2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV

MSRP $24,600 - $32,790

Ranked #16 in Compact Suv

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2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 28, 2021

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid has been there for a while and is the first Hybrid car in Kia’s lineup. The biggest highlight of any hybrid is the fuel economy and the same goes for the Kia Niro. It offers an impressive fuel efficiency figure for the segment. The exterior styling of the Kia Niro has received mixed feedback as it gets an unconventional design language in a mini SUV body. The compact size of the Niro makes it a great choice for city driving as you do not have to spend much on fuel either.

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See detailed review »

Pros

Impressive features list for the segment

Excellent fuel efficiency

Spacious interior

Cons

Lethargic acceleration

No AWD drivetrain on offer

What's New?

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Navigation based adaptive cruise control

Rear occupant alert becomes standard


See all »

Features

vehicle bio

base price

$24600

bodystyle

4dr SUV

engine type

transmission

6 speed Automatic manual

dimensions

wheelbase

106.3 in.

length

171.5 in.

width

71.5 in.

height

60.8 in.

curb weight

3122 lbs.

ground clearance

6.3 in.

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

LX$24,600 onwards

  • 2 - 1st row LCD monitor
  • ABS and driveline Traction control
  • Am/Fm/Hd, seek-scan Radio
  • Cloth Seat trim
  • Dual zone automatic front air conditioning

Touring$28,300 onwards

  • Driver Lumbar support
  • Front Fog/driving lights
  • Heated mirrors

Touring Sport$30,790 onwards

  • Leather Seat trim
  • Navigation system

EX Premium$32,790 onwards

  • Heated Front Seats
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Reverse (PDW-R) Parking assist

Colors and Styles

2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV in Platinum Graphite color
Platinum Graphite

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

6.0

Engine and Performance

7.0

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

8.0

Exterior

7.5

Safety

6.0

Competition

7.0

7.1

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.1

Overall Rating


The 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid starts at an MSRP of $24,690 and is offered in five trim levels. The Kia Niro is also offered in plug-in-hybrid and an EV variant, which will be reviewed separately. The competition is already tough in the hybrid crossover segment. The 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid competes against the likes of the 2021 Honda Insight Hybrid, 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, and the 2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid.


7.0/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.0/10
Interior

7.5/10
Exterior

6.0/10
Safety

7.0/10
Competition


2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV Features

The 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid is offered in five trim levels namely LX, LXS, Touring, Touring Special Edition, and EX Premium. The base LX trim starts at an MSRP of $24,690 and the price goes all the way up to $32,950 for top-of-the-line EX Premium trim. The standard features with the 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid include 16-inch alloy wheels with wheel covers, tinted rear windows, 60/40-split folding rear seats, dual-zone climate control, 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto smartphone integration, a 6-speaker audio system, and keyless entry. The engine option remains the same across the trim level. The only change as you climb up the trim level is in the features list. The powertrain and the drivetrain options remain similar for all the trims. 

Trim

LX

LXS

Touring

Touring Special Edition

EX Premium

MSRP

$24,690

$26,090

$28,390

$30,950

$32,950

Key Features

16-inch alloy wheels with wheel covers

Addition to the LX trim:

Addition to the LXS trim:

Addition to the Touring trim:

Heated steering wheel

 

Tinted rear windows

Uniquely styled 16-inch wheels

18-inch alloy wheels

LED headlights

Heated and ventilated front seats

 

60/40-split folding rear seats

Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob

LED interior lights

Leather upholstery

Simulated leather upholstery

 

Dual-zone climate control

Proximity Key with push-button start

Satellite and HD radio

10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen

Wireless charging pad

 

8-inch infotainment touchscreen

Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert

Paddle shifters

Eight-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system

Rear parking sensors

 

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration

Driver attention warning

Power-adjustable driver's seat

Navigation based adaptive cruise control

Cargo cover

 

6-speaker audio system

Forward collision mitigation

Electronic parking brake

Lane-keeping system

 

We recommend

The 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid offers a pretty impressive list of features for the price at which it comes. The features on the standard trim are good enough for your daily drives. We recommend going for the mid-trim Touring as it offers the best value for your money. You get 18-inch alloy wheels and paddle shifters that significantly affect your driving experience.

