Plug-in Hybrid Comparison: 3 Advantages the Kia Niro PHEV Has Over the Ford Escape PHEV

The 2022 Kia Niro is a great compact crossover. It offers three powertrain options: a regular hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an EV. However, it’s competing against many other great plug-in hybrid SUVs, such as the Ford Escape PHEV. Here’s a look at three advantages the 2022 Kia Niro PHEV has over the Ford Escape PHEV.

How the 2022 Kia Niro PHEV is evenly matched with the Ford Escape PHEV

A blue Kia Niro PHEV parked outdoors in front of a large building.
2022 Niro PHEV | Kia

According to Kelley Blue Book, there are some significant differences between these two plug-in hybrid SUVs, but they also share some similarities. The most obvious one is their powertrain, as they both have a PHEV powertrain that combines the power of a gas-powered combustion engine with an electric motor and a big battery. This’ll allow the car to be fuel efficient and travel in battery-only mode.

That said, it’s clear that Kia and Ford designed these two PHEVs for commutes and daily driving, as both cars are only offered with front-wheel drive. The regular Escape does have an all-wheel drive option, but Ford doesn’t offer it for the Escape PHEV.

On top of that, these two plug-in hybrid SUVs will share a few features inside the cabin. For example, both cars will have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as a standard feature. Other than these things, though, the Kia has three advantages over the Ford.

The 2022 Kia Niro PHEV is a more efficient machine

Although both PHEVs are in the compact crossover segment, the Niro PHEV is ultimately the smaller vehicle. This is true across all three dimensions, and as a result, its 1.6-liter PHEV powertrain will allow it to get a good fuel economy. Technically speaking, when both PHEVs have a fully-charged battery, their fuel economies are precisely the same at 105 MPGe.

However, when that battery is depleted, the Niro PHEV pulls out ahead in gas-electric hybrid mode. While driving in that mode, the Kia SUV will get about 46 mpg combined, which is significantly better than the 40 mpg combined that the Ford gets. 

Kia gave the Niro PHEV a more generous warranty package 

Kia is well-known for having a great warranty package, and this is an area where the Niro PHEV has the edge. Kia owners will get a five-year or 60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty on the Niro PHEV. 

Escape owners, meanwhile, get a three-year or 36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. That said, the car’s hybrid parts will have an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty instead.

Car shoppers will save a lot of money by choosing the 2022 Kia Niro PHEV

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

The most significant advantage of the Niro PHEV over the Escape PHEV is cost. Although both cars are plug-in hybrids competing in the compact crossover segment, the Escape PHEV is significantly more expensive than the Niro PHEV. The Niro PHEV starts at under $30,000, one of two PHEVs that cost less than $30,000.

The Escape PHEV, meanwhile, starts at well over $35,000. This means that car shoppers can save $5,000 by buying the Kia instead of the Ford. In fact, as Kelley Blue Book wrote, car shoppers can upgrade their Niro PHEV to its top trim, which will only be slightly more expensive than the standard Escape PHEV.