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2018 Kia Niro

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Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2018 FE 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Sport Utility
most popular
Price:   -  From $23,340
2018 LX 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Sport Utility Price:   -  From $23,650
2018 EX 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Sport Utility Price:   -  From $26,150
2018 Touring 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Sport Utility Price:   -  From $32,000


The 2018 Kia Niro is not your stereotypical hybrid SUV. Available in five trims, the Niro starts at $24,180 (including a $940 destination charge) and is loaded with interior features, especially in the premium EX and Touring. A rather impressive powertrain is both peppy and fuel efficient, while cargo space is sparse. Most crossover SUVs are available in all-wheel drive, but the front-wheel drive only Kia Niro lacks this option, making it a better choice for drivers in warm weather climates or consumers looking for a crossover appearing vehicle that drives more like a compact car.

What's New for 2018

The 2018 Kia Niro enters the year mainly unchanged. A new Premium package and Touring Graphite Edition which is available with the EX trim leads the list of minor changes added to Niro. Kia has also included a lane keeping assist system in the Advanced Technology Package available in EX and LX trims.

Kia Niro

Choosing Your Kia Niro

Consumers looking for a reliable daily driver have several ways to enhance their 2018 Kia Niro. The Niro is offered in five trim levels, the FE, LX, EX, Touring Graphite Edition and premium Touring.

Each Niro is powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that works in conjunction with an electric motor to produce a combined 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Power is applied to the front wheels by way of a six-speed automatic transmission. The base Niro FE returns an EPA-estimated is 52 miles per gallon city and 49 mpg highway, while the LX and EX riding on 16-inch wheels drop slightly to 51 mpg city and 46 mpg highway. When the 18-inch wheel upgrade is added to the Niro, fuel economy drops to 46 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.


The 2018 Kia Niro FE is well equipped for a base model. Starting at $24,180 (including a $940 destination charge), the FE rides on 16-inch wheels, includes 60/40-split folding rear seats, six-way adjustable front seats, and automatic headlights. A dual-zone climate control system is standard, as is a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system which includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility and a six-speaker audio system. A rear-view camera, and both USB and Bluetooth connectivity are also included in the FE. The base audio system also includes a three-month SiriusXM trial.

The exterior of the FE is impressively sharp for a hybrid, which is available in four exterior colors. A rear spoiler is added, while a gloss black radiator grille with chrome trim and black fender and rocker rails spice up the outer appearance of the 2018 Niro. On the inside, an automatic windshield defogging system is a unique touch, and a front center console with armrest and storage is also included for no additional charge. While there are no available packages for the FE, consumers can opt for Aurora Black or Snow White Pearl for a nominal $395 charge.


A step up to the LX trim increases the starting price slightly to $24,490 but adds a load of extra goodies. This trim is slightly heavier than the FE, which is the primary reason for the drop in EPA-estimated fuel economy to 51 mpg city and 46 mpg highway. The LX adds roof rails, a smart keyless entry push-button start system, LED taillights, a rear-seat center armrest (with added cup holders), and a storage tray in the rear cargo area. The second trim also ups the ante by adding two additional exterior colors to choose, while gray and charcoal interior colors are available.

The LX can be spruced up with safety features by adding the LX Advanced Technology package. For an additional $1,450, Niro buyers score forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and a leather-wrapped gear shift and steering wheel. LED daytime running lights, and front fog lights top off this option package.


Power and heated front seats kick off the added features of the EX trim. Beginning at $26,990, the EX trim includes everything listed in the LX and Advanced Technology package, and adds a plethora of upgrades. A stylish, black upper console, a 10-way power driver seat, a second row USB port, and blind spot monitoring with the rear cross traffic alert system is also standard.

Where the EX jumps past the lower trims is the upgraded packages. The EX Premium Package is available for an additional $5,300 and includes a suite of options including HID headlights, a power sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and an integrated memory system for the driver seat and outside mirrors. The options continue with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes navigation, a Harmon Kardon premium audio system with eight-speakers, a smart cruise control system, 110-volt inverter and wireless phone charger.

The EX Advanced Technology Package is also available for $1,950 and adds the autonomous emergency braking with the pedestrian detection system, the forward collision warning system, lane keep assist, smart cruise control, and 10-way power driver’s seat, which includes a two-way power lumbar support.

The EX's optional Touring Graphite Edition package that adds an additional $2,400 to the price but spicing up the exterior appearance with blacked out, 18-inch wheels, a metallic colored front grille insert, and Platinum Graphite exterior paint. A charcoal cloth interior with leather seat trim, the 10-way power driver seat, and Harmon Kardon audio system is also included in this trim. The increase in larger wheels will drop the EPA-estimated fuel economy rather significantly to 46 mpg city, and 40 mpg highway.


The final offering is the Touring trim, which packs the Niro with features included in the EX Premium package, and increases the starting price to $32,840. It rides on 18-inch wheels, adds the Harmon Kardon audio system, and a front and rear parking assist. The Touring is the premium trim, with no available packages besides the $395 extra cost for the Snow White or Aurora Black color.

