2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

MSRP range: $29,590 - $36,550
(1)
MSRP$30,765
Edmunds suggests you pay$30,169

What Should I Pay

2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Review

  • High fuel economy and respectable all-electric range
  • One of the more affordable hybrids in the segment
  • Plenty of standard and optional features
  • Less cargo volume than a typical SUV
  • Sluggish acceleration, often requiring use of the engine
  • Despite crossover styling, all-wheel drive is not available
  • Rear-seat reminder (alerts you to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle) is now standard
  • Wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is available
  • Available remote engine start
  • Minor changes to navigation and adaptive cruise control systems
  • Part of the first Niro Plug-In Hybrid generation introduced for 2018

Kia offers three versions of its Niro, and all are meant to provide fuel-efficient driving and lots of features at a low cost. There's the regular Niro, which is a hybrid, and the Niro Plug-In Hybrid — which is, as its name suggests, a plug-in hybrid — and then the full-electric Niro EV.

The Niro Plug-In Hybrid can be a nice introduction to the electrified world. It has a bigger hybrid battery than the regular Niro and is capable of driving the vehicle under full electric power for a short distance. After that, the Niro Plug-In switches over to the gasoline engine for normal hybrid operation. It offers an EPA-estimated 26 miles of electric range, can be recharged at home on a 110- or 240-volt outlet, and still gets 46 mpg even if you never use the all-electric power.

To learn more about the ins and outs of the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid, check out our Expert Rating below. And if you're interested in other relatively inexpensive plug-in hybrids, be sure to look into the efficient Prius Prime or the new Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid that can go 37 miles on a charge. Subaru also makes a plug-in version of its Crosstrek SUV that has standard all-wheel drive and extra ground clearance and increased off-road capability.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert RatingThe Edmunds Vehicle Testing Team evaluates a fresh batch of vehicles every week, pairing objective assessments at our test track with real-world driving on city streets, freeways and winding roads. The data we gather results in our Expert Ratings. They’re based on 30-plus scores that cover every aspect of the automotive experience.
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The plug-in hybrid Niro boasts 26 miles of EV range. That's pretty good as plug-ins go. Just know you're paying significantly more for this model compared to a regular hybrid Niro. How often you can recharge it will make a big difference. Overall we like the Niro Plug-In Hybrid, but rival models are more refined and enjoyable to drive.
The Niro has accurate steering and confident handling, but its powertrain lacks power and smoothness. There's decent enough power around town, but the Niro feels sluggish on the highway or in fast-moving traffic. The engine comes on frequently in EV mode, indicating the system isn't sophisticated or powerful enough to run without it, hurting the Niro's overall economy.

We'd prefer stronger regenerative braking too. Coming to a complete stop can feel abrupt since the brakes lack some refinement. That makes low-speed city driving more annoying than it should be. The Niro also lacks the smoothness of other EVs because of its slow-shifting transmission.
The Niro's soft seats and smooth ride provide a good amount of comfort for daily commuting. Adjustable lumbar support is available on higher trims (along with leather, heating and ventilation). The Niro absorbs most bumps on rough roads, smoothing out the ride.

The standard dual-zone climate control is effective. But the Niro regularly starts its engine to power the system, which can be surprising when you're in EV mode. The amount of wind and road noise is typical for a small non-luxury car.
The tall roof from the SUV-style shape brings a range of benefits. There's plenty of headroom, for instance, and visibility is great. The tall doors open wide enough to make it easy to get in and out but aren't so large to make tight parking spaces an issue. The opening is easy to step into for most adults, and you only have to sit down slightly to find the seat. Rear legroom is adequate for adults.

The Niro's interior layout is straightforward, and all major controls are clearly labeled and easy to find. The touchscreen interface has a short learning curve, and the digital display in the gauge cluster is easy to read.
The standard entertainment display isn't big, but it does come with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. A larger screen is optional and includes integrated navigation.

