Hybrids & Electrics

The 2020 Kia Niro Is the Affordable Hybrid You Forgot About

A few Kia models like the Telluride and Seltos are hogging the spotlight. Meanwhile, the 2020 Kia Niro has been hanging out in the background. But does the Kia Niro deserve to be placed on the back burner, or does it deserve more respect

Is the 2020 Kia Niro a good SUV? 

According to U.S. News, the Kia Niro is one of the best SUVs you can buy for under $25,000. That supposedly makes it a bargain, but it still has an MSRP of about $24,590. This is expensive for a subcompact option, in my humble opinion. 

Kia Niro EV on display at a car show
Kia Niro EV | Kia

Also, the 2020 Kia Niro landed in 13th place on the list of best new SUVs for under $25,000. There are 15 options on the list, so it’s not in the last place at least. The Subaru Crostrek is in the last place, and the 2021 Hyundai Kona is in first place. 

Why did the Kia Niro make the list? 

The Kia Niro has a lot of pros and cons to consider. For example, the Kia Niro is a bit weak. It has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that’s paired with an electric motor to pump out 139 hp. But according to Car and Driver, the Niro can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds. 

This speed would be considered slow for a larger midsize vehicle, but it’s pretty good for a compact hybrid. One of the best attributes is its fuel efficiency. The Niro gets about 52 mpg in the city with its hybrid variant.

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The electric model has an EPA estimated electric range of 239 miles thanks to its 64-kWh battery. Those numbers are great for saving fuel around town. Don’t worry about charging the all-new electric variant either. It comes with D.C. fast-charging capabilities that can refill the battery to 80 percent in about 75 minutes. 

The 2020 Kia Niro was also praised for being spacious and comfortable. The base model does use plastics and cloth, but higher trims offer leather seats with all the bells and whistles. The dual-automatic climate control system also turns off when no one is riding in the passenger seat. 

You can access up to 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and up to 54,5 cubic feet total. That is more space than expected for this little SUV. However, the seats don’t fold completely flat, which is a minor annoyance. 

Kia Niro features 

While the 2020 Kia Niro isn’t available with all-wheel drive, it’s at least can be fun to drive. It has responsive steering, a smooth ride over bumps, and the Sport Mode increases its performance around curves. 

2019 Kia Niro EV
2019 Kia Niro EV | Kia

For 2020, the Niro gained an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that can be upgraded to a 10.3-inch screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard. The optional steering-wheel shift paddles also give drivers control over the regenerative braking. 

The 2019 Kia Niro earned the top safety pick+ award from the IIHS, so the 2020 model most likely also very safe. But not many safety features come standard. Available features include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.