The 2017 Kia Niro is Kia’s first dedicated hybrid, built from the ground up to optimize mileage. This compact hybrid crossover has record-breaking fuel economy, but that isn’t the only reason to love it. This detailed breakdown shows which features you can find in each trim.
The FE is the least expensive Kira Niro, at $22,890. It’s equipped with a 1.6-liter hybrid engine that’s capable of 104 horsepower and 109 pound-foot of torque using fuel and 43 hp and 125 lb.-ft of torque with the electric motor. That’s not a lot of get-up-and-go, even when you look at the whole powertrain’s rating of 143hp. That said, it gets fantastic gas mileage of up to 52 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway.
Since the FE is the base model, it doesn’t come with the features you’d find in more expensive trims, but the standard features are substantial. Some of the best include UVO eServices, a set of tools including roadside assistance and a parking minder. You also get a seven-inch color touch-screen display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, privacy glass, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, and a rear camera display.
The only notable downside of the Kia Niro FE is the lack of advanced safety features like lane departure warnings. It does come with basic features like airbags and crumple zones, but anything else requires upgrading.
The LX starts at $23,200 and doesn't change much from the FE. However, it does add a few features to make the small price increase worth it. This trim adds roof rails so you can store more cargo or carry camping equipment. The LX also has rear combination LED lamps and includes a Push Button Start with Smart Key and an immobilizer.
The EX has significant improvements over the two previous trims and starts at $25,700. The exterior adds LED turn-signal indicators for improved safety and heated outside mirrors for cold winter days. It also includes daytime running headlamps and fog lights. Overall, the EX has a much stronger set of safety features than the FE and the LX.
The inside has very few alterations, but they’re big ones. Blind spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alerts are included with the EX. Overall, this can significantly decrease the risk of an accident, which protects both you and your investment.
Kia lists the mileage as a touch lower than the previous trims—51 mpg in the city and 46 on the highway—but we know for a fact that it can do more. The Niro EX is the car that Kia used to set a world record for gas mileage in a hybrid. A pair of drivers went 3,715.4 miles from Los Angeles New York and only used 48.5 gallons. That means that they got 76.6 mpg over the course of the trip.
Touring Launch Edition
The Touring Launch Edition starts at $28,000, but may not be available everywhere. Dealerships may carry the vehicle, but Kia states that it may also be possible to have one built for a customer. If you can snag one, it fits a great niche between the EX and the Touring.
The exterior doesn’t change much other than the sport black accents. The inside is where most of the best alterations occur. Drivers will find an eight-inch touch-screen display with voice-command navigation. The speaker system is a Harman Kardon Premium Surround Sound system with Clari-Fi. It consists of eight speakers located around the cabin, along with an integrated subwoofer.
The Touring is the final trim and starts at $29,650. The price isn’t much higher than the Touring Launch Edition, but it has plenty of small upgrades. The exterior lacks the sport black accents but includes a power sunroof. The glossy black radiator grille with chrome trim is back after skipping the Launch Edition trim. The sunroof can make a huge difference if you’re planning on using your Kia Niro as a vacation vehicle.
The Touring doesn’t include a great deal more than the Launch Edition, but the smaller alterations can make it feel much more luxurious. Drivers now have leather seating, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel. Overall, it’s definitely worth it to upgrade from the Touring Launch Edition to the Touring trim.
(Featured image via Facebook.)