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The World Car of the Year finalists for 2023 have been announced. Surprisingly, most of the finalists are hybrid and battery-electric vehicles. The automotive industry as we know it is evolving, and the spotlight is on emerging tech. One of the World Car of the Year finalists is a Kia SUV that’s incredibly affordable. Is the Kia Niro worth over $26K, or is the standard hybrid subcompact SUV overpriced?

The 2023 Kia Niro is astoundingly affordable for what it provides

The Kia Niro starts at $26,590. This may seem expensive for a subcompact SUV, but it’s affordable considering the Niro’s complex standard hybrid powertrain system. The Niro uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to make 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. That’s more torque than the popular Hyundai Kona. The Niro isn’t the most powerful subcompact SUV in its segment by a long shot, but its electric motor provides enough oomph to satisfy many drivers.

The standard hybrid SUV gets 53 miles per gallon in the city and 54 miles per gallon on the highway. It has an 11.1-gallon tank size. It gets over 593 miles of total driving range on a full tank of gas. The Niro costs roughly $38.93 to refuel based on the national average gas price as of April fourth, 2023.

The highlight and defining characteristic of Kia’s subcompact SUV is its unique powertrain system. The electric motor allows the Niro to get fuel economy that’s incredible, even for such a small vehicle. In fact, the Niro gets more miles per gallon than many popular small cars like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. The Niro’s roomier cabin and cargo area and stellar gas mileage make it a great sedan alternative for drivers looking to make the switch.

So, in short, the 2023 Kia Niro’s starting price is justified for many drivers just based on its specs. That being said, what about standard features?

What comes standard on the 2023 Kia Niro?

A green 2023 Kia Niro subcompact hybrid SUV is parked.
The 2023 Kia Niro | Kia

The 2023 Kia Niro comes standard with remote keyless entry, a 12-volt power port, and a tire pressure monitoring system. It also includes hill-start assist control, a safe exit warning, and intelligent speed limit assist. The Niro features plenty of great standard driver assistance and safety features that are often exclusive to upper-trim level models.

The Kia Niro is available in five configurations: the LX, EX, EX Touring, SX, and the SX Touring. Its final configuration comes with amazing features like a digital key, front and rear parking sensors, and SynTex seat trim. Kia offers a wide variety of configurations for consumers to choose from that won’t break the bank.

What’s the best Kia Niro trim for the money?

A green 2023 Kia Niro subcompact hybrid SUV is parked.
The 2023 Kia Niro | Kia

The 2023 Kia Niro SX Touring is the most well-equipped Niro configuration, but is it the best for the money? It depends on what you’re looking for, but some more affordable configurations have many of the same tech features and creature comforts. Car and Driver recommends the Niro EX Touring configuration because of its value proposition. The publication praises the subcompact SUV’s appearance and affordability.

The Niro EX Touring starts at $31,490. If you’re looking for value, the EX Touring seems to be the best option available. Kia’s subcompact hybrid SUV has the potential to be the World Car of the Year for 2023. Will it beat out the competition, or will it lose to the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and BMW X1?


How Far Can a 2023 Kia Niro Go on a Full Tank?