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Kia is known for its affordable, safe, and reliable cars, earning excellent ratings from experts like U.S. News. And one of the automaker’s hybrid models, the 2023 Kia Niro, just won an impressive award as the best hybrid SUV. How did it beat the competition, and what other vehicles received awards?

Which hybrid and electric vehicles won U.S. News awards?

2023 Kia Niro best hybrid
The 2023 Kia Niro | Kia

To become a winner in U.S. News’ annual Best Hybrid and Electric Vehicles awards, a model must have an ideal combination of fuel efficiency, affordability, quality, and value. The publication looks at areas such as charging, EV range, fuel economy, overall scores, and starting prices. 

This year, the Best Electric Vehicle is the 2023 Kia EV6, earning a score of 8.7 out of 10. The Best Electric Truck award went to the Ford F-150 Lightning model, which received a 9.3. 

When it comes to the Best Luxury Electric SUV, the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq is the winner with a score of 8.6, according to U.S. News. The Best Luxury Electric Car award went to the 2023 Lucid Air Grand Touring, with an 8.6 score and a whopping 516-mile range. 

Lexus has two hybrids on the list. The ES Hybrid is the Best Luxury Hybrid, while the 2023 NX 450+ PHEV won for Best Luxury Plug-In Hybrid.

And the Hyundai Tucson PHEV earned the Best Plug-In Hybrid, while the Toyota Prius won for Best Hybrid Car.

3 reasons why the 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid won the Best Hybrid SUV award

The Best Hybrid SUV award went to the 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid. It earned a score of 7.9 out of 10. There are three main reasons why this model snagged the U.S. News award.

  1. Fuel efficiency: This hybrid crossover has one of the best EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings in its segment, getting 53 mpg combined.
  2. Affordability: With a starting price of only $26,590, the Niro undercuts competitors whose models start at over $30,000. Even the top Niro trim, which starts at $32,490, costs about the same as the base price for some of its rivals, such as the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
  3. ADAS features: Kia packed the Niro with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) as standard equipment. They include driver attention warning, forward collision avoidance, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot collision warning.  

What else does the 2023 Kia Niro offer?

The 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid packs a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a 32-kW motor generating a combined 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. This pairing allows the Niro Hybrid to achieve a 588-mile driving range. 

It also offers a new feature, “Green Zone Drive Mode,” which switches the powertrain to electric-only driving in residential areas to lessen emissions. However, this mode is available only with front-wheel-drive versions. 

Cargo space is 22.8 cubic feet, about 50% more than what the Tesla Model 3 offers. And as for the infotainment system, the Niro Hybrid has a 10.3-inch display, about two inches larger than many rivals and even siblings like the Kia Sportage Hybrid. 

Those perks — along with its affordability, fuel efficiency, and abundant features — make the 2023 Kia Niro the Best Hybrid SUV. 


How Much Does a Fully Loaded 2023 Kia Niro Cost?