2018 Kia Niro

 
2018 Kia Niro
 
2018 Kia Niro
 

2018 Kia Niro

MSRP 
$24,280
Invoice 
$23,688
Target 
 
 

Vehicle Highlights

  • Fuel Economy: 52 mpg City, 49 mpg Hwy
  • Engine: 1.6 L Hybrid I-4, 139 HP
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive Train: Front Wheel Drive
  • Passengers: 5
  • Doors: 4

View More Features and Specifications

What You Will Like

The Niro competes with other small SUVs and crossover vehicles such as the Toyota RAV4 and and Honda CR-V. With a base price of under $23,000, the Niro won't break the bank, while still offering far better mileage than any of its competitors. Like all Kias, the Niro comes standard with all the basics one would expect for a compact car and then some. At the other end of the spectrum, the top of the line Niro comes positively loaded with the kind of items that were only sold in luxury cars a few years ago. Yet, the top trim Niro still starts at under $30,000, making the Niro a solid buy no matter the trim level.

Compare the 2018 Kia Niro against similar models

What's New For 2018

In 2018 the Kia Niro gets updates to its packages and in doing so, upgrades last year's lane departure warning to a full-fledged lane keep assist. While standard on the Touring trim the new lane keeping assist is now part of the Advanced Technology package on the LX and EX models.

Warranty

  • Basic Warranty: 5 Years / 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain Warranty: 10 Years / 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance: 5 Years / 60,000 Miles
  • Hybrid Component: 10 Years / 100,000 Miles

A vehicle's warranty can significant impact your maintenance costs after you drive off the dealer's lot, and it's important to understand the different parts. Typically, a new car warranty includes a Basic warranty, which covers everything except the wear items such as brakes and tires; and a Drivetrain warranty, that covers all the parts that make the car move, such as the engine and transmission

Select options for 2018 Kia Niro

Est Target Price With Options

$24,280

Est. Savings Of MSRP Price

$0

 
Paint Scheme
Selected $0 $0
Port Installed Options
Unselected $42 $55
Unselected $62 $75
Unselected $78 $95
Unselected $83 $100
Unselected Includes: hood film and door pocket film, Rear Bumper Applique $171 $200
Unselected $291 $350
Unselected $108 $135
Unselected $120 $150
Unselected $42 $50
Unselected $67 $80
Unselected $93 $115
Primary Paint
Selected $0 $0
Unselected $270 $295
Unselected $362 $395
Unselected $362 $395
Seat Trim
Selected $0 $0
Unselected $0 $0
Total

Specifications for 2018 Kia Niro

Standard Equipment

  • Safety Options
    • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
    • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
    • Side Impact Beams
    • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
    • Low Tire Pressure Warning
    • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
    • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
    • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
    • Driver Knee Airbag
    • Rear Child Safety Locks
    • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
    • Back-Up Camera
  • Entertainment Features
    • Integrated Roof Antenna
    • Streaming Audio
    • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock and Steering Wheel Controls
    • Radio: AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM Satellite -inc: 7" touchscreen w/UVO eServices w/Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, USB, auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth w/voice recognition, 6 speakers and 4.2" LCD information display
  • Exterior Features
    • Wheels: 16" Alloy w/Full Covers
    • Tires: P205/60R16 Michelin
    • Spare Tire Mobility Kit
    • Clearcoat Paint
    • Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Black Bumper Insert
    • Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
    • Black Bodyside Moldings and Black Wheel Well Trim
    • Chrome Side Windows Trim
    • Body-Colored Door Handles
    • Body-Colored Power Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding
    • Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper, Heated Wiper Park and Defroster
    • Deep Tinted Glass
    • Variable Intermittent Wipers
    • Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
    • Lip Spoiler
    • Black Grille
    • Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
    • Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
    • Fully Automatic Projector Beam Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps w/Delay-Off
    • Perimeter/Approach Lights
  • Interior Features
    • Front Bucket Seats -inc: 6-way adjustable driver and front passenger seats
    • Carpet Floor Trim
    • Cargo Features -inc: Spare Tire Mobility Kit
    • Cargo Space Lights
    • Driver And Passenger Door Bins
    • Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver 1-Touch Up/Down
    • Delayed Accessory Power
    • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
    • Trip Computer
    • Analog Display
    • Manual Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
    • Front Center Armrest
    • 1 Seatback Storage Pocket
    • Perimeter Alarm
    • Engine Immobilizer
    • 2 12V DC Power Outlets
    • Air Filtration
    • Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
    • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
    • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
    • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
    • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
    • Cloth-Trimmed Seats
    • Urethane Gear Shift Knob
    • Full Cloth Headliner
    • Interior Trim -inc: Chrome/Metal-Look Interior Accents
    • Driver Foot Rest
    • Illuminated Glove Box
    • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts
    • Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
    • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
    • Remote Releases -Inc: Power Fuel
    • Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, Illuminated Entry, Illuminated Ignition Switch and Panic Button
    • Rear Cupholder
    • Front Cupholder
    • Power Rear Windows
    • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
    • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
    • 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
    • -Way Passenger Seat -inc: Manual Recline, Height Adjustment and Fore/Aft Movement
    • -Way Driver Seat -inc: Manual Recline, Height Adjustment and Fore/Aft Movement
  • Mechanical Features
    • Engine: 1.6L I4 16-Valve Atkinson Cycle DOHC -inc: Gasoline direct injection (GDI)
    • Transmission: 6-Speed Dual Clutch -inc: Sportmatic shifting
    • 3.227 Axle Ratio
    • GVWR: 4,079 lbs
    • Engine Auto Stop-Start Feature
    • Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode
    • Front-Wheel Drive
    • Battery w/Run Down Protection
    • Hybrid Electric Motor
    • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
    • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
    • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
    • 11.9 Gal. Fuel Tank
    • Single Stainless Steel Exhaust
    • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
    • Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
    • Regenerative 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
    • Lithium Polymer Traction Battery

Tech Specs

  • Brakes Features
    • Brake ABS System - 4-Wheel
    • Disc - Front (Yes or ) - Yes
    • Disc - Rear (Yes or ) - Yes
    • Front Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness (in) - 11
    • Rear Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness (in) - 11.2
  • Cargo Area Dimensions Features
    • Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (ft³) - 54.5
    • Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (ft³) - 19.4
    • Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (ft³) - 19.4
  • Engine Features
    • Engine Type - Gas/Electric I-4
    • Displacement - 1.6 L/96
    • Fuel System - Gasoline Direct Injection
    • SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM - 139 @ 5700
    • SAE Net Torque @ RPM - 195 @ 2400
  • Exterior Dimensions Features
    • Wheelbase (in) - 106.3
    • Length, Overall (in) - 171.5
    • Width, Max w/o mirrors (in) - 71.1
    • Height, Overall (in) - 60.4
    • Tread Width, Front (in) - 61.6
    • Tread Width, Rear (in) - 62.2
    • Min Ground Clearance (in) - 6.3
  • Fuel Tank Features
    • Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx (gal) - 11.9
  • Interior Dimensions Features
    • Passenger Capacity - 5
    • Passenger Volume (ft³) - 100.9
    • Front Head Room (in) - 40.1
    • Front Leg Room (in) - 41.7
    • Front Shoulder Room (in) - 56
    • Front Hip Room (in) - 53.7
    • Second Head Room (in) - 39.1
    • Second Leg Room (in) - 37.4
    • Second Shoulder Room (in) - 55.2
    • Second Hip Room (in) - 48.3
  • Mileage Features
    • Fuel Economy Est-Combined (MPG) - 50
    • EPA Fuel Economy Est - City (MPG) - 52
    • EPA Fuel Economy Est - Hwy (MPG) - 49
  • Steering Features
    • Steering Type - Rack-Pinion
    • Turning Diameter - Curb to Curb (ft) - 34.8
  • Summary Features
    • Vehicle Name - Kia Niro
    • Body Style - Sport Utility
  • Suspension Features
    • Suspension Type - Front - Strut
    • Suspension Type - Rear - Multi-Link
    • Suspension Type - Front (Cont.) - Strut
    • Suspension Type - Rear (Cont.) - Multi-Link
  • Tires Features
    • Front Tire Size - P205/60HR16
    • Rear Tire Size - P205/60HR16
  • Transmission Features
    • Drivetrain - Front Wheel Drive
    • Trans Type - 6
    • Trans Description Cont. - Auto-Shift Manual w/OD
    • Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1) - 3.23
  • Vehicle Features
    • EPA Classification - Small Sport Utility Vehicles 2WD
    • Annual CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year - 3.5
  • Weight Information Features
    • Base Curb Weight (lbs) - 3106
  • Wheels Features
    • Front Wheel Size (in) - 16 X 7
    • Rear Wheel Size (in) - 16 X 7
    • Front Wheel Material - Aluminum
    • Rear Wheel Material - Aluminum

2018 Kia Niro Photos & Colors

Photos

Below are pictures of the 2018 Kia Niro. Select the picture you want to view below

Available Colors

Below are the available colors for the 2018 Kia Niro. Select the color to see a close-up view.

  • Silky Silver
  • Silky Silver

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Introduction

The Kia Niro was introduced as a new vehicle for 2017, a compact gas-electric hybrid wagon. For 2018, a plug-in hybrid version has been added. All come with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is not available. Its closest rival might be the Toyota Prius v, although the v has a larger cargo capacity.

The 2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is EPA-rated at 46 miles per gallon Combined, or 105 MPGe when running electrically. It has a range of 26 miles on electric power alone, in warm weather; we got enough seat time to confirm this.

The conventional hybrid version, the kind that you do not (and cannot) plug in, is rated 50 mpg Combined for a stripped FE model (with less power-using equipment) or 43 mpg for a well-equipped Niro Touring model. Those figures are in Eco mode, which brings acceleration performance down quite a lot.

Both the plug-in hybrid and non-plug-in hybrid versions use a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection, tuned for the highly efficient Atkinson cycle. It makes 104 horsepower, with an electric motor squeezed between the engine and the 6-speed direct-shift automatic transmission, bringing the combined horsepower to a functional 139, with a strong 195 pound-feet of torque. The plug-in model has the more powerful electric motor, at 45 kilowatts (60 hp), as opposed to the 32-kw (43-hp) motor in the regular hybrid.

Kia’s system only uses one electric motor, unlike the smoother dual-motor systems used by Toyota, Honda, GM and Ford.

The small platform of the Niro is shared with the Hyundai Ioniq hatchback. The low and wide stance, five-door body, and vertical liftgate make it feel like a wagon. It drives nicely and handles well, thanks to light weight and a low center of gravity. It feels sportier than the Toyota Prius.

It’s practical as well as economical. The styling, cabin and features are attractive. It’s quiet in the cabin, and there’s good room for passengers and cargo.

Safety equipment includes seven airbags and a rearview camera with guiding lines. Most of the latest safety features are available, including blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and autonomous emergency braking.

Lineup

The 2018 Niro Hybrid comes in FE, LX, EX and Touring models. The Kia Niro FE ($23,340) comes standard with dual-zone climate control, LED headlamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, six-way manual front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seats, rearview camera, steering-wheel audio controls, two 12-Volt power outlets and USB and auxiliary input jacks on the center console, a 4.2-inch digital display between the instruments, and a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Niro LX ($23,650) adds roof rails, keyless ignition, rear center armrest, and LED taillamps. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)

Niro EX ($26,150) gets cloth-and-leather upholstery, fog lights and LED running lights, power folding heated door mirrors with integrated turn signals, blind-spot monitors, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a USB charger in the center console, and glossy black interior trim.

Niro Touring ($32,000) got a price increase of $2000 more than the other models, for 2018. It adds leather seats, ventilated in front, 18-inch alloy wheels, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, eight-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system with HD radio, front and rear parking assist, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat, and a heated steering wheel.

The Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid, also referred to as the Niro PHEV, comes in LX ($27,900), EX ($31,500), and EX Premium ($34,500) trim levels. The plug-in has a locking charge port, so the car can’t be unplugged while at a public charging station; a charge-timing function to take advantage of lower overnight electric rates; and a portable charging cord. It qualifies for a (-$4543) federal income tax credit the year it’s purchased, assuming the buyer’s tax situation permits the full credit to be used. It also earns state purchase rebates in New York (-$2000), California (-$1500), and other states, plus regional and corporate incentives.

Walkaround

Kia calls the Niro a crossover because it looks like a crossover. It feels more substantial than a compact hatch. It has big wheel arches with black flares, a thick cowl, rocker-panel cladding, roof rails, and a rear skid plate that makes it resemble a Jeep Cherokee from the rear. There’s no obvious styling effort to mark it as a hybrid, no visible attempt to look aerodynamic or eco. But in fact the Niro is very aerodynamic, with the drag coefficient being a low 0.29.

The low nose and wide sweeping hood conceal a long front overhang. It’s lower than the Kia Sportage crossover, while its lines are smoother and rounder than those on the Kia Soul.

A small flash of blue trim around the front parking lights distinguishes the PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) versions.

Interior

The quality of the cabin materials is good, and the surfaces are soft. The instrumentation is simple and basic, with big white-on-black gauges, and glossy black trim on higher models. The dash panel doesn’t try to impress you. There are no gauges that give any clue to its being a hybrid, except for a big green leaf on the panel.