2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV Engine and Performance

7.0/10

The 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid is powered by a 1.6L Inline-4 engine that comes paired with an electric motor. The engine produces 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission which sends power to the front wheel. The hybrid powertrain of the Kia Niro is not going to thrill you with its acceleration figures, and the performance is not a strong point for the engine for sure. 

The Kia Niro is a good option if you drive it in a rather relaxed manner. The power delivery remains linear and gives you enough power to get you to your destination comfortably. Niro Hybrid takes 8.5 seconds to reach from 0 to 60 miles per hour. The quarter-mile timing does get any better either and takes 16.5 seconds. If outright acceleration is your priority, you can look for some other alternatives as the Niro Hybrid will only disappoint you in that regard. The top speed is pretty good for the segment at 125 miles per hour.

Models

2021 Kia Niro Hybrid

2021 Honda Insight Hybrid

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid 

MSRP

$24,690

$23,130

$23,400

$24,525

Engine 

1.6L Inline-4 

1.5L Inline-4 

1.6L Inline-4 

1.8L Inline-4 

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-Speed Automatic

CVT

6-Speed Automatic

2-speed E-CVT

Power (hp @ rpm)

139 @ 5,700 

151 @ 6,000 

139 @ 5,700 

121 @ 5,200 

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

195 @ 2,400 

200 @ 5,000 

195 @ 2,400 

105 @ 3,600 

0-60 MPH (sec)

8.5

7.7

9.6

9.8

Quarter mile (sec)

16.5

16

17.3

17.6

Top Speed (MPH)

125

120

103

112

The 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid is certainly not the best crossover for performance. It is still better than the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid which shares the same powertrain. The Honda Insight Hybrid is the fastest car in the segment and also comes with the most powerful engine. The Insight Hybrid takes 7.7 seconds to reach from 0 to 60 mph which is significantly better than any other car in the segment. 

How well does the 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid handle?

The Kia Niro is a compact crossover that surely impacts the handling of the vehicle and fortunately in a good way. The handling is a strong point that goes in the favor of the Niro Hybrid. But the performance is not as good to match with the same. However, you will enjoy driving it in the city as it feels easy to change lanes with the Niro Hybrid. It is easy to maneuver the car in tight spaces.

The steering wheel feels precise and gives a good overall feel to the driver. The suspension also compliments the overall handling of the car. You can not expect sporty handling with the Kia Niro Hybrid, but it does handle well enough for its segment. The car remains planted on highway speeds and can carry a decent speed in corners. The ride quality is not an issue at all. The Niro Hybrid offers a good balance between ride and handling. You do not get bounced at your seats while going through bad patches of the roads. 

How good is the braking performance of the 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid?

Similar to performance, the braking of the Kia Niro Hybrid is not one of its fortes. The braking performance is decent and does not impress in that department either. The 2021 Kia Niro comes with 11-inch brake rotors in the front wheels and 10.3-inch brake rotors in the rear wheels. The braking hardware is at par with the other rivals in the segment. The Kia Niro Hybrid takes 134 feet of distance to stop the car from 60 to 0 mph. The progressive feel from the brake paddles adds some points to the braking department of the car. 

Models

2021 Kia Niro Hybrid

2021 Honda Insight Hybrid

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid 

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

11

11.1

11

10

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

10.3

10.2

10.3

10.2

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,122

2,987

2,996

3,010

60-0 (feet)

134

131

124

117

The Kia Niro comes in the last position in terms of the overall braking distance from 60 to 0 mph. The Honda Insight Hybrid takes the second position with a braking distance of 131 feet. The Hyundai Ioniq manages to stop at an impressive 124 feet using the same braking hardware as the Kia Niro. The Toyota Prius takes the least braking distance and manages to stop the car from 60 to 0 mph in just 117 feet. 

