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Consumers are excited to see that the wildly popular Kia Niro recently underwent a massive redesign for 2023, affecting its hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and EV lineup. But before you run out and buy a new Kia Niro EV, you want to know how it stacks up against its in-class rivals.

A tough contender for the Niro EV is the 2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge. In an apples-to-apples comparison, here are four reasons to consider buying the latest Volvo XC40 Recharge instead of the redesigned Kia Niro EV.

2023 Volvo C40 Recharge
2023 Volvo C40 Recharge in Silver Dawn | Volvo Car Corporation

1. Horsepower and torque advantages with the 2023 Volvo XC40

The first advantage the 2023 Volvo XC40 has over the 2023 Kia Niro EV is horsepower and torque. According to Kia, the Nero EV offers 201 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. Alternatively, Volvo boasts its 2023 XC40 Recharge offers 402 hp and 486 lb-ft of torque. 

2. Need AWD? You won’t get it with the Kia Niro EV

You might be impressed with the Kia Niro’s available options for electrification. You can get yours as a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, or as an all-electric variant. But if AWD matters to your purchasing decision, you won’t get that as an option with the Niro. The 2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge has AWD as a standard offering.

For many drivers, rear-wheel-drive is perfectly fine. However, if you’re in an area that requires sandy, muddy, or snowy driving, you can’t afford not to have AWD. And since the Kia Niro EV doesn’t offer an AWD variation, you might avoid it altogether.

3. Ground clearance measurements matter

When you compare the spec sheets of the Kia Niro EV and the Volvo XC40 Recharge, another distinction will emerge. The Volvo has more impressive ground clearance, ideal for off-road driving. And even if you don’t plan to go seriously off-grid with your EV, knowing you have a few extra inches between your vehicle and the ground can give you confidence when driving over debris or through snowy drifts.

Edmunds lists the ground clearance for the XC40 Recharge at 7.1 inches, which is significantly higher than the Kia Niro EV’s 5.9 inches. That’s enough of a difference to not impact your ease of getting in and out of your XC40 Recharge. But enough to add value to its capability list.

Also adding to its off-road and inclement weather capabilities, Volvo says the XC40 Recharge comes equipped with “Recharge tires,” intended for year-round use with “A-class energy efficiency.”

4. Increased towing capacity with the Volvo XC40 Recharge


2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge Safety and Driver Assistance Features: Everything You Need to Know

With more engine power comes great towing responsibility. Superheroes aside, the 2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge is going to tow much more than the 2023 Kia Niro EV.

In fact, tow ratings for the XC40 Recharge are 2,000 lbs, nearly 400 lbs more than the Niro EV’s 1,653 tow ratings. This might be a determining factor for anyone who has recreational vehicles to pull, small trailers to haul, or weekend warrior jet skis to enjoy with the family. Check the weights you intend to pull and make sure you choose the right EV with enough power to do so effortlessly.

The 2023 Kia Niro EV is certainly worth a look, especially with its impressive redesigns. But if these four criteria matter to your purchasing decision, the 2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge is just going to be a better fit.