The 2021 Kia Niro hybrid benefits from multiple upgrades. Wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto replace the previous plug-in versions. Models equipped with the Smart Key now include remote engine start. A rear occupant alert notification is now standard. The Kia DriveWise suite of driver assistance technology includes smart cruise control with select models.
Choosing Your Kia Niro
Kia offers the 2021 Niro in three configurations: Niro Hybrid, Niro Plug-In Hybrid, and Niro EV. The latter is available in limited markets only. As before, the Niro is somewhat of a cross between a hatchback, SUV, and a wagon.
The 2021 Niro Hybrid is priced from $25,865, including a $1,175 destination charge. This one is available in five trims with the EX Premium topping the range at $34,025.
Kia prices the PHEV model from $30,765. The all-electric Niro retails from $40,265. Buyers of the PHEV may be eligible for a $4,543 federal tax credit; that amount rises to $7,500 for the electric Niro.
The Kia Niro comes with one powertrain choice. A 1.6-liter gasoline engine works with an electric motor to develop a combined 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission route power to the front wheels. This model earns fuel economy ratings from 43 to 50 mpg combined, depending on the trim.
For PHEV versions, the Niro has a larger electric motor. It has an EPA-estimated 26-mile range for a combined 46 mpg. The Niro Electric has a 201-horsepower electric motor and a single-speed transmission. This model has a 239-mile driving range according to the EPA.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The compact Niro seats five passengers, but it is best suited for four. The rear-seat legroom measures 37.4 cubic feet and that’s tight for tall adults Otherwise, the front seats are reasonably supportive and comfortable.
With 19.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity, the Niro’s standard storage capacity is below average. However, with the rear seat folded, that space mushrooms to 54.5 cubic feet. The cargo space is slightly less in the EV versions.
The 2021 Niro offers a long list of driver-assist safety technology. Move up through the trim range and the full list comes to bear.
These features include forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring. Also, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, driver drowsiness monitoring, lane keep and lane change assist, and adaptive cruise control.
The 2021 Niro comes with an 8-inch touch-screen display, a 6-speaker audio system, USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility. An 8-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system is available as is navigation.
Kia equips the base LX with automatic headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyed entry, cloth seats, and dual-zone climate control. An 8-inch touch-screen display, a 6-speaker audio system, smartphone compatibility, Bluetooth, and USB ports are included.
For a modest $1,400 increase, the LXS brings in numerous upgrades including better wheels, keyless entry, and push-button start. Additional driver-assist technologies, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keep assist are included.
The middle trim brings in adaptive cruise control, cloth and leather upholstery, a sunroof, and a power driver’s adjustable seat.
The SE edition comes with imitation leather upholstery, a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, navigation, and the Harman Kardon audio system. Also, HD Radio and satellite radio are included.
The range-topping EX Premium trim comes with heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless device charging, and rear parking sensors.
There is no federal tax credit with the standard hybrid. However, if you opt for the PHEV, your final cost may come in lower than the corresponding hybrid trim. Depending on your state, local incentives may be available to offset your costs further.