Automakers are always introducing new models for sale. The goal is to give their customers something new, designed to meet a specific need. This was certainly the case when Kia premiered the Niro in 2017. This hybrid subcompact SUV is built to give drivers exceptional fuel economy, helping them save money on gasoline while reducing the greenhouse gases they produce. Kia took things a step further in 2019 by introducing the Niro PHEV, a plug-in hybrid version with the convenience of recharging the battery in the comfort of your home. The PHEV was accompanied by the Niro EV, a fully battery electric version of this subcompact, allowing drivers to forgo using gasoline altogether. Now, Kia is introducing a new generation of the Niro in time for the 2023 model year. If you are looking for a new Kia Niro for sale, you will find one with improvements in interior space and better performance. What’s more, Kia has made this generational change across the board, so all three Niro variants are getting the same facelift.
The 2023 Kia Niro Is a Subcompact SUV in Name Only
One complaint that many drivers have about subcompact SUVs is that they can be a little cramped. This is especially the case with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and EV models. The designers have to figure out how to put the battery pack in a safe place, which can often take away from the passenger or cargo space inside the vehicle. Fortunately, Kia has placed the battery in the Niro under the rear seat, so you won’t lose any room. What’s more, the 2023 Niro is longer and wider than the prior generation. The Niro Hybrid and Niro PHEV each offer 1,053 mm of legroom in the front row and 1,011 mm in the back. This is slightly more than in the Niro EV, which has 938 mm of legroom in the rear seat. Still, that is more than in the 2022 model.
This also goes for trunk space. Interestingly, the latest Niro Hybrid and Niro EV each give you 646 litres of space for cargo in the trunk, which can easily be expanded to 1,805 litres by folding down the rear seat. The Niro PHEV offers 550 litres in the trunk, with a maximum of 1,546 litres of cargo space behind the first row of seats. Still, each of these is more than last year’s Niro models. The 2022 Niro Hybrid had only 635 litres of space for cargo in the trunk, with the Niro PHEV offering 548 litres and the Niro EV providing 629 litres. As you can see, the biggest cargo space improvement is with the Niro EV. Still, each of the 2023 Niro models will give you and your passengers more space than ever for yourself and your belongings. This will make it easier for you to fit five passengers comfortably within your vehicle.
Improved Hybrid Fuel Economy and EV Range
When it comes to buying a hybrid or EV, the key is to reduce or eliminate your dependence on gasoline. This has always been the case with the Kia Niro. For example, the 2022 Niro Hybrid gave drivers an estimated fuel economy of 4.6 L/100 km combined, while the 2022 Niro PHEV was more efficient at 2.2 Le/100 km combined. The second generation 2023 Niro models improve upon these numbers while still delivering more overall interior space.
The 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid features a 1.6L I-4 gas engine paired with a 32 kW permanent magnet synchronous motor in the front axle. A lithium-ion polymer battery is used to power the electric motor, while the gas engine helps to keep the battery charged through a generator. Brake recapture is also used, which is why you will actually get better fuel economy during city driving. The engine itself has a dual overhead camshaft configuration (DOHC), with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission helping the mix of gas and electric power. This results in the 2023 Niro EV providing 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque in combined output with a rated fuel economy of 4.4 L/100 km.
Kia also boosted performance and fuel economy for the 2023 Niro PHEV. This model pairs a 1.6L I-4 gas engine with a 62 kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor in the front axle. An 11.1 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery powers the electric motor, which can be recharged using a Level 1 or Level 2 charger. You can top off the battery in a little under three hours using Level 2 charging. This model also features a six-speed dual-clutch transmission but has a combined output of 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. You can drive an estimated 55 km on battery power alone, with a rated efficiency of 2.1 Le/100 km.
The Niro EV does not require any gasoline, as it is fully battery-powered. The 2022 model had a rated range of 385 km. This has been significantly improved for the second generation, with the 2023 Kia Niro EV able to go an estimated 407 km on a fully charged battery. This model features a 150 kW permanent magnet synchronous motor located in the front axle. This is powered by a 64.8 kW lithium-ion polymer battery and provides an impressive 201 hp and 188 lb-ft of torque. It also comes with the ability to use Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 charging for its battery. Depending on the power available, you can fully recharge the battery at a public Level 3 DC Fast Charging station in as little as 43 minutes.
EVs and Hybrids That Are Almost as Fast as Lightning
One of the coolest features of hybrids and EVs is their ability to generate a large amount of torque at low speeds. In the case of most EVs, you can get all of the available torque as soon as you step on the vehicle’s accelerator. This is certainly true of the 2023 Niro EV. You can go from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds in this vehicle, which will get you off the light and down the road in the blink of an eye. The 2023 Kia Niro PHEV has only slightly less acceleration, going from zero to 100 km/h in just 7.3 seconds. The 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid has an acceptable acceleration of zero to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds, which is more than enough to get you onto even the busiest highway in rush hour.
When it comes to top speed, the 2023 Niro PHEV is the champion. This model has a top speed of 193 km per hour. Just be careful since you don’t want to draw the unwanted attention of the RCMP. Interestingly, both the 2023 Niro EV and Niro Hybrid have the same top speed of 170 km per hour. This will still get you wherever you want to go in Canada as quickly as you wish to get there.
The New Niro Models Are Bigger and Better Than Ever
Usually, when an automaker increases the size of a vehicle, it ends up as a tradeoff, with the vehicle losing acceleration or fuel economy in the process. That is certainly not the case with the 2023 Kia Niro, which is not only larger than the first-generation model but also faster and more efficient. In addition, Kia has delivered a vehicle that provides both more passenger space and additional room for your belongings. In this way, the 2023 Kia Niro represents a powerful bolt from the blue for the next generation of electric models from Kia!