CarsDirect Tip

Although considered a crossover hybrid SUV, the 2018 Kia Niro is better served as a hatchback. The lack of all-wheel drive or additional ride height pretty much limits the Niro to street only driving. However, an impressive fuel economy, affordable price, and peppy engine performance make it an attractive option for serious commuters. For consumers looking for creature comforts, the EX is a rather impressive choice. If fuel economy is the number one priority, the FE’s EPA-estimated 50 mpg combined is hard to overlook.

Get your price on a Kia Niro »

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Contributing Writer

All-new last year, the 2018 Kia Niro hybrid – with a plug-in variant added this year – strikes a balance between a compact hatchback and crossover with an elegant, intuitive interior, and 40 miles per gallon or better highway fuel economy. But acceleration is sluggish at highway speeds, an all-wheel-drive version isn't offered, while the plug-in model's electric range is now only average.

Best Value

Pricing for the Kia Niro starts at $24,280 for an entry-level hybrid FE, and runs up to $35,835 for an EX Premium plug-in hybrid finished in optional Snow White Pearl or Aurora Black Pearl. Like all Kias, the Niro comes well equipped. The usual power features are present as well as dual-zone automatic climate control (with a driver-only function), automatic headlights, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a seven-inch touchscreen, and a rearview camera.

Although the plug-in is priced well, we'd pick the more affordable hybrid, skip the FE and LX trims and head for the EX with additional features that include power-folding heated outside mirrors, leather-trimmed cloth seats (heated in front), keyless push-button start, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Blind-spot monitoring is also standard as is rear cross-traffic alert, lane change assist, and access to a number of other advanced safety features.

Here's how we'd build it:

  • Model: 2018 Kia Niro EX Hybrid
  • Engine: 1.6-liter four-cylinder
  • Output: 104 hp / 109 lb-ft
  • Electric Motor: 240V
  • Output: 43 hp / 125 lb-ft
  • System: 139 hp / 195 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Six-speed dual clutch automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 51 City / 46 Hwy
  • Options:Advanced Technology Package ($1,950, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar).
  • Base Price:$27,090 (including a $940 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price:$29,040


Kia Niro

The Niro delivers decent off-the-line performance in Sport mode, along with a smooth, mostly quiet, very un-hybrid-like ride with little body lean during cornering. The direct-shift gearbox adds to the Niro's "normal" feel, while the plug-in model can accelerate to highway speeds even in electric mode.

Unsurprisingly, acceleration in standard Eco mode feels sluggish, while engine braking in Sport mode – which falls short of a sporty driving experience – isn't apparent during downshifts. In addition, the plug-in's 26-mile electric range is now only average, the engine sounds coarse when pushed, all-wheel drive isn't offered, while the low-rolling-resistance tires generate a moaning noise on certain road surfaces.


A handsome, sleek, crossover-inspired exterior is wrapped around a nicely-trimmed interior that's comfortable, spacious, and practical. Front seat occupants, seated two inches higher than a traditional compact, will find better visibility plus plenty of leg, hip, shoulder and headroom, while a wide rear hatch opening makes loading and unloading the 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space a breeze.

At the same time, ride height – more like that of a tall wagon – doesn't offer the expansive view of a crossover. Three adults will find the rear accommodations tight, while leg room in back is also compromised with the front seats pushed all the way back.

The Best and Worst Things

The Niro's practical, crossover look and stylish interior make it a compelling choice for buyers looking for practicality in a fuel-saving package.

Aside from an AWD drivetrain, we just wish it didn't run out of breath so quickly at highway speeds.

Right For? Wrong For?

Kia Niro

A smooth ride, crossover utility, a comprehensive list of standard features, and outstanding fuel economy make the Niro a compelling choice for eco-conscious buyers.

While its looks might suggest a rugged SUV, a combination of sluggish acceleration and lack of all-wheel drive will be a turn off for weekend warriors.

The Bottom Line

Despite lethargic acceleration and no AWD variant, the Niro's affordability, excellent fuel economy, smooth ride, and utilitarian versatility make it a serious competitor in the compact hybrid segment.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Available
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.6L I-4 / 104 HP / 109 ft.lbs.
6-spd Sportmatic auto-shift man w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
52 / 49 / 51 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
1.6L I-4 / 104 HP / 109 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
52 / 49 / 51 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
11.9 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
54.5 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
101 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
171.5 "
Exterior Width
71.1 "
Exterior Height
60.4 "
Front Headroom
40.1 "
Rear Headroom
39.1 "
Front Legroom
41.7 "
Rear Legroom
37.4 "
Front Shoulder Room
56.0 "
Rear Shoulder Room
55.2 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
3,106 Lbs.
Wheel Base
106 "
Turning Radius
17.5 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
16.0 " Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone / Pearlcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Body-colored With Metal-look Insert
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Accents
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/satellite, Clock, Seek-scan / Clock
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Not Yet Available
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Major Components Months
120 Months / 100,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / 100,000 Miles
Accessories Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles

Used 2018 Kia Niro for Sale

1 vehicles found within 100 miles of your area
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California Motors Direct (34 mi)

Phone: (714) 515-6100

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