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With fuel prices hitting record highs and more people returning to their offices, interest in hybrid cars has never been greater. Although their efficiency is praised, hybrid SUVs are more expensive than their gasoline-only counterparts because they have two power systems.

However, some manufacturers are getting more competitive in pumping out affordable hybrid SUVs. Cramming in extras like all-wheel-drive (AWD), heated and cooled seats, driver assist functions, and a slew of cameras is excellent. Still, not everyone wants to take out the biggest loan the bank will lend them. U.S. News and World Report created a list reflecting the desire for cheaper hybrids, with the top of their list featuring the 2022 Kia Niro.

What features does the 2022 Kia Niro have? 

The hybrid version of the Kia Niro comes in three trim levels: LX, LXS, and LXS SE. The base LX comes standard with creature comforts like cruise control, climate control, and tech features like Apple Car Play, Android Auto, and Bluetooth on a touchscreen infotainment system, but that’s about it. The higher-priced trim levels come with active driver safety functions like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and blind spot monitoring systems, along with better seats and dash trimmings, among other minor upgrades.

One drawback to the Kia Niro is the less-than-ideal interior cargo space. Consumer Reports (CR) rates the 54.4 cu-ft as roughly average. Yet, rear seating accommodations should provide a comfortable ride, even for adults.

A look at the hybrid SUV’s performance figures

A pair of 2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SUVs parked on a rooftop
2022 Kia Niro | Kia

The Kia Niro Hybrid powertrain option is but one. Supplemented by an electric motor, the 1.6-liter I-4 is rated at 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t exciting. It’s also not problematic as the car gets out of its own way at the traffic lights and when merging onto the interstate.

The real performance figure that may interest potential owners is its efficiency. The Niro has an EPA-rated 51 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway. Yet, the True Car testing states those figures are for the higher-priced trim models; the base LX Niro does 53 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway.

If you’re buying a hybrid, gas mileage is one of your top concerns. Out of all the SUVs—subcompact, compact, midsize, third-row—the Kia Niro bests all of them with its great efficiency, as tests from U.S. News and World Report show.

2022 Kia Niro price and warranty 

Kia’s Niro is not only the most efficient small hybrid SUV on sale but also the cheapest. With a starting MSRP of $24,690, it’s more affordable than competitors like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid.

Buyers often fret over the cost of ownership and how much they’ll fork over to the dealership or local mechanic when things break. CR shows that the Niro’s reliability has come a long way during its five-year history. Although it reports customer sentiment up until the 2020 model, buyers will likely be pleased with the Niro’s relatively low cost of ownership.

Even if repairs must be made, Kia offers the best warranty in the business. Alongside a five-year, 60,000-mile basic warranty, a ten-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty will ease drivers. You can even get a five-year, 60,000-mile roadside assistance plan.

The 2022 Kia Niro is a great taxi

Although it has its shortcomings—no optional AWD, few standard safety features, small cargo area, and sluggish acceleration—the Kia Niro can be a solid choice for someone who just wants a vehicle that works. For a rather inexpensive $24,690 starting MSRP, you get much more effort put into the interior than the price would otherwise merit and great fuel efficiency.

The Kia Niro is the ideal car for a driver of any of the various app-based ride-share or delivery services. If you want an unbothersome, family-friendly vehicle that you don’t have to think about, consider the hybrid version of Kia’s Niro.  


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