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Kia redesigned the Niro compact crossover for the new model year. Now, the 2023 Kia Niro EV boasts improved range and upgraded styling inside and out. So, how does the Niro EV compare to the competition? It makes a good showing against the Tesla Model Y, but the latter is hard to beat. Here are six advantages the 2022 Tesla Model Y has over the 2023 Kia Niro EV.

1. The Tesla Model Y has more horsepower and torque

The 2022 Tesla Model Y Long Range harnesses 384 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. According to Tesla, this EV can hit 60 mph in only 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 135 mph. Kia lists the 2023 Niro EV’s specs at just 201 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. It’s also over two seconds slower than the Model Y.

For even more power, the Tesla Model Y Performance makes 456 hp and 497 lb-ft of torque. The Performance version tops out at 155 mph and zooms from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.

2. The Model Y also has better standard range

A red 2022 Tesla Model Y parked in front of a mountainside.
Tesla Model Y | Tesla

Kia improved the 2023 Niro EV’s range to 253 miles. The automaker also claims it will take less than 45 minutes to restore 70% of the battery with fast charging.

Still, the 2022 Tesla Model Y Long Range is much more efficient, with 330 miles of range, while the Performance trim gets 303 miles. A Tesla Supercharger can replenish the battery at a pace of 162 miles every 15 minutes.

3. The 2022 Tesla Model Y boasts better fuel economy than the 2023 Kia Niro EV

The Tesla Model Y gets 123 MPGe, while the Kia EV6 gets only 113 MPGe. That means a Tesla Model Y can drive farther using less energy, preserving more of its range.

4. The Model Y has more cargo space

According to Edmunds, the 2022 Model Y provides 76.2 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. It offers over 30 cubic feet behind the rear seats. It also has two storage compartments under the load floor, and the rear hatch is wide enough to accommodate bulkier items. In addition, the Model Y has a frunk (its capacity is included in the total cargo area).

The Kia Niro EV has only about 23 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back row. With that row folded down, you get 63.7 cubic feet of space. The Niro doesn’t have hidden storage boxes, though you can adjust the load floor’s height.

5. The Model Y has higher ground clearance 

Neither EV is geared toward off-roading, but ground clearance helps underside protection and outward visibility. The 2023 Kia Niro EV has 5.9 inches of ground clearance, just below average for a typical SUV. And the 2022 Tesla Model Y sits 6.6 inches off the ground.

Both automakers claim these EVs have lower centers of gravity. Generally, a car with lower ground clearance also has sportier handling. However, although MotorTrend liked the Niro EV’s braking, its overall performance wasn’t noteworthy. Testers also weren’t fans of this EV’s jittery ride.

6. The 2022 Tesla Model Y has standard all-wheel drive

AWD comes standard on both 2022 Tesla Model Y trims, while the 2023 Kia Niro EV offers only front-wheel drive. In addition to boasting more confidence in the snow, the Model Y also benefits from unique features for cold-weather driving. For example, Chill Mode preserves more battery life by limiting the Model Y’s acceleration from a complete stop.

However, it’s worth noting the Tesla Model Y is more expensive than the Kia Niro EV. It’s up to you to decide if better range, superior performance, and AWD are worth the $17,000 difference.


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