Life after chaperoning our long-term Toyota Mirai has been easier but a little less interesting. Sure, I don’t miss the somewhat disappointing range or driving across city lines to fill the hydrogen tank, but I enjoyed the car’s instant response, its otherworldly styling, and the new discoveries that naturally come with testing technology not normally found in passenger cars. Now I find myself in one of the most pragmatic, down-to-earth vehicles on the market: the Kia Niro.
In past reviews, we’ve called Kia’s new hybrid wagon “vanilla,” “practical,” “nondescript,” and “utilitarian.” But we’ve also praised its excellent fuel economy, long driving range, surprisingly spacious interior, and value pricing. Over the next 12 months, we’ll get a chance to better explore these areas as well as one of the biggest concerns with any new car on the market: quality.
The Niro has few direct competitors. Perhaps its closest rival is the Ford C-Max, though it’s also bound to be cross-shopped against the Hyundai Ioniq and the Toyota Prius. The Niro is the first Kia to sit on a new green car platform shared with the Hyundai Ioniq.
You can buy a 2017 Kia Niro for $23,785 ($24,180 for the 2018 model). That price is on par with the starting price of the ubiquitous Prius. But we splurged for the top-level Niro: the Touring. Unlike lesser Niros, the Touring features leather-trimmed upholstery, ventilated seats, a power tilt and slide sunroof, a heated steering wheel, front and rear park assist, a 10-way power driver’s seat with memory, and an eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. On top of these standard features, we also tacked on the Advanced Technology package for $1,900. It’s not a bad investment considering you get automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and a wireless phone charger. After adding on $130 carpeted floormats, our Touring model rang out to $32,575.Read more on MotorTrend site