For the most part, the Niro's driver safety systems work well. The traffic-adaptive cruise control system does a good job of maintaining distance from the car ahead. The lane-keeping assist system, however, can be a little intrusive when it nudges the steering to keep you in your lane.
The Niro doesn't have the same amount of space or storage solutions as the small SUVs it's trying to emulate. Still, it fares well against traditional plug-in hybrid sedans and has enough space for typical shopping needs or short road trips.

Planning on using child safety seats? The lower car seat anchors are hidden between the rear seat cushions. Some connectors might be more difficult to secure than others with this setup. The seatback tether anchors are pretty easy to reach. As for space, you'll probably have to slide the front seats forward if you want to install a bulky rear-facing seat.
Our Niro test car consistently delivered 26 miles of EV range and surpassed its 46 mpg EPA combined city/highway estimate. We averaged 56 mpg over the course of 300-plus miles. But Niro Plug-In Hybrid's reliance on the engine to drive the climate controls means you'll probably see dramatically lower numbers if you live in a region with extreme temperatures.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid costs more than the standard Niro. Even with the higher fuel economy, it'll take a long time to make up the difference in price between the two models in gas savings alone.

The interior is a bit bland and many of the plastics look and feel cheap, though it all fits together well. Kia's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is among the industry's best.
Eking out the last few miles of all-electric power can make the drive a little more interesting, but there's little else to entertain you. The driving experience isn't bad, just unmemorable. The weak engine means it's not quite as fun or peppy around town as other vehicles in this class.

Though the SUV-style design is functional, the wannabe SUV designation leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It lacks any real benefit you'll find in a proper SUV such as ground clearance or all-wheel drive. It feels a bit disingenuous.

Which Niro Plug-In Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?

We'd put our money down on the midlevel EX. For not much more money than the base trim, you get desirable features such as a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, a wireless phone charger and adaptive cruise control.
See the best deals on the Niro Plug-In HybridBased on quotes shared by shoppers like you

Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid models

The 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid is available in three trim levels: LXS, EX and EX Premium. All three trims come with a plug-in hybrid system that's good for 139 horsepower. The EPA estimates it'll be good for 26 miles of electric range and 46 mpg in combined driving once the hybrid battery is depleted. Feature highlights include:

LXS
Standard features on this base trim level include:

  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Keyless entry and ignition with remote start
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Four-speaker sound system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration (with wireless connectivity)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the Niro back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Driver attention warning (issues an alert if sensors determine you are becoming fatigued)
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while in reverse)
  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)

EX
The midgrade EX trim adds:

  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Leather seats with cloth inserts
  • Cargo cover
  • Heated front seats
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Niro and the car in front)
  • Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)

EX Premium
The top-range EX Premium model comes with:

  • LED headlights
  • Sunroof
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Integrated navigation system
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen display (deletes the wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto)
  • Eight-speaker premium audio system

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

Average user rating: 5.0 stars
1 total reviews
5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

    Most helpful consumer reviews

    5/5 stars, Perfect Fit For Me
    Tiggie,
    EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
    This is a great vehicle with loads of interior room, compact, very quiet on the road, and very comfortable to drive.


    Features & Specs

    Base MSRP
    $29,590
    MPG & Fuel
    48 City / 44 Hwy / 46 Combined
    Fuel Tank Capacity: 11.4 gal. capacity
    Seating
    5 seats
    Drivetrain
    Type: front wheel drive
    Transmission: 6-speed automated manual
    Engine
    Inline 4 cylinder
    Horsepower: 139 hp @ 5700 rpm
    Torque: 195 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
    Basic Warranty
    5 yr./ 60000 mi.
    Dimensions
    Length: 171.5 in. / Height: 60.8 in.
    Overall Width with Mirrors: N/A
    Overall Width without Mirrors: 71.1 in.
    Curb Weight: 3384 lbs.
    Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 19.4 cu.ft.

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    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite Niro Plug-In Hybrid safety features:

    Blind-Spot Detection
    Detects and alerts you with visual and audio warnings when a vehicle in the adjacent lane is in your blind spot.
    Smart Cruise Control
    Maintains a set speed and distance behind the car ahead and will bring the car to a stop briefly before relinquishing control.
    Lane Departure Warning
    Identifies lane markings and alerts you if you begin to drift out of your lane.

