Crossover styling; honest-to-goodness 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; a big array of driver-assistance technologies; terrific fuel economy; impressive electric range
Performance is a bit sluggish in Eco (normal) driving mode; limited ground clearance; modest cargo bay; no all-wheel drive
For 2019, the Niro gains a new model, the all-electric Niro EV. The EV is powered by a 201-horsepower electric motor with a range up to 239 miles. The rest of the Niro fleet carries over largely unchanged.
Each version of the Niro offers better-than-average value. The EX will probably be the biggest seller, and we believe it offers the best value. It allows for the same driver-assist safety features and options as the Touring and can be outfitted with most of the Touring's standard features such as the Harman Kardon audio, heated and ventilated front seats, wireless phone charging, HID headlights and navigation.
The Niro offer fours grades for the hybrid, three for the plug-in hybrid and a single, well-equipped trim for the new EV model. No matter how you cut it, there's a load of value regardless of the grade.
Anchoring the Niro lineup, the FE ($24,180) comes with 16-in tires with wheel covers, auto on/off headlights, power outboard mirrors and door locks, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, 7 airbags, an outside temperature display, a trip computer, 6-way adjustable front bucket seats, dual-zone auto climate control, a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, a UVO infotainment interface, a 7-in touchscreen and a 4-speaker audio system with a USB port. No factory options are available.
If you add roof rails and push-button start to the FE, you basically get the LX ($24,740). It also comes with a hidden storage tray in the cargo area and a rear center armrest. Factory options include fog lights, LED daytime running lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a forward-collision warning system, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking and smart cruise control.
There's a little more air between the LX and the EX ($27,240), with additional features on the EX that include the LX's available options (except for the driver-assist technologies) as well as power-folding/heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn signals, cloth-and-leather seat trim, 3-level heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic assist and lane-change assist. Optional on the LX and EX is an Advanced Technology package that adds autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control, lane-keep assist and, on the EX trim, a 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar. Much of the Touring standard equipment can be added to the EX via the EX Premium package.
The Touring ($33,090) is the top-level trim. It builds on the EX's content with 18-in alloy wheels, a power sunroof, leather seating, ventilated front seats, an 8-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with a subwoofer, an 8-in touchscreen, a heated steering wheel and a front/rear park-assist system. In addition to the driver-assist features offered as options on the LX and EX grades, the Touring also includes HID headlights, a 110-volt inverter and a wireless phone charger.
The Touring S ($29,640) is similar to the Touring, but features a unique graphite grille insert, special interior colors and black alloy wheels and roof rails. It doesn't get the power sunroof, ventilated front seats or heated steering wheel, nor any driver assist features like autonomous braking, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control. There are no factory options.
|Basic||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||10 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Hybrid/Electric Components||10 Years/100,000 Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
2019 Toyota Prius Prime -- It's tough to talk about hybrids without bringing a Prius into the discussion, because it's the car at which Kia was aiming. Hands down, it's the best Prius yet and now offers the option of AWD.
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid -- More SUV-like than the Niro, the all-new 2019 RAV4 Hybrid also offers more room, more ground clearance and better performance and AWD, plus every model comes standard with advanced driver assist features.
Used Lexus NX 300h -- A 2015 -- 2016 Lexus NX 300h may cost a bit more than a loaded Touring, but not by much. It delivers excellent power, economy and luxury in a vehicle renowned for its excellent reliability and resale.