2023 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid – Quick Look

It’s been an extremely rainy December week here in Houston while testing the 2023 Kia Niro PHEV but I still managed to put a couple hundred miles on it and came away impressed with how far the Niro has come. We last reviewed the 2023 Kia Niro SX non-hybrid earlier this year 2023 Kia Niro – Punching Above Its Class, so it was good to get a taste of the PHEV version.

We won’t go into too much detail about the basics of the 2023 Kia Niro here, but you can go more in-depth in our previous review here – 2023 Kia Niro – Punching Above Its Class. We’re going to focus on the PHEV aspects in this article.

The basics are the same. However, the powertrain in our 2023 Niro PHEV tester is a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine assisted by two electric motors and an 11.1 kW hour battery. This combination gives the Niro PHEV a total of 180 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. This is plenty of power for a smaller car like the Niro.

As with most PHEVs, the Kia Niro PHEV can be driven in a battery-saver mode which runs the car in gasoline mode, reserves battery power for later use, and continues to use regen to charge the battery as you drive. Additionally, you can drive the Niro in hybrid mode, which uses intelligence to determine the amount of battery assistance given to the gasoline engine.

The real advantage to the PHEV version of the Niro is the ability to drive a rated 33 miles on pure electric before needing to rely on the gasoline engine. I managed about 31 miles on pure electric driving like I would normally, though the gas engine does kick in if you put the pedal to the floor and shuts off once the high power demand situation is over. With a little tweaking to how I drove the Niro I could see hitting 33 miles or more. Each EV I’ve driven handles regen slightly differently, so it takes some getting used to in order to have full efficiency.

The EPA rates the 2023 Kia Niro PHEV at 108 MPGe when driving in pure electric mode. Driving in standard hybrid mode most of the week, I averaged an impressive 52.2 miles per gallon. I could charge the 11.1 kWh battery on a level 2 charger at home in under 2 hours.

My Mineral Blue 2023 Kia Niro PHEV tester had an as-tested price of $45,000 and came very nicely equipped. For my money, the Niro PHEV is the sweet spot between the full EV and the standard Hybrid model. It’s a very comfortable car to drive and is efficient. I enjoyed driving the Niro PHEV, and it should be on your list of contenders if you are shopping for a fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient vehicle.

The 2023 Kia Niro PHEV comes with a 5-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which includes the battery pack and motors.

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Zerin Dube

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