2023 Kia Niro: To EV or Not to EV?

The 2023 Kia Niro EV brings a high starting price for a subcompact crossover SUV. At $40,745, it is priced well above what most buyers are willing to spend for a vehicle of this size. But wait, doesn’t this EV benefit from the $7,500 federal tax credit? No, not any longer, which means you’ll have to answer the question of whether to EV or not to EV with the 2023 Kia Niro.

The good news and the bad news of the 2023 Kia Niro EV

Most new vehicles, especially EVs, see a steep price increase for 2023, but not the Niro. The Niro EV is only $360 more expensive than the 2022 model. That’s great news, but wait, there’s more. The lack of a tax credit for this model means consumers won’t enjoy a tax credit for this little SUV.

The new Inflation Reduction Act makes all EVs built outside North America ineligible for the federal tax credit. This change impacts more than just the 2023 Kia Niro, but that’s the SUV we’re discussing today.

Are there any alternatives to the EV version of the Kia Niro?

2023 Kia Niro: To EV or Not to EV?
2023 Kia Niro | Kia

Yes, the Niro comes with a hybrid powertrain and a plug-in hybrid powertrain to offer alternatives to the EV model. Both of these hybrids are priced significantly less than the EV, with the hybrid offering a $27,785 starting price and the plug-in hybrid showing an estimated $35,000 starting price.

The two hybrid versions of the 2023 Kia Niro subcompact crossover SUV use a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine plus an electric motor. These power systems mate to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, making the shift feel better than a CVT automatic.

The traditional hybrid Niro offers 139 horsepower, 195 lb-ft of torque, and 53 city/54 hwy mpg. If you select the PHEV version, you’ll find 33 miles of all-electric driving and total power of 180 horsepower, and 195 lb-ft of torque.

By comparison, the 2023 Kia Niro EV has an electric powertrain and delivers up to 201 horsepower, 188 lb-ft of torque, and 253 miles of EV driving range.

What are the pros and cons of this subcompact crossover SUV?

Blue 2023 Kia Niro PHEV
2023 Kia Niro PHEV | Kia

MotorTrend considered the 2023 Kia Niro for its SUV of the Year Award; yes, it’s that good. That said, they came up with a short list of pros and cons that sums up this little Kia.

Pros

  • Airy, attractive, practical cabin layout
  • Impressive digital displays
  • Three ways to save on gas

Cons

  • Choppy, noisy ride quality
  • EV models’ slow recharging speed
  • Simply not an SUV

Should you EV or not EV with the Kia Niro?

A white 2023 Kia Niro EV parked on a gravel/asphalt pavement near a lamppost
2023 Kia Niro EV | Kia America

Can you handle a limited driving range of 253 miles every day? If so, the 2023 Kia Niro EV might be the right SUV for you. This electric SUV charges in a little more than six hours using a 240-volt charging port. You’ll want to avoid using a public charger or prepare to take a nap because it takes more than one hour to charge using a DC fast-charging station.

Is this a good subcompact crossover SUV?

2023 Kia Niro Trio, EV, PHEV, Hybrid
2023 Kia Niro Trio | Kia

If MotorTrend says this isn’t an SUV, you shouldn’t expect a large cargo hold or a high level of capability. If you want those things, you might be better off stepping up to the compact SUV market and driving the Kia Sportage. On the other hand, offers impressive fuel savings no matter if you choose to EV or not to EV.

Learn about the possible future of EV charging, or enjoy more about the 2023 Kia Niro by watching this video below: