When it comes to hybrid crossovers, there are so many good options that can be difficult to choose the one you want. And the 2023 Kia Niro SX Touring plug-in hybrid doesn’t make it any easier to make the selection: it checks just about every box.
Good looks? Check.
Roomy and comfortable interior? Check.
Plenty of your safety and convenience technology? Check.
Anyway, you get the point. I tooled around in the SX Touring PHEV model for a week and found it difficult to say anything really bad about it.
Pretty on the outside
It’s a good-looking machine designed to cut through the wind to improve fuel economy, which comes in at 108 mpg-e combined and 48 mpg combined in gas-only mode by the way.
Adding to that is the AeroBlade which looks like a bit of an offset or boomerang stuck on the D pillar of the car. Kia claims it helps with airflow but what it really does is make it easy to find your car in a crowded parking lot, especially if you get it painted in a contrasting color. My tester came in mineral blue with the black Aeroblade.
The Niro plug in is powered by a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder paired with a 62 kilowatt electric motor to combination puts out a zippy 180 horsepower and 125 pound feet of torque. It also travels 33 miles and electric only mode.
The result is a car that’s plenty quick and plenty quiet on the inside.
Comfy and clean cabin
Once inside, you’re greeted by a simple clean black dashboard. It’s an excellent mix of knobs and touch enabled switches to keep everybody happy, or at least suitably annoyed. The 10.25-inch touchscreen is just the right size for the interior offering users every bit of information needed.
As for comfort, my tester came with charcoal SynTec seating material which is leather-like — regardless it’s comfortable even on lengthy drives. I suspect it’s easy to keep clean as well, a nice combination on a vehicle that will probably act as a daily driver.
And what kind of daily driver do you get if you purchase or lease the 2023 year old plug in hybrid? An excellent one. It’s quiet and comfortable. It’s responsive, although not a race car. Also it’s a compact, thus it’s easy to park and good looking to boot.
However, the magic word in this is hybrid, which for many equates to “expensive.” Fortunately, that’s not really the case here. The average new vehicle in the US is about $49,000 And I’m sure Kia is happy to be below average in this area as my Niro SX Touring PHEV came in at a little more than $41,600.
If that’s too much for you, no problem, you can get one with fewer options and a few trim levels lower for less than 30 grand and still get the fuel economy that’s important in a daily driver. Such a deal.