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The Kia Niro Hybrid Crossover Is The New Toyota Prius Killer

Pricing / 9 Comments

Pricing for the Kia Niro hybrid has been announced to give its crossover competitors a run for their money.

With all the buzz surrounding the Kia Stinger sports coupe, you'd be forgiven for forgetting all about the upcoming Kia Niro hybrid crossover. We know, it's hard to get excited whenever the words "hybrid" and "crossover" come up, but we reckon the Niro has the potential to change your perception with its perky performance, nippy handling and unconventional styling. Kia is even marketing it as a "a very un-hybrid-like driving experience." Pricing details have now been announced for the Niro, and it all sounds very reasonable.

That's not overly surprising considering this is the manufacturer famous for offering free seven year warranties. Set to arrive in dealers early this year, the base FE model has an MSRP of $22,890 and comes equipped with 16-inch wheels, keyless entry, power windows, 7-inch touchscreen, smartphone integration, reversing camera and audio system, with a combined 50 mpg. It's cheaper than its arch-rival, the Toyota Prius, and infinitely more desirable. Upgrading to the $23,200 LX trim adds a push button start, roof rails and rear LED lights, while an optional $1,450 Advanced Technology Package will add forward collision and lane departure warnings, and autonomous emergency braking.

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The $25,700 EX model, meanwhile, adds LED DRLs, front fog lamps, heated power-folding mirrors, heated seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lance Chance Assist. Available in Snow White Pearl or Aurora Black Pearl colors, the $28,000 Launch Edition is distinguished by Hyper Gray 18-inch alloy wheels with Michelin tires, unique metallic color grille, 10-way driver's seat, 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, and 8-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio. The range-topping Touring trim adds a tilt/slide sunroof, heated steering wheel, and ventilated seats for $29,650.

Powering the Niro is a 1.6-liter, naturally-aspirated engine producing 103 horsepower, coupled with a 43-hp electric motor to give a combined power output of 146 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. "The new Niro checks all the boxes – it provides crossover utility, good looks, outstanding fuel economy, it's fun to drive and it's affordable," said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning at Kia. We can't really argue with that – the Niro already seems to be streets ahead of its hybrid competitors. Just because it's fuel efficient and affordable doesn't mean it won't be fun to drive. Can you tell we're smitten?