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We have a limited number of reviews for the 2020 Niro Plug-In Hybrid, so we've included reviews for other years of the Niro Plug-In Hybrid since its last redesign.

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Pros
    Cons
    5 out of 5 stars

    The Right Vehicle for my needs.

    Jerry, 12/28/2018
    2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
    41 of 41 people found this review helpful

    Very pleased with the NIRO PHEV. Have been driving it for six months, with one long trip. The long trip was just over 2000 miles which was broken up to four 500 mile legs. Mileage for this legs where 49, 52, 50 and 53 in the hybrid mode. Granted I drove somewhat conservative staying at the posted speed limit, which was 70 most of the way on interstate five. The remaining miles, which is also about 2000 miles, was mostly in EV mode. Depending the amount of braking and traffic situations I generally was going between 26 and 32 miles in EV mode. Also found many public charging stations that do not charge a fee, both in my home town and at my trip destination. Even though the NIRO looks small it has amble head and leg rooms for even talls drivers or passengers. I choose the EX as suggested by Edmunds which is well appointed with safety features and other nice features.

    Safety
    5 out of 5 stars
    Technology
    5 out of 5 stars
    Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
    Interior
    5 out of 5 stars
    Comfort
    5 out of 5 stars
    Reliability
    5 out of 5 stars
    Value
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

    Great car for San Diego; Flawed Heating System;

    Lazyj, 10/25/2018
    updated 04/27/2021
    2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid LX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
    27 of 27 people found this review helpful

    We live in Olympia, Washington. This is a great car for our needs. It's a small city, so 26 miles electric is plenty for our in-town driving. We just passed 3,000 miles, and have used 24 gallons of gasoline. We really like the ease of entry and exit. Upright seats, high enough off the ground so you don't crawl out of it like a Prius, and doors that open super wide. There is one clear bit of lazy engineering: the heating system only works when the engine is running. The Prius Prime (the heads up competitor) has a heat pump system, that runs using electricity. The Niro does not, even though an air conditioner is essentially the same device as a heat pump running in reverse. In Olympia, where we have cool weather and dampness, we do need to run the heat all winter. That forces on the engine (but the car still is propelled as an electric; this big four-cylinder 1600cc engine running just to provide heat and defrost. This is why I say it's a great car for Phoenix or San Diego, where you don't need heat much of the time. Around here, the Prius Prime is probably a better value if it meets your needs. It does not meet our needs. I am a big 300# fella. This car fits me reasonably well. The Prius does not. Update at two years and 23,800 miles: We've had the Kia Niro Plug-in for two years now. We still like it. The E-Niro has become available, with 240 miles of range. If were were buying today, we would probably buy the full-electric. We've carefully tracked how many times we would have needed to charge "on the road." Three trips, for a total of about 10% of our total miles. Each time, we had overnight charging available to us close to where we stayed. Even if we had to pay a premium price for a fast charge, it would still be a great value to be all-electric -- charging at home is the equivalent of $1.20/gallon. No squeaks or rattles at the 2 year mark. Just entering winter, the frustrating season when we cannot run all-electric because of the heating system engineering flaw mentioned in the original review. Update at the 3-year mark: Still happy with the car. Have taken some longer road trips, and learned to use the "sport" mode for steep highway climbs. It drops you a gear lower, and the car zips up the steepest grades (and keeps the engine in the power range, so the "economy" gauge shows green. If buying a new car today, we would buy the E-Niro.

    Technology
    4 out of 5 stars
    Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
    Interior
    5 out of 5 stars
    Comfort
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

    Compromise Can Be Good Updated Review

    Doug, 05/06/2019
    updated 11/28/2022
    2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
    27 of 27 people found this review helpful

