Kia may not be the most exciting car brand in the world, but they continue to single-handedly take on the major players from Japan and America when it comes to offering affordable “a to b” cars like the Kia Niro. They have come a long way from their low-quality image of the past, and the Kia Telluride has been a top-rated SUV from reviewers like Edmunds for the last two years running.
The Kia Niro is the brand’s attempt at creating an affordable, easy-to-use, easy-to-drive hybrid crossover. The Niro hybrid also serves as a kind of “gateway” car Niro EV. Kia has officially announced that the Niro hybrid will be returning to their lineup for 2022 and have released the pricing and new trim models.
The 2022 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid is mostly the same
The 2022 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid is primarily unchanged from the 2021 model. Depending on your feelings on the 2021 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid, this is either good news or bad. By all rights, the Niro is a vanilla hybrid. Not that there is anything wrong with that. As enthusiasts, it is easy to forget that mass-market cars like the Niro mainly target consumers who are only looking for a nice, new vehicle that can handle their daily commutes.
That is not to say that there are no changes to the 2022 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid versus the new 2022 model. The most significant difference is that the 2022 model is now sporting the redesigned Kia logo on the front grille and wheel center caps. Wait, what? Is that it? Why did Kia put out a press release for this? Alright, well, let’s just treat this as an opportunity to inform you about the 2022 Kia Niro, and then you can come to your own conclusions.
Powertrain, trim, and features
We will take a page from Doug DeMuro and talk about the features a buyer can expect from the 2022 Kia Niro. We’re not going to get into quirks, though, sorry. The Kia Niro plug-in hybrid has just one available powertrain option: a 1.6-liter engine paired with an electric motor (obviously). The gas engine and electric motor combination is good for 139 horsepower and 195 ft-lbs of torque. Feeding the electric motor is an onboard 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer hybrid battery.
If the driver needed to run purely on battery power, that is possible with the Kia Niro hybrid. However, the EPA-estimated All-Electric Range is just 26 miles. Owners should expect to continue their regular visits to the gas pump, albeit less frequently than a non-hybrid car. There are three trims available: LXS, EX, and EX premium.
All three trims come standard with forward collision avoidance (car and pedestrian), Blindspot collision warning, lane following assist, high beam assist, “smart” cruise control with stop and go, and driver attention warning with lead vehicle departure alert.
Navigation-based “smart” cruise control, parking distance warning, and highway driving assist are standard on the EX Premium trim.
The 2022 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid pricing starts at $29,590 for the LXS trim. The EX has an MSRP of $33,390. The top of the line EX Premium goes for $36,490. Kia claims that the Niro qualifies for the $4,543 Federal tax credit and applicable state and local incentives.
After the math, that means buyers can have this humble hybrid for as little as $25,047. While the car itself may not be that exciting, the price certainly is.