    IIHS Rating

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

    Side Impact Test
    Good
    Roof Strength Test
    Good
    Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
    IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good



    Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid vs. the competition

    2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

    2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

    2021 Toyota Prius Prime

    2021 Toyota Prius Prime

    Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid vs. Toyota Prius Prime

    If you're buying a plug-in hybrid for the sole purpose of excellent efficiency, it's hard to beat the Prius Prime. Even after you exhaust its 25 miles of electric only range, the Prime still delivers 54 mpg. Comfortable front seats are another plus, but the engine can be on the noisy side and the interior design can be polarizing.

    Compare Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid & Toyota Prius Prime features 

    Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid vs. Subaru Crosstrek

    The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid offers all the adventure of the standard Crosstrek but with better fuel economy. More ground clearance and all-wheel drive ensure the Subaru can go much farther off the beaten path than the Kia, but the Niro offers 26 miles of all-electric driving range to the Subaru's 17 miles. Both vehicles need to work their gas engines hard to keep up with traffic.

    Compare Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid & Subaru Crosstrek features 

    Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid vs. Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid

    The Escape Plug-In Hybrid is a little larger than the Niro but can be had for about the same money. That extra size gets you extra legroom, cargo capacity and a larger battery for more EV range. But the larger size of the Escape means it's less efficient when relying on its gas engine and returns only 40 mpg to the Niro's 46 mpg.

    Compare Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid & Ford Escape Plug-In Hybrid features 

    FAQ

    Is the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid a good car?

    The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid both on the road and at the track, giving it a 6.9 out of 10. You probably care about Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Niro Plug-In Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 46 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Niro Plug-In Hybrid has 19.4 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid. Learn more

    What's new in the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid:

    • Rear-seat reminder (alerts you to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle) is now standard
    • Wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is available
    • Available remote engine start
    • Minor changes to navigation and adaptive cruise control systems
    • Part of the first Niro Plug-In Hybrid generation introduced for 2018
    Learn more

    Is the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid reliable?

    To determine whether the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Niro Plug-In Hybrid. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Niro Plug-In Hybrid's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

    Is the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid a good car?

    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid and gave it a 6.9 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid is a good car for you. Learn more

    How much should I pay for a 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    The least-expensive 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $29,590.

    Other versions include:

    • EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $33,390
    • EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $36,550
    • LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $29,590
    Learn more

    What are the different models of Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    If you're interested in the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid, the next question is, which Niro Plug-In Hybrid model is right for you? Niro Plug-In Hybrid variants include EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), and LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM). For a full list of Niro Plug-In Hybrid models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

    2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Overview

    The 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Niro Plug-In Hybrid SUV. Available styles include EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), and LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM). Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid models are available with a 1.6 L-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 139 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed automated manual. The 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

    What do people think of the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)

    The 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $30,765. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is trending $596 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $596 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $30,169.

    The average savings for the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is 1.9% below the MSRP.

    2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)

    The 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $34,565. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is trending $468 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $468 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $34,097.

    The average savings for the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is 1.4% below the MSRP.

    2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)

    The 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $37,725. The average price paid for a new 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is trending $768 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $768 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $36,957.

    The average savings for the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is 2% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 2 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

    Which 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrids are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 2 new 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $37,880 and mileage as low as 12 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

    Can't find a new 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Kia for sale - 1 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $24,111.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    What is the MPG of a 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), 6-speed automated manual, regular unleaded
    46 compined MPG,
    48 city MPG/44 highway MPG

    2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), 6-speed automated manual, regular unleaded
    46 compined MPG,
    48 city MPG/44 highway MPG

    2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), 6-speed automated manual, regular unleaded
    46 compined MPG,
    48 city MPG/44 highway MPG

    EPA Est. MPG46
    Transmission6-speed automated manual
    Drive Trainfront wheel drive
    Displacement1.6 L
    Passenger Volume120.3 cu.ft.
    Wheelbase106.3 in.
    Length171.5 in.
    WidthN/A
    Height60.8 in.
    Curb Weight3384 lbs.

    Should I lease or buy a 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Kia lease specials