The 239-mile Niro EV complements plug-in and hybrid versions covering all the bases.
Kia refreshed all three of its electrified Niro crossover this week. It started with the plain-old hybrid Niro, then the plug-in EV and finally we have the new 2022 Kia Niro EV. Like the other two, the Niro EV just gets a gentle once over for the new year, as it was introduced in 2020.
The little Nio will get the new Kia badge, which will go on the grille, the tailgate and several other places throughout the vehicle. Also for the new model year, a 10.25-inch touchscreen becomes standard. Additionally, navigation, satellite radio, UVO link and the premium sound system are bundled with it.
The 2022 Niro EX comes in $900 more expensive than last year for a total of $41,165 including $1,175 in destination charges. The Niro EX Premium starts at $45,825. Both get an estimated range of 239 miles on a charge with a 64-kWh battery and a 201-hp, 291-lb-ft electric motor. And both cars qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit; that brings them to a more reasonable $33,665 and $38,325.
Almost all of the safety features come standard on the cheaper EX model. They include forward collision warning/avoidance, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic detection, lane keeping, lane following, adaptive cruise, highway driving assist and driver attention warning. The EX Premium adds reverse park distance warning.
Currently, the Niro EV is only sold in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Texas, and Kia hasn't said if it will expand its footprint. Speaking of footprint, the five-passenger Niro is small. Coming in at 172 inches, its about ten inches smaller in length than the Ford Escape and five inches shorter than Kia's own Sportage.
We did get a chance to drive the Niro EV a few years ago and found it every bit as comfortable and useful as the Chevy Bolt, though it's more expensive up and down the lineup. On the other hand, as of now no one is looking to replace every battery in every model like GM is doing with the Bolt. So that has to be a point in Kia's favor. The Niro EV will be on sale before the end of this year.