The Kia Niro Is a Tiny Hero Among Hybrid SUVs

As the world becomes more eco-conscious, many individuals and families are looking for more ways to reduce their carbon footprint. One way is by driving a more fuel-efficient car, and more people are turning to hybrid vehicles as their range and efficiency improve. But how can you decide which is best? In fact, the Kia Niro won for Best Hybrid Compact Crossover on a recent list of the best hybrid vehicles of 2021.

Learn more about the Kia Niro, the other models on the list, and how the winners were determined.

Good Housekeeping’s ‘Best Hybrid Vehicles of 2021’

A red 2021 Kia Niro plug-in hybird compact SUV traveling on a wet city street at night
2021 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid | Kia

Good Housekeeping has long been a respected opinion, and the publication recently released its picks for the best hybrid vehicles of the year. The list features a healthy mix of several brands of vehicles, though Honda appears twice. The Honda CR-V Hybrid took home the Best Hybrid SUV category, and the Honda Accord Hybrid won for Best Family-Friendly Hybrid.

In addition, GH selected the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for Best Hybrid Sedan, the BMW 530e for Best Hybrid Luxury Sedan, and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid for Best Hybrid Minivan. The Kia Niro took home Best Hybrid Compact Crossover, the Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid topped the list for Best Hybrid SUV Plug-in, and the Audi Q5 stole the show for Best Hybrid Luxury SUV Plug-In.

The most expensive vehicle on the list is the BMW 530e Plug-In Hybrid, starting at $57,200. But most of the other models on the list start at $33,000 or less.

An overview of the 2021 Kia Niro, GH’s Best Hybrid Compact Crossover

The 2021 Kia Niro is not only the least expensive vehicle on GH’s list, but it’s also a practical choice for individuals and families alike. The reviewers at U.S. News noted its fantastic fuel economy, spacious interior, and straightforward infotainment system.

The 2021 Kia Niro comes equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, producing 139 hp. This powertrain isn’t remarkable, but it’s just fine for most everyday driving situations. One of the best aspects of the Kia Niro is its superior fuel efficiency. The standard hybrid version of the Niro can get 51 mpg in the city and 45 on the highway.

Good Housekeeping placed the Niro on its list because of Kia’s generous 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, comfortable interior, and abundant space for families and their luggage. GH did note that the gas/electricity transition isn’t particularly smooth, and the vehicle isn’t necessarily thrilling to drive, but it gets the job done well in most situations.

How Good Housekeeping tested hybrids for its list

When Good Housekeeping tests cars for its vehicle roundups, it uses a team of experts, such as engineers and automotive specialists, along with everyday drivers. GH sends professionals and regular people out on winding country roads, multi-lane highways, and other common driving conditions to allow testers to evaluate the handling and overall driving experience.

These tests also consist of a comprehensive evaluation of internal design features, such as infotainment systems, charging ports, legroom, and the ease of child car seat installation. When testing hybrids, evaluators use all of these parameters plus battery efficiency, intuitive controls, and driving range. GH also considers how much more it costs for a hybrid versus a standard version to ensure that the vehicle provides an excellent value for the money.

GH then narrows down its selections of top cars based on these aspects before turning it over to reviewers at Car and Driver, a partner company under the Hearst umbrella, to discuss their pics and come to conclusions about all vehicles, including hybrids.

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