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For the 2023 model year, all three Kia Niro versions offer even more bang for your buck. The automaker redesigned the hybrid, EV, and PHEV models, boasting new looks inside and out. The Niro EV also received a modest range increase. However, those improvements might not be enough to compete with a rival like the luxurious 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge. Though it demands a $15,000 premium, the C40 Recharge boasts four advantages over the Kia Niro EV.

1. The 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge has more horsepower and torque than the 2023 Kia Niro EV

2023 Volvo C40 Recharge vs 2023 Kia Niro EV
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge in Fjord Blue | Volvo Car Corporation

Volvo says the 2023 C40 Recharge EV makes 402 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque. With that powertrain, this small SUV can reach 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. In contrast, the Niro EV is more than two seconds slower, according to Kia.

The 2023 Kia Niro EV’s powertrain is also much weaker, generating 201 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. And like most EVs, these two have regenerative braking that allows for one-pedal driving. In addition, the Kia Niro EV has a Sport driving mode to improve its handling response around corners.

However, the Kia Niro EV is the more efficient of the two. It’s rated for 113 MPGe combined and has a range of 253 miles. The Volvo C40 Recharge can go only 226 miles, while its combined city/highway fuel economy is just 87 MPGe. 

But the Volvo C40 Recharge charges faster than the Niro EV when connected to a Level 3 charger. Volvo says these chargers can restore 70% of the battery in 37 minutes. Kia claims you’ll need around 45 minutes to replenish 70% of the Kia Niro EV’s range.

2. The 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge has standard all-wheel drive

The 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge’s electric setup includes two motors and AWD capability. Kia says the Niro EV has only a single-motor setup with no option to upgrade. The Niro EV also doesn’t have any drive modes for uneven terrain.

In addition to boasting AWD, the Volvo C40 Recharge has an off-road mode for improved traction on surfaces and inclines. This EV also has a slow-driving mode for construction areas and school zones. 

3. The 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge has a higher ground clearance than the 2023 Kia Niro EV

The Volvo C40 Recharge has 7.0 inches of ground clearance, whereas the Kia Niro EV has only 5.9 inches. A taller vehicle generally provides better outward visibility while driving. It also means debris and obstacles won’t scrape the vehicle’s undercarriage as easily.

Higher ground clearance can also positively affect the car’s ride quality. Additionally, the Volvo C40 Recharge benefits from a comfortable interior, with sueded seats and a standard air filtration system. Plus, it packs plenty of convenience tech features. However, it doesn’t have smartphone integration like the Kia Niro EV.

4. The Volvo EV also has a higher towing capacity


5 Advantages the 2023 Kia Niro EV Has Over the 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge

According to Edmunds, the 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge can tow up to 2,000 pounds. The 2023 Kia Niro EV can tow only 1,653 pounds.

However, the Niro EV’s nearly 64 cubic feet of maximum cargo space beats the C40 Recharge. The latter provides only 49 cubic feet of cargo room with the second row of seats folded down. Behind the rear seats, there’s little more than 17 cubic feet. Both EVs have a frunk that can store a few smaller items.

Still, the 2023 Volvo C40 Recharge has minor annoyances, such as many plastic interior parts and a subpar range. For those reasons, the Kia Niro EV might be a better value for some drivers. However, the C40 Recharge wins in overall performance.