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The 2022 Kia Niro has been available since 2016. It’s one of the automaker’s smallest SUVs and comes at an affordable price. For many people, the Niro is an excellent option because of the value it provides. However, deciding which version of the compact SUV is the best option can be challenging. In fact, critics disagree on the best 2022 Kia Niro trim. LX, LXS PHEV, Touring SE, EX Premium, or another model?

A dark color2023 Kia Niro parked in a field and mountainous area.
2022 Kia Niro | Kia Media Center

According to Edmunds, the most popular 2022 Kia Niro trim is the LX base model. Starting at $25,985, it’s much more affordable than other options. For customers, it’s easy to choose a model that’s far under $30,000 while others exceed that price. However, does the most popular Niro trim have enough features at that price to provide value to owners?

For the affordable price of a Niro LX base model, it does provide a good number of features. Items like USB ports, dual-zone climate control, an eight-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and keyless entry are standard. While none of these items are the height of luxury, combined, they provide some outstanding value for the price. Although it’s the most popular, critics disagree about the Niro LX?

Edmunds recommends the 2022 Kia Niro LXS Special Edition

2022 Kia Niro. Critics disagree on the best trim level of the compact SUV.
2022 Kia Niro | Kia

Edmunds recommends buying the LXS Special Edition of the five trim levels. For $28,885, it’s only two steps above the base model. However, it doesn’t add too much extra cost to the compact SUV. Moreover, the publication says it’s “the intersecting sweet spot between price and feature content.” For only a small additional charge, enhancements like a power driver’s seat, sunroof, and partial leather upholstery feel like significant upgrades.

In addition, rear parking sensors make the Niro a little safer to drive. Not to mention, the LXS SE carries over some features gained between it and the base model. Niro LXS owners unlock blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention warning, forward collision mitigation, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beams. Not to mention a much higher-end feeling of a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Car and Driver recommends the LXS PHEV


Do You Need a Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid, or Electric 2022 Kia Niro?

Although there are a few excellent options in the 2022 Kia Niro lineup, but experts disagree on the best one. Car and Driver like the plug-in hybrid version of the compact SUV the best. Starting just over $30,000, C/D likes the added fuel economy gained from the PHEV. At this trim level, owners also gain even more value from features. Moreover, 26 miles of pure electric range buffs up the Niro, and C/D notes more satisfying driving.

Next, C/D likes the added features at this trim level. For example, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, leather-wrapped wheel and knob, remote start, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and more. With all of these extras plus better fuel economy, it’s no wonder the publication likes this Niro best.

Critics disagree on the best 2022 Kia Niro trim

In conclusion, it’s difficult to disagree with either of these experts’ opinions. For Edmunds, the Niro LXS SE is a fantastic option in the lineup. Remaining at an affordable price, it adds a lot of value the most popular base model doesn’t provide. However, C/D makes another great choice with the LXS PHEV. In its plug-in hybrid form, the 2022 Kia Niro gets far better fuel economy. Not to mention, the added features make it much more tech-heavy and even provide some added safety.