There is a new baby in town, and her name is the 2017 Kia Niro. The under-$30,000 hybrid section is quite crowded. That didn't stop Kia from producing the Niro, it is a hybrid that uses its classic exterior design as its main selling point. It's obvious that the Niro is a direct competitor of Toyota Prius; it might not be as efficient as the Prius, but at least it comes at a cheaper price and with good fuel economy.
Which features does it come with?
The 2017 Kia Niro works like a hatchback, but it's categorized in the class of compact hybrid crossover SUVs. It's worth noting that it doesn't have an all-wheel drive. The Niro is designed to ensure that the driver has a clear view of the road going by its elevated seating position; this also makes it easy to exit and enter the car. Additionally, it comes with a spacious interior to accommodate the driver and the passengers comfortably.
It produces 139 horsepower from a combination of an electric motor and a gas engine; the fuel economy is 52 mpg city. This means that the Niro has great fuel economy but the Toyota Prius still offers better. Generally, the Niro has all the basic necessities to satisfy most hybrid shoppers.
Everything about this car is new. The Niro has great passenger space, rearview cameras, an easy-to-use user interface and good driver accommodation. The Niro doesn't score much when compared to others of its class that happen to provide more space; however, it has optional underfloor storage and rear seats that can fold to the ground.
What about the trims?
The base trim level of the 2017 Kia Niro is the FE which has a starting price of $22,890. It comes with optional drive modes, rearview camera, Bluetooth accessibility, folding rear seats 60/40-split, automatic headlights, 7-inch touch screen, a sound system with four speakers, 16-inch alloy wheels, Apple CarPlay, Uvoe Services app suite, dual-zone automatic climate control and an automatic integration for Android smart phones.
Next is the LX which goes for $23,200. It's very similar to the FE, but it also has LED taillights, Push Button Start, and roof rails.
Next is the EX which costs $25,700; it has the features of the above models, but it also has some additions. The additions include daytime running headlamps, Blind spot detection, heated outside mirrors, fog lights, rear cross traffic alerts and a rear air-conditioning vent. Generally, it has better safety features than the models above.
You will have to spend $28,000 to get the Touring Launch Edition; it features LED interior lights, leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels, Satellite and HD radio, 8-inch touchscreen, sound system with eight speakers, ventilated front seats, rear and front parking sensors, heated steering wheel and door scuff plates.
The Touring costs $29,650; it's similar to the Launch Edition. However, the extra price comes with some extra features with the main ones being a power sunroof and an exterior that doesn't have sport black accents.
The 2017 Niro FE is ideal for a hybrid shopper who wants the highest fuel efficiency; it gives you 50 mpg of joint highway/city fuel economy. The EX is also a good choice because it brings in more convenience and comfort with features like blind-spot monitoring, push-button start, safety systems and heated seats.
How is the driving experience?
The 2017 Kia Niro outshines the Prius in terms of speed. However, the brakes are not quite good enough when under panic braking.
The car has comfortable seats that are well padded although they cannot be described as luxurious. The car earns points because it stays planted on the road. The EX model comes in handy during winter because it offers a hot heat level that is better than most cars.
The driver can drive without worrying about the climate because the vehicle comes with climate control features that are used to ensure pleasant cabin temps.
What does the future hold?
In the future, Kia is likely to diversify by offering plug-in hybrid variants. This is exciting news for hybrid lovers. If money ain't a thang, you can purchase the Optima plug-in hybrid which will leave your pockets with a hole worth around $30,000.
However, if your description fits in the category of regular folks, it would be advisable to grab the 2017 Kia Niro which only costs $22,890. The Niro is cheaper than all midsize sedan hybrids, Ford C-Max and the Toyota Prius.