2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

What’s new

  • Refreshed exterior design
  • LXS trim replaces the LX as the entry-level model
  • Part of the first Niro Plug-In Hybrid generation introduced for 2018

Pros & Cons

  • 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, which often requires use of the engine
  • Despite crossover styling, all-wheel drive is not available
Other years
2020
Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid for Sale
MSRP Starting at
$29,490

Save as much as $1,812
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2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Review

The 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is one of three Niro variants alongside the standard hybrid and fully electric Niro EV. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid offers an EPA-estimated 26 miles of electric range with a fully charged battery. When the battery runs out of juice, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid can continue on using its gasoline engine. As with all plug-in hybrids, the more frequently you can recharge Niro — typically with a 120-volt household outlet or a 240-volt charge source — the less gasoline you'll use.

For 2020, the Niro gets updated front and rear styling as well as a new base trim level. Kia continues to market the Niro as a crossover SUV, but think of it as a tall hatchback since it lacks the ground clearance or available all-wheel drive found on most crossovers. It does come with a long list of standard and optional features, including all the latest driver safety aids Kia has to offer.

Edmunds’ Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team

Our verdict

6.9 / 10
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.

How does it drive?

6.0
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 show-shifting transmission.

How comfortable is it?

7.0
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.

How’s the interior?

8.0
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.

How’s the tech?

7.5
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.

How’s the storage?

6.5
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 versus 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.

How economical is it?

8.5
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.

Is it a good value?

7.5
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.

Wildcard

5.5
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 think the midlevel EX trim is the way to go. You get the same electric range as the more expensive EX Premium model as well as desirable features such as heated seats and some driver assist functions.

Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid models

The 2020 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
  • 8-inch touchscreen with four-speaker sound system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • Keyless entry and ignition

EX
The midgrade EX trim adds:

  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Leather seats with cloth inserts
  • Heated front seats
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Niro and the car in front)

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

  • LED headlights
  • Sunroof
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen display
  • Premium eight-speaker audio system

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

Trending topics in reviews




    Features & Specs

    EX Premium 4dr SUV features & specs
    EX Premium 4dr SUV
    1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM
    MSRP$36,390
    MPG 48 city / 44 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed automated manual
    Horsepower139 hp @ 5700 rpm
    See all for sale
    LXS 4dr SUV features & specs
    LXS 4dr SUV
    1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM
    MSRP$29,490
    MPG 48 city / 44 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed automated manual
    Horsepower139 hp @ 5700 rpm
    See all for sale
    EX 4dr SUV features & specs
    EX 4dr SUV
    1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM
    MSRP$33,290
    MPG 48 city / 44 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    Transmission6-speed automated manual
    Horsepower139 hp @ 5700 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid features & specs

    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.

    Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid vs. the competition

    Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid vs. Chevrolet Volt

    Chevrolet killed the Volt after the 2019 model year, but our former top-ranked plug-in hybrid is still well worth a look if you find one on sale. The Volt offers twice as much electric range as the Niro (53 miles versus 26) and more than most other plug-in hybrids on sale today. It's not as spacious inside as the Niro, but it's more enjoyable to drive around town thanks to quick acceleration and nimble handling.

    Compare Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid & Chevrolet Volt features

    Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid vs. Subaru Crosstrek

    The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is just like the regular Crosstrek small SUV but with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It's much better at going off-road than the Niro because of its higher ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive. The Crosstrek Hybrid's 17 miles of electric range falls short of the Niro's 26 miles, and both vehicles can feel sluggish on the highway.

    Compare Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid & Subaru Crosstrek features

    Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid vs. Kia Niro EV

    If you like the Niro and have access to a charger, consider taking a look at the fully-electric Niro EV. The Niro EV is our top-ranked electric vehicle, offering 239 miles of electric range while only losing a little cargo space because of the larger battery. It's better to drive than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid thanks to the peppy electric motor and is available with all the same features.

    Compare Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid & Kia Niro EV features

    FAQ

    Is the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid a good car?
    The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 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 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid:

    • Refreshed exterior design
    • LXS trim replaces the LX as the entry-level model
    • 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 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid a good car?
    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 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 2020 Niro Plug-In Hybrid is a good car for you. Learn more
    How much should I pay for a 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    The least-expensive 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is the 2020 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 $29,490.

    Other versions include:

    • EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $36,390
    • LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $29,490
    • EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) which starts at $33,290
    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 Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), and EX 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 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

    2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Overview

    The 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Niro Plug-In Hybrid SUV. Available styles include EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM), and EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM).

    What do people think of the 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid and all its trim types. 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 2020 Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 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 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid?

    2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)

    The 2020 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 $37,645. The average price paid for a new 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is trending $1,812 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,812 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $35,833.

    The average savings for the 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is 4.8% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 1 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)

    The 2020 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 $34,545. The average price paid for a new 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is trending $1,233 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,233 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $33,312.

    The average savings for the 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is 3.6% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 3 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)

    The 2020 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 $30,745. The average price paid for a new 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is trending $1,089 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,089 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $29,656.

    The average savings for the 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) is 3.5% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 12 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LXS 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    Which 2020 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) 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 79 new 2020 Niro Plug-In Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $30,745 and mileage as low as 0 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 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $4,360 on a used or CPO 2020 Niro Plug-In Hybrid available from a dealership near you.

    Can't find a new 2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid for sale - 6 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $7,944.

    Find a new Kia for sale - 9 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $13,942.

    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.

    Should I lease or buy a 2020 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