The 2022 Kia Niro is part of the first generation of Niro that Kia introduced to the market in 2017. It is Kia’s smallest SUV, but its compact size does not stop it from being a competitor. The 2022 Kia Niro has powerful, hybrid powertrains which its competitors, e.g., the Hyundai Kona and the Mazda CX-30, do not have. The Kia Niro is not as fun to drive as some of its competitors, but it is a top choice for anyone who is in the market for an SUV with impressive fuel efficiency.
The 2022 Kia Niro is not much different from previous models from earlier years. Still, there are a few differences and changes: a couple of standard features from the trim levels have been shuffled around, resulting in standard features in a different trim level than before; the Touring trim in the 2021 Kia Niro has been replaced with the LXS Special Edition in the 2022 Kia Niro; and Kia’s new logo is on the tail, nose, wheels, and steering wheel of the 2022 Kia Niro.
The 2022 Kia Niro comes in three different versions: the fully electric model, the hybrid model, and the plug-in hybrid. All three models have large rear hatches for the easier cargo loading, and they all look like something in between a subcompact SUV and a hatchback.
If you are considering buying the 2022 Kia Niro, you must have information about all the trim levels to know the features you want and subsequently purchase the trim with those features. The 2022 Kia Niro is sold in five trim levels: LX, LXS, LXS Special Edition, Touring Special Edition, and EX Premium.
All trim levels of the 2022 Kia Niro come only in front-wheel-drive – there is no all-wheel drive available. The trim levels boast a four-cylinder hybrid-electric powertrain that produces 139 horsepower; the generated power is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The base trim is the LX trim is equipped with essential features, alongside a couple of handy features such as dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay with wireless connectivity, among others.
The LXS trim is a step above the LX trim, and it offers a lot more features and benefits than the latter. The LXS trim provides some driver assistance features, which include the following: driver attention warning, which alerts you if sensors determine that the driver is becoming tired; blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, which warns the driver if a car is in the blind spot while in reverse or during a lane change; lane-keeping assistant steers the Kia Niro back into the appropriate lane if it drifts over the lane marker.
The LXS Special Edition builds on the LXS trim and adds a few features to the vehicle’s interior; some of these features include a sunroof, rear parking sensors that alert the driver when there are objects behind the car when parking, and LED interior lights.
The Touring Special Edition does not have the rear parking sensors present in the LXS SE. Still, it adds its unique features, including, but not limited to, air vents for rear seats, wireless charging pad, and adaptive cruise control, which adjusts the Kia Niro’s speed to maintain a constant distance between it and the vehicle in front.
The EX Premium is the highest trim level, and it has a cargo cover which is optional on other trim levels, heated and ventilated front seats, and it sees a return of the rear parking sensor.
Power and Performance
The 2022 Kia Niro’s electric model has a total range of 239 miles when fully charged, but it is weighed down by all the extra equipment and would go 0-60 in 9.5 seconds, whereas the plug-in hybrid model can go from 0-60 in 8.6 seconds. The plug-in hybrid model uses the same powertrain as the standard version, but it also has a larger battery to increase its electric range (this battery adds up to 26 miles of electric range).
Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
The 2022 Kia Niro is a 4-door SUV with five seats. The driver’s seat is easily adjustable, and there are two-zone automatic climate controls across all trim levels; the climate controls have controls for the driver and front passenger seats. The rear seats are just as roomy as the front seats, but they do not lie entirely flat when folded – this reduces possible cargo space. Regardless of this slight setback, there is still a good cargo space behind the rear seats in the 2022 Kia Niro.
The standard 8.0-inch touchscreen is present in lower trims, but higher-level trims have a larger 10.3-inch screen with more infotainment features; both touchscreens have a tuning knob and buttons to regulate volume. The 2022 Kia Niro also features standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto across all models.
The base model (the LX trim) has the most efficient fuel economy and has the EPA estimates it to be 53 mpg (miles per gallon) in the city, 48 mpg on the highway, and a combined 50 mpg. At a combined 43 mpg (with 46 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway), the Touring SE has the lowest fuel economy of all trim levels. The EX trim of the fully electric model has an MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) of 123 in the city and 102 on the highway, and a combined 112 MPGe.
Warranty and Maintenance
Kia offers comprehensive warranties for all their vehicles, and the 2022 Kia Niro is not exempt. The basic/standard warranty (available for the base trim) is a five-year or 60,000 miles warranty. Kia provides a ten-year/100,000 miles powertrain warranty that also applies to hybrid batteries. Kia provides a roadside warranty, i.e., roadside assistance, for five years or 60,000 miles.
The price of the 2022 Kia Niro varies depending on the trim level you want to purchase. The LX trim is the least expensive, with the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) at $24,690. The LXS trim starts at $26,090 MSRP, and the LXS SE comes in at $27,590. Tourism SE costs $29,890 MSRP, and the EX Premium, the most expensive trim level, starts at $31,990.
Trim levels higher than the base trim have standard driver-assistance features such as lane-keeping assistant, automatic high beams, automated emergency braking, etc. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers an overall rating of four out of five stars to the 2022 Kia Niro; it scored five stars in the side crash test, four stars in the rollover test, and has a 12.1% risk of rollover in the case of an accident.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses crash tests to determine a vehicle’s safety, and the 2022 Kia Niro had good side-impact and roof-strength tests.
The 2022 Kia Niro’s competitors are primarily other hybrid vehicles with similar features and driving experiences. These competitor vehicles are the Toyota Prius, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, and the Honda Insight.
The Ioniq Hybrid is smaller than the Niro, and it looks more like a hatchback than an SUV. The Honda Insight has better fuel economy and larger interior space, but the Kia Niro has a larger rear hatch. The Toyota Prius has an all-wheel drive, whereas the Kia Niro lacks this option and is limited to a front-wheel drive.