Kia is working hard to be more than a contender in the electric SUV world. While other brands are waiting years to launch their SUVs, like Chevy, Kia is front-loading its product mix with new electric SUVS like the Niro and the new EV6, as well as several hybrids. These SUVs have lower starting prices than the competition, interesting designs, and are designed to set up Kia as a forerunner in the EV space. The new EV SUVs have a lot more punch, style, and utility than the now-retired Soul EV.
The Kia Niro EV electric SUV undercuts others on price, not style
The big news about the new Niro was the introduction of the PHEV version, or plug-in hybrid. The all-electric 2023 Kia Niro seemed to slip under the radar. It’s hard to miss with its unique “aero blades” behind the rear windows that can be painted in a color that contrasts with the rest of the car. Like other Kias, this one is putting styling first. The Niro EV starts at $39,990 and the premium version is about $45,000.
While the Niro EV has SUV character, it also has SUV cargo ability, with 63.7 cubic feet of space when the seats are folded. That’s only about six cubic inches less than a Toyota RAV4.The electric Niro gets a 201-horsepower motor tied to a 64.8 kWh battery and it has fast charging capability. In 45 minutes, it can gain up to 80 percent charge. It has a total range of 253 miles.
The Kia EV6 is as quick as some Teslas
The EV is more of a crossover than a real SUV. And it has the performance of a sports car. It could be the enthusiasts answer to the Tesla Model 3, in a svelte suit to boot. The EV6 launched in 2022 and immediately became the cool new kid on the block with its futuristic styling. The EV6 Light starts at $41,400, while the GT Line all-wheel drive is $56,400.
The heart of the EV6, though, is its 576-horsepower combined power from its two motors that launch this five-seater to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds. The fun doesn’t stop there because it has deep sports-car like seats, cool dash accents, and more in EV6 GT trim. You can still order basic Light and Wind trims, too, which keep this crossover to 167 horsepower, 225 horsepower, or 320 horsepower, depending on options.
What’s on the horizon?
Kia has made promises that we will see as many as 14 new electric vehicles from the company by 2030. That’s a lot of EVs, to be sure. The next one coming to the U.S. should be the EV9, which is a seven-passenger nearly full-sized SUV. This SUV could compete with the Kia Telluride. The new EV9, and its electric vehicles, have contributed to Top Gear naming it the Manufacturer of the Year.
Also, Kia has said that its HabaNiro concept is a peek into what the future of future Kia EVs will look like. The HabaNiro takes the Niro EV, adds a lifted suspension and butterfly doors, to give it attitude and a performance off-road feel.