2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV Fuel Economy

8.0/10

Here comes the best part about the 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid. Fuel efficiency is the prime reason why people prefer buying Hybrid cars as they have to sacrifice on the performance front. The Kia Niro Hybrid delivers 53 mpg in the city, 48 mpg on the highway, and 50 mpg of combined fuel economy. The Kia Niro is at par with the rivals in terms of fuel efficiency figures. It can deliver a maximum range of 631 miles on a full tank. 

Models

2021 Kia Niro Hybrid

2021 Honda Insight Hybrid

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid 

MPG (City)

53

55

55

58

MPG (Highway)

48

49

60

53

MPG (Combined)

50

52

59

56

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

11.9

10.6

11.9

11.3

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

631/571/595

583/519/551

654/714/702

655/599/633

The 2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid completely nails it when it comes to fuel efficiency figures. It offers excellent fuel economy in the class be it in city or highway driving conditions. The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid offers 60 mpg on the highway which is the best in the class and it also offers the best range in the segment at 714 miles on the highway. The Honda Insight Hybrid also offers better fuel economy compared to the Kia Niro but comes with a smaller fuel tank capacity.

2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV Interior

8.0/10

The interior of the Kia Niro is surprisingly good for its size. The compact dimensions of the car do not mean that you get cramped space inside the cabin. In fact, it offers an excellent space for a compact vehicle. The cabin feels ambient and uplifts the overall experience of the car. The front seats offer multiple adjustment options to accommodate drivers of different sizes comfortably. The visibility from the driver seat is good and the all-around visibility is also impressive. 

The controls for the driver are within the reach of the driver. The cabin controls are easy to navigate and use. The space in the rear seats is also surprisingly good. Two passengers can sit there comfortably but it will be tight for the third passenger. The dashboard design remains quite simple. The quality of materials used inside the cabin is among the best in the class. Hyundai and Kia are known for making quality interiors for all their cars and the same goes for the Niro Hybrid. 

Models

2021 Kia Niro Hybrid

2021 Honda Insight Hybrid

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid 

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.0/55.5/41.5

39.3/56.9/42.3

39.1/56.1/42.2

39.4/55.0/42.2

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37.8/54.4/34.6

36.9/55.0/37.4

37.4/55.0/35.7

37.4/53.0/33.4

Cargo Capacity (cu ft)

19.4

15.1

26.5

27.4

The Kia Niro offers a good balance of space in the front and rear rows. The cargo is also decent for the class and is enough to accommodate the luggage for 4 passengers. The Honda Insight Hybrid offers the best space in the class for front and rear passengers but loses out on the trunk space. The cargo capacity of the Insight remains the least in its class. The Toyota Prius Hybrid offers the best cargo capacity in the competition followed by the Hyundai Ioniq. Standout interior features include:

  • 10-way power-adjustable driver seats
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • 60-40 folding rear bench seats
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Cruise control

What is there to keep you entertained inside the 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid?

The size of the touchscreen on the 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid depends on the trim level of the car. The standard infotainment system gets an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen. As you move up the trim level, the higher trims get a bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. No matter which screen you choose, the infotainment system of the Kia Niro is among the best in the class. The graphics feel smooth and pleasing to the eye. The screen responds quickly to the touch response and there is no lag in either of the infotainment systems. 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard right from the base model and can be connected wirelessly with your smartphone. The standard trim gets a 6-speaker audio system. However, you can upgrade to an 8-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system that comes standard with the higher trims. Standout infotainment features:

  • A 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment display
  • AM/FM stereo
  • HD radio
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 8-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system

2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV Exterior

7.5/10

The exterior styling of the Kia Niro Hybrid is sort of a mixed bag. The weird design language of the Kia Niro has set it apart from any other Kia model out there. The front end of the Niro looks confusing at first glance. The newer models of the Niro get Kia’s signature Tiger Nose grille that gives it a resemblance to Kia’s lineup of cars. The Kia Niro does not try too hard to bring attention to the car. It rather focuses on keeping things simple and subtle. 

