2021 Kia Niro
When Kia Motors decided to introduce a hybrid vehicle with no internal gas combustion engine predecessor, the automaker did it right when developing the Kia Niro. This compact hybrid crossover was so popular, the Niro plug-in and Niro EV soon followed. Check out what made the world’s first hybrid crossover so successful.
Avail. Infotainment System
Being a hybrid, the 2021 Kia Niro lineup has five trims: LX, LX< Touring, Touring Special Edition, and EX Premium. Every trim comes with one simple powertrain – a 1.6-liter DOHC gasoline engine tied to an electric motor powered by a 240V lithium-ion battery. Together, the powertrain has a combined horsepower of 139 and combined torque of 195 lb-ft of torque. A little misleading when the gasoline engine can generate 104 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque, with the electric motor churning out 43 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. Last we checked, having less when adding two things together isn’t how math works.
Only available with front-wheel drive (FWD), all trims come with a dual clutch 6-speed automatic transmission. Because this is a hybrid vehicle, MPG is still valid, versus MPGe for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. The fuel economy for the 2021 Kia Niro is 52 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway – wow!
When it came to the Niro, Kia Motors knew it had to offer consumers more than usual. That’s why there are a handful of lineup standard features, consisting of roof rails, rear privacy glass, heated rear glass with timer and wiper, automatic headlamps, a rear spoiler, and LED daytime running lights. Oddly, heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, a power sunroof, and LED rear combination tail lights are reserved for the Touring, Touring Special Edition, and EX Premium trims. 16-inch tires are standard on all trims but the Touring trims, equipped with 18-inch wheels.
The cabin is a little different, with automatic climate control, a 4-way adjustable passenger’s seat, and a 60/40 split folding rear bench seat as the only lineup standards. Cloth upholstery covers the cabin for the LX and LXS, cloth and leather on the Touring, leather on the Touring Special Edition, and fake leather on the EX Premium. A 4-way adjustable driver’s seat can be found in the LX and LXS, with a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat in the Touring trims and the EX Premium trim. Great features like heated front seats and ventilated front seats can only be found on the EX Premium, along with a heated steering wheel. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob can be found on all trims (except the base, LX), and adjustable mood lighting on all trims but the LX and LXS trims.
The 2021 Kia Sportage comes standard with an 8-inch color touchscreen with AM/FM radio on the LX and LXS, but UVO Link with an 8-inch color touchscreen and AM/FM radio can be found on the Touring trim. The Touring Special Edition and EX Premium trims come with UVO Link on a 10.25-inch touch screen with voice-command navigation, HD Radio, and SiriusXM. All trims, however, come with Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities, Bluetooth wireless technology, and steering-wheel-mounted audio phone controls. A 6-speaker system comes with the LX, LXS, and Touring trims, whereas the Touring Special Edition and EX Premium are equipped with a Harman Kardon 8-speaker premium surround sound system with a subwoofer. A wireless phone charger can only be found on the EX Premium trim.
Safety Features and Warranty
Like many Kia Motors vehicles, the 2021 Kia Niro comes with dual front advanced airbags, dual front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, a rollover sensor, an anti-lock brake system, stability and traction control systems, a rear occupant alert system, a rear-view camera with dynamic parking guidelines, and LATCH child-seat ready anchors. There are more advanced safety features as well, such as forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, a driver attention warning system, lane keep assist, blind-spot collision warning, and rear-cross traffic collision warning can be found on all trims but the LX base trim. Smart cruise control with stop and go and Lane following assist is standard on the Touring trims and EX Premium trim. Rear parking assist sensors are on the EX Premium only, and a Smart Key with push-button start and immobilizer can be found on all trims but the base (LX).
Kia has a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty program. The Kia 10-year/100,000 mile warranty program consists of 10-year/1000,000 mile limited powertrain warranty, 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty, 5-year/100,000 mile limited anti-perforation warranty, and 5-year/60,000 mile roadside assistance plan.