For example, year-to-date, the Kia SUV has seen a 26.57% increase in sales. Although that’s a lot, it seems even higher compared to its competitors. Many models’ sales are down compared to the previous year, and those selling more than in 2021 are far behind the Niro. For example, Toyota Venza sales are down 49.36%, and the second-place Hyundai Tucson’s sales are only up by 17.76%.

ModelMonthMonth LYChangeYTDYTD LYYTD Change
Kia Niro6432,648-75.72%18,30914,46526.57%
Hyundai Tucson14,27800.00%98,34983,51717.76%
Hyundai Venue1,89500.00%14,54612,43217.00%
Kia Sportage11,98510,62612.79%64,34158,08710.77%
Subaru Crosstrek14,07613,4025.03%84,12677,6168.39%

Only five models sold more in 2022 so far than they did in 2021. Some of these vehicles only saw a slight increase, which is still considered excellent. However, the 2022 Kia Niro dominated with a massive increase in sales, more than 25%. What makes the 2022 version of the Niro so much better than last year’s offering? Why do customers seem to like it more?

What’s new with the 2022 Kia Niro?

A pair of 2022 Kia Niro small SUVs parked side by side. The only small SUV with sales up over 25%.
2022 Kia Niro | Kia

This small SUV is from a popular automaker but just needed a little boost to make it more desirable. In a lineup with the larger Sportage and Telluride, it’s a little overshadowed. Especially for families with a few extra people to seat, the larger SUVs are usually a better choice. There are a few changes to the 2022 Kia Niro that make it more desirable than the 2021 model year.

According to Edmunds, a new LXS Special Edition trim replaced the Touring model. Next, features for each trim level were shuffled around a little to add more value per dollar. Other than that, there isn’t much difference between the two Niro versions. One benefit of buying the Kia small SUV is its starting price stays affordable. For a base model LX, it’ll cost you $25,985, but even the fully-loaded EX Premium just barely exceeds $33,000.

Why are Niro sales up over 25%?

Are customers buying the 2022 Kia Niro more because of the low price point? It certainly can’t hurt. As we all know, prices of, well, just about everything are way up. As a result, the car market is in a bad place, and even used vehicles are overpriced. However, a simple, sleek, and surprisingly spacious model like the Niro offers excellent features at an affordable price. Is that why its sales increased so much year-to-date?

In conclusion, there could be a number of reasons why a vehicle’s sales jump up from one year to the next. Usually, it’s because of a brand new feature, a change in trim levels, or even a price decrease. The 2022 Kia Niro didn’t get many changes for the new model year, but it remains the only small SUV with sales up over 25% year-to-date. We think the horrid car market with overpriced vehicles plays a factor, as the Niro remains an affordable, well-rounded option.


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