2023 Kia Niro SX Touring - A Frugal, Right-size Ride.
Sometimes the stars align. Like when I wanted to drive to Southern California for the Grand National Roadster Show. My '95 Lumina was an option but not a good one (would it make it, what more could go wrong with it, etc.). The Niro SX Touring arrived at my home the day before I was to leave. Thanks to the folks at Kia I was able to drive a new, comfortable, reliable, and frugal vehicle.
If you read my articles (and I hope you do) you know I like Kia. The Niro was one more Kia that gets a big thumbs up from me.
In total I put over 1,000 miles on the Niro. On the round trip to SoCal it got 41.1 mpg; on a shorter highway trip the fuel economy was 46.8 mpg. The EPA highway rating is 45 mpg. You can probably guess why the SoCal trip was less - extra-legal speeds. I didn't drive much around town but EPA says the Niro is capable of 53 mpg in town.
Oh, did I forget to mention that the Niro SX Touring is a hybrid? In fact there are three Niros - Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, and EV. I like hybrids, they are kind of the best of both worlds. You get economy of operation without having to find a charging station or worrying about brownouts.
The Niro SX Touring has a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Combined horsepower is 139, and combined torque is 195 lb-ft. I know, it doesn't sound like much but I assure you it is just fine. Road tests show the Niro can reach 60 mph in 8.9 seconds.
The transmission is a 6-speed dual clutch automatic; drive is through the front wheels.
The Niro is, in Bruce-speak, a right-size vehicle. It is 174" long on a wheelbase of 107.1", 71.8" wide, and 60.8" tall. It's not so big that you'll need a bullhorn to talk to anyone in the rear seat, and it's not so small that you won't be able to haul what four people would need for a vacation. The plus, especially for us older folks, is that entrance and exit is easy.
|Kia says the Niro has best in class rear legroom.|
|The load-in height makes for easy stowage.|
|The toggles (two on either side) are easy to misuse.|
|The controls on the console are (from top left): seat heater, seat fan, steering wheel heater, Auto Hold, and the Parking brake. On the right is the seat heater and seat fan, parking sensor, and camera control. Fairly straight forward.|
Style is subjective, and generally I like Kia's styling, but I would pass on the black C-pillar section, a $195 option.