With seat frames that came out of the near-luxury Optima sedan, the front seating position is high, reducing headroom; but it’s still not as high as in the Soul or Sportage, which have taller rooflines.

The cabin is wide and feels it. There’s comfortable room for four people, and enough elbow room for five no problem. But maybe not headroom. The rear seatbacks are already canted, not upright, so the passengers’ heads don’t scrape the ceiling.

The cargo floor is low and flat, because the battery is under the rear seat, and because there’s no four-wheel-drive components to make room for.

There’s less cargo space than in the Soul or Sportage: 19.4 cubic feet with the rear seat up, and 54.5 cubic feet with it down, not quite flat. But we found that it squashed down flat when we put weight on it. The cargo capacity is a lot less than the Prius v, with its 67.3 cubic feet.

Kia put a lot of effort into insulating the body structure and isolating engine noise, and it shows. When you floor it and the engine howls, the noise stays out of the cabin.

Driving Impressions

The Plug-in Hybrid, in all-electric mode, can gently accelerate to highway speeds, but the engine joins the powertrain going uphill or accelerating hard. The gas pedal has a spot where there is resistance, in order to stay in all-electric mode, but you often have to push past it and use the engine to keep from getting run over by fast traffic.

Once, we found ourselves with an empty battery at the top of a hill. Zero electric range. By the time we got to the bottom of the hill, after coasting and taking advantage of regenerative braking, we had added three miles of range.

Friction braking with the brake pedal also charges the battery. The pedal was a bit spongy, and the travel was long, but the blending of regenerative braking with friction braking was seamless. However, both Niro powertrains sometimes hesitated or lurched during transitions between braking, regeneration, and transmission shifting. It’s one drawback to the Kia (and Hyundai) single-motor hybrid system, as opposed to the two motors used by Ford, GM, Honda, and Toyota.

The Niro sheds pounds with an aluminum hood, liftgate, and suspension bits. Its light weight and low center of gravity largely make the car handle and hold the road well.

It’s far more fun to drive in Sport mode, but that’s where the fuel mileage will sink. Eco mode is more frugal, but it’s sluggish. The Eco mode is uncomfortable because it prevents the transmission from kicking down for acceleration. The engine will stay in higher gears as long as possible, which not only keeps the rpm and sound down, but brings in the electric motor to add torque for acceleration.

The Niro snaps into Sport mode as the driver pulls the shift lever to the left, almost like a downshift. The car comes alive, and easily keeps up with fast traffic on the freeway. The Sport mode enables sharper throttle response and transmission shifts; and supposedly sharper steering too, although we couldn’t feel much difference in turn-in quickness or weight in the steering wheel.

The transmission is quick, decisive and engaging in Sport mode. Kia chose a dual-clutch transmission, rather than a continuously variable transmission, partly because it wanted the Rio to not feel like a hybrid (but just be one). Mostly, it didn’t want the Rio to feel like a Prius. Research has shown that hybrid owners don’t much like the characteristics of the CVT that usually comes with hybrids. The dual-clutch transmission uses gears like a manual transmission, but feels like an automatic, and can be manually shifted more sharply than a CVT.

Niro doesn’t have paddle shifters, so you have to use the lever to shift the transmission in Sport mode. But, strangely, downshifting in Sport mode does not produce engine braking, especially the regenerative variety.

One novel feature, called the coasting guide, tells the driver the most energy-efficient time to coast and brake. Predictive Energy Control looks at the route set by the navigation system, and comes up with a plan to spare the throttle and raise the fuel mileage on the trip, then instructs you step-by-step on a screen how to achieve that goal. Of course it doesn’t have eyes, it’s based on speed limits and elevation; so what it tells you to do with the gas pedal and brake in real time, assumes you’re the only car on the road. But it gives you the right idea.

Summary

As a subcompact wagon hybrid and plug-in hybrid, the Niro works. It’s low, wide, practical, economical, quiet, fairly stylish and roomy, with good handling and decent acceleration when it’s in Sport mode. When it’s in high-mileage Eco mode, it’s a slug. We think it wins most comparisons to the Toyota Prius v, from powertrain to handling to mileage.

Sam Moses contributed to this report, with reporting from New Car Test Drive editor Mitch McCullough, and staff reports.

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Other 2018 Kia Niro styles
2018 Kia Niro EX FWD
2018 Kia Niro LX FWD
2018 Kia Niro Touring FWD

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