The 2022 Kia Niro Hybrid hatchback wears the brand's new badge but otherwise carries over unchanged, Kia disclosed Thursday. At $25,865, including destination, the base price remains the same as the 2021 Niro, but trim reshuffling cuts nearly $1,000 off the top EX Premium trim. The plug-in hybrid PHEV remains unchanged and costs the same at $30,765.
The compact five-seater with hatchback versatility offers the roominess of a small crossover with the efficiency of a Toyota Prius. The base LX is EPA rated at 53 mpg city, 48 highway, 50 combined. The 2022 Niro Hybrid (HEV) uses a 1.6-liter inline-4 teamed to a 1.6-kwh battery and 43-hp electric motor for a combined output of 139 hp. Power is delivered through a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to the front wheels only. An 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes standard. Unfortunately, the LX still lacks the safety features standard on the Toyota Corolla Hybrid as well as competitors such as the 2021 Honda Insight and 2021 Hyundai Ioniq.
For that, step up to the recommended LXS trim for more features and only a slight fuel economy penalty down to 51/46/49 mpg combined. With the same $27,265 price as last year, the LXS comes with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, automatic high beams, and a driver-attention monitor.
A new LXS SE trim costs $28,765 and features better seats that upgrade to cloth and leather trim, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, and a sunroof.
The Touring SE model costs $31,065, which is a reduction of $960 from last year. It rides on 18-inch alloy wheels instead of 16s on the other models and comes with more features that lower fuel economy to 46/40/43 mpg combined. Navigation-based adaptive cruise control and limited hands-free driving come standard, as do a larger instrument cluster display and a larger 10.3-inch touchscreen; smartphones have to be tethered with the larger screen, however. Synthetic leather covers the seats, and audio upgrades to an eight-speaker Harmon Kardon system.
The EX Premium tops the Niro HEV range at $33,165 and has all the features of the Touring SE, except it reverts pack to the 16-inch wheels with partially covered rear wheels to earn the 51/46/49 mpg rating. It also costs $960 less than last year.
The 2021 Kia Niro can also be had as a plug-in hybrid with the same engine and an 8.9-kwh battery pack and motor providing up to 26 miles of all-electric range or an EPA-rated 46 mpg combined across the LXS, EX, and EX Premium trims. It is still eligible for a $4,543 federal EV tax credit, depending on the owner's income level, but without the credit it starts at $30,765 and runs up to $37,665—a decrease of $60—on the top EX Premium model.
Kia also makes a fully-electric version of the Niro with the Niro EV, but its days may be numbered to the launch of the 2022 Kia EV6.