The wheel size of the 2021 Niro Hybrid ranges from 16-inch wheels to 18-inch wheels. The 18-inch wheels are limited to the Touring and Touring Special Edition trim levels. The Kia Niro is the most compact car in its segment in terms of the overall dimensions of the car. The ground clearance is pretty good at 6.3-inch for a car with 106.3 inches of wheelbase. 

Models

2021 Kia Niro Hybrid

2021 Honda Insight Hybrid

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid 

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,122

2,987

2,996

3,010

Length (inches)

171.5

183.6

176

180

Width (inches)

71.1

71.6

71.7

69.3

Height (inches)

60.8

55.6

56.9

57.9

Ground Clearance (inches)

6.3

5.1

5.3

5.1

Wheelbase (inches)

106.3

106.3

106.3

106.3

The Kia Niro is the shortest car in its segment when it comes to the overall length of the car. However, the wheelbase remains similar in length compared to any other rivals. The Honda Insight Hybrid is the longest car in the competition followed by the Toyota Prius Hybrid. The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is longer than the Niro but comes with lesser ground clearance. Standout exterior features are:

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Black grille with chrome accents
  • Lip spoiler
  • LED Brakelights

2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV Safety

6.0/10

The 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid received a ‘Good’ safety rating in the crash-test rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also rated it 4 out of 5 stars in its crash-test rating. The safety aspect is covered pretty well in the Kia Niro Hybrid. The only downside is that the base models do not get advanced driver aids as standard. You get them in the higher trim levels. Seven airbags remain standard with the Kia Niro which is a good thing for the passive safety of the car. The safety features include:

  • Traction control
  • Stability control
  • Blind-spot monitor
  • Lane departure warning
  • Pre-collision safety system
  • Post-collision safety system
  • Tire pressure monitoring
  • Emergency braking assist

2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV Competition

7.0/10

2021 Kia Niro Hybrid vs. 2021 Honda Insight Hybrid

The Honda Insight Hybrid is better than the Kia Niro Hybrid in terms of performance as well as fuel economy figures. The space inside the cabin of the Honda Insight is also better than the Kia Niro. The one thing where Kia Niro goes ahead of the Honda Insight is the features and cabin quality. Still, the Honda Insight Hybrid ticks 

2021 Kia Niro Hybrid vs. 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid shares the same engine as the Kia Niro and the power output is also the same. However, in the real-world scenario, the Kia Niro clearly outperforms the Hyundai Ioniq. The Hyundai Ioniq on the other hand offers better fuel efficiency. The exterior styling of the Ioniq is also more preferred by the masses than the Niro. You can go with the one that you like better, as mechanically both of them are the same.

2021 Kia Niro Hybrid vs. 2021 Toyota Prius Hybrid 

The Toyota Prius Hybrid is the slowest car in the segment and comes with the least powerful engine. However, the little compromise in the power and performance compensates pretty well for the excellent fuel economy figures. The space inside the Kia Niro is better between the two. The Prius on the other hand offers better safety tech right from their base trim. You can go with the Toyota Prius if you can compromise a bit on the performance for that extra mpg that it delivers, otherwise, the Niro is always a great choice.

2021 Kia Niro hybrid SUV Final Verdict

The 2021 Kia Niro Hybrid offers an excellent package for its segment. The cabin space of the Kia Niro is surprisingly good for a car of this size. The compact size of the Niro makes it easy to maneuver in the tight city streets. The biggest highlight of the Niro is its fuel efficiency. You can go for the Kia Niro if you are looking for a compact and economical car for your daily commute.