    We are a two car family. We own a 100% EV (Nissan Leaf) and were looking to replace our 2008 CRV. It's important to us to reduce our carbon footprint, so we agreed that we would move to a "greener" car. However, we weren't ready to purchase another 100% EV due to range and charging infrastructure concerns. The Niro PHEV is a good, but not a perfect compromise. The size of the car is great for the city and it's hard to believe that the interior is so spacious, given it's outside dimensions. Back seat is particularly comfortable with nice support and generous legroom. Headroom is excellent, even for those with long torsos. Safety features are really good. We chose the EX trim and it really has everything you need. The EX trim (not the premium) has HID headlamps, which have longer range than the LED's on the premium trim (check out the insurance institute's safety ratings). Love the adjustable cruise control, though I understand that some other makes (Tesla??) will take you down to a full stop without disconnecting. Performance is OK. We thought that it would supply more of the EV Torque, which we so love about our Leaf. If you floor the pedal it shifts into ICE mode, makes a lot of noise, but really doesn't get up and go. In regular Hybrid mode there is little regeneration to the battery. I understand that shifting into sport mode will regenerate the battery, however the MPG goes down, so isn't this defeating the purpose? Don't have anything to say about reliability (only had the car for a couple of weeks) but Consumer reports and other publications give it high ratings. In another couple of years maybe the battery technology will be better and charging infrastructure improved so that we could go 100% EV on both vehicles. Until then we will live with the compromises. NOTE: we will be watching the competitors (Tesla Model Y and others) and continue to evaluate the options. Update 11/12/2021 22000 miles on the car...Thank goodness for the factory warranty. The transmission failed at around 15 K miles. Yes, on long trips we would occasionally shift into sport mode to get through the mountains and regenerate the battery, but still, isn't that normal usage? I thank myself for purchasing the mid level trim that had blind spot, rear cross traffic detection, and great headlights. The car runs well, and the seats are pretty comfortable ( drivers side has power with lumbar support).Interior is wearing well. Access is good, and there is plenty of head room. We mainly run the car on electric, I wish that the range on battery was about 60 miles, instead of 26. The car really doesn't have a heck of a lot of pickup, which is really the main fault I have with it. Aside from the tranny failing, I am satisfied. Update 5/19/22 Just came back from a 2k road trip. Odometer is at 28K. I noticed that the cruise control doesn't work well when going up steep grades through mountains. I will bring it in for service. The annoying sound coming from the steering wheel has come back. This was subject of a service bulletin. Dealership "fixed" it, but now it has come back. We have had a couple of instances where the 12 volt battery has died and had to be charged by AAA. Fortunately it occurred at home and we weren't terribly inconvenienced. We've been told by dealer that the battery is at end of life and this is normal wear and tear, and it's time to replace it. Ok, if you say so... Overall it's been a pretty good car for us. The car will be paid off in April 2023 and then we will look to retire the Leaf and purchase another fully electric vehicle. Would I buy the 100% Niro EV? I like the size and utility of the Niro. It suits our needs, but I feel that there are better options now. Early favorites: Ioniq 5 and Nissan Ariya. 11/23/22 Chugging along just fine. No rattles or strange noises. Safety systems are working well. Excellent daily driver. Gonna hold on to the car for a while, especially given the cost to purchase a new vehicle.

    Safety
    5 out of 5 stars
    Technology
    4 out of 5 stars
    Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
    Interior
    4 out of 5 stars
    Comfort
    4 out of 5 stars
    Reliability
    4 out of 5 stars
    Value
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

    Great car! except for...

    Former Subaru driver, 10/25/2020
    2020 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
    21 of 21 people found this review helpful

    Bought this car about 2 months ago and love it! Except for the Very Loud backup alarm. I understand that this is required to warn pedestrians and cyclists as the engine in electric mode is very quiet. Warning sound is required to be between 56 and 75 dBA - mine measures at 73 which is LOUD. Leaving our garage early in the morning is excruciating; trying to back out quickly enough to be able to shift out of reverse and silence the alarm seems to counter the intent of safety. Would be nice to be able to turn it down to the 56 level. Otherwise, mileage is fantastic at an average so far of 89 mpg, with a good mix of highway/city driving. Zippy acceleration with no hesitation. Comfortable interior (not plush on the middle of the road model) nice features and easy to navigate touch screen and controls. Except for the back up warning system, very glad we bought this car!

    Safety
    5 out of 5 stars
    Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
    Interior
    4 out of 5 stars
    Comfort
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

    Big Bucks for top of the line but I want it all!

    Robert Brayley, 11/23/2018
    2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
    32 of 33 people found this review helpful

    This car is not perfect in every way, no car is. But in 1999 (the last time I bought a new car), most of the features on this car were not available at any price. I live in South Central Texas where slippery roads and traction is never a challenge, so four wheel drive is not really an issue. Edmunds and other reviewers like to characterize a zero to sixty time of 9 to ten seconds as mediocre --- how stupid is that? I remind them that in 1953 & 1954 the zero to sixty time of a Corvette was ten and a half seconds, and the VW beetle that I drove for eight great years could do zero to sixty in about thirty seconds. Did anyone complain about that, or did they drive them by the millions? I have one complaint---- Kia puts a power tailgate hatch on nearly every model EXCEPT the KIA Niro. Surely their top of the line model EX Premium should have a power rear door? I think both the car and the warranty are better than most without costing more than most!

    Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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