The Kia Niro hybrid didn’t make a very good first impression when it arrived at Roadshow HQ. That’s partially because our tester was a base-model Niro FE with the very base level of amenities, technologies and trim available. That it sported generic silver paint with gray trim and plastic wheel covers didn’t help keep this car from looking like a throwback to the cheap cars that Kia built in the early 2000s.
But then I spent a week with the Niro and learned that maybe I shouldn’t have judged this book by its cover. Get to know the Niro and it reveals itself as a thrifty, capable and easy-to-live-with car. The fuel economy is actually quite good; the spacious cabin makes short work of Ikea and Costco-sized loads; and the tech, even at the base FE level, is surprisingly well-sorted.
Hybrid power plant
The Niro is powered by the same 1.6-liter Kappa gas-electric hybrid power plant that you’ll find beneath the hood of its cousin, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid.
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