2018 Kia Niro
In early 2017, Kia Motors released the Kia Niro, their crossover hybrid. Quickly becoming a favorite among SUV drivers and those looking to reduce their carbon footprint, the sporty and compact Niro is a crossover in its own class. Now that we’re entering the 2018 model year, Kia changed some things with the 2018 Kia Niro, replacing one of its trims with a new edition and offering many options not previously available on the 2017 model.
Avail. Fuel Economy
The Hybrid System
A “hybrid” system is a combination of two different power sources working together. The internal combustion power source is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine specifically built for hybrid vehicles. Designed with gasoline-direct injection (GDI), fuel is pressurized and then injected directly into the engine’s cylinders for optimized power. The electric power comes from a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and generator attached to an electric motor. Together, the hybrid system produces 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. It is tied to a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Being a hybrid and not a plug-in hybrid, the battery in the 2018 Kia Niro is not big enough that it needs to be recharged by being plugged into an outlet. Instead, the battery is recharged through the process of regenerative braking, wherein braking energy is diverted into the electric motor’s generator. It’s a helpful process since the electric motor is the initial system doing the work before the internal combustion engine kicks in once reaching a specific speed threshold.
With regenerative braking, the fuel economy of the 2018 Kia Niro varies due to the weight of different trims. With the lineup made of five trims (FE, LX, EX, Touring Graphite, and Touring), the combined city/highway fuel economy of each is 50, 49, 49, 43, and 43 mpg.
In terms of style, much of the 2018 Kia Niro remains the same as the 2017 Kia Niro. The 2018 Niro has the same compact stature and crisp lines, and many of it has excellent standard features that offer comfort and class. Some standard features include solar control glass that prevent the cabin from heating up, a sound-absorbing windshield also keeps the cabin quiet, privacy glass for dark tinted rear windows, a rear window heater, and automatic on/off headlights.
Higher level trims have power-folding heated mirrors, LED mirror-mounted turn signal indicators, and Kia Smart Key Smart Welcome. A power sunroof is optional on the Niro EX, standard on the Niro Touring. For the 2018 model year, the Niro EX also has the option of high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, and the Niro Touring comes standard with the same lights, previously only an optional upgrade. The wheels are still either 16-inch alloy (with a cover) or 18-inch alloy (with black or no finish), available on select trims.
Consumers will find more changes to the interior of the 2018 Kia Niro depending on what trim they’re looking at. Returning standard features are Bluetooth connectivity with a hands-free voice command system, dual-zone automatic temperature control, push button start with smart key and engine immobilizer (not on the base, Niro FE), and an active eco system. In 2017, a wireless phone charger was only available for the Niro Touring trim; in 2018, it comes standard for the Niro Touring and is an available upgrade for the Niro EX.
For the 2018 model year, an auto-dimming rearview mirror was added to the Niro EX and Niro Touring (Graphite) trims, and dual LED map lights were made standard for the Niro Touring and available on the Niro EX. Cloth seats are the norm, and each 2018 Kia Niro has a 60/40 split-fold rear seat. Leather upholstery can be found in the upper-level models, along with comfortable features such as heated and ventilated front seats, a heated and/or leather-wrapped steering wheel, some of which are available on the EX trim for the 2018 model year.
Many of the entertainment features remain unchanged, but the Niro EX does get some additional options. Standard features consist of a six speaker sound system with UVO eServices on a 7-inch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability and steering wheel mounted controls. The Touring Graphite Edition and Touring trim get UVO eServices on an 8-inch screen with voice-command navigation, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay capability. These two trims may also opt in for a Harman/Kardon premium surround sound 8-speaker system with a subwoofer. For 2018, the upgraded infotainment system and sound system upgrade is available to the Niro EX.
Safety Features and Warranty
The 2018 Kia Niro has all the expected standard safety features, such as advanced dual stage front airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, anti-lock braking, stability and traction control systems, a brake assist system, child-safety locks, LATCH-tethers for LATCH-ready child seats, and a rear-camera display. The advanced safety features have changed up a bit. For 2018, blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear-cross traffic alert are standard on the Kia Niro EX, Niro Touring Graphite Edition, and Niro Touring trims. Autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and smart cruise control are optional on the Niro LX and EX, and previously optional on the Niro Touring, these features are now standard on the Touring for the 2018 model year.
All Kia models are backed by an industry leading warranty. The Kia Niro is backed by a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year or 60,000-mile limited basic warranty, and a 5-year or 100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty.