USED: 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid: Space, Comfort and Tech for Plenty of Plug-n-Play

Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid Phev

How does 50 Miles to the Gallon Sound? How About 100 MPG? And How About Happy Price Tag?

The 2018 Kia Niro PHEV is one of only a handful of plug-in hybrid SUVs on the market, and definitely among the most affordable. Combine that with its total driving range of 560 miles, and you’ve got a money-saving machine.

And, consider the price: The Niro PHEV starts at about $27,000 and tops out at $34,000. Also, being a plug-in vehicle, there are potentially federal and state tax incentives that may lower the price even further.

Kia Niro Plugged In

Plug in and go! Photo: Shannon Entin

It’ Gas and Electric! 

The Kia Niro PHEV is a plug-in hybrid electric car. That means no range-anxiety – when the charge runs down, you’ll still be good to go with gas. The Niro can go 26 miles on just electric. So if your commute is less than that, you will rarely have to buy gas! But even on a long road trip without charging, you’ll get 46 MPG! I drove from New Jersey to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and only had to stop once for gas!

It charges fully in 2.5 hours with a 240-volt level 2 charger. With a standard 120-volt (household) charger, it takes just under 9 hours. In Milwaukee, I was able to charge the Niro fully in a parking lot while I did some sightseeing.

Further reading: How does the Kia Niro Hybrid stack up?

Can A Plug-In Hybrid Suv Be Spacious, Tech-Filled, Get Great Mpg (100Mpg!?!) And Affordable (At $34K Or Less)? Meet The 2018 Kia Niro.

Kia Niro Plugged Into Chargepoint

A ChargePoint station in a parking lot in Milwaukee saved me money in gas while I went sightseeing. Photo: Shannon Entin.

Comfortable Cabin Has Everything You Need

I’ve raved before about the way Kia knows how to fit everything in just right the spot – and offers so many desirable features standard. The Kia Niro is no exception. The cabin is comfortable and roomy, and the controls are accessible and intuitive.

This is a great car for small families, moms (or grandmas) that use the car for the kids and errands, couples who like to road trip and leave a lighter footprint and more.

Further reading: Not ready to plug in just yet? Check out the Kia Forte sedan

Kia Niro Cabin

Comfortable cabin with easy access to everything you need. Photo: Shannon Entin.

Convenience for All of Your Tech Needs

Charging up your phone is easy, too. In the front, there are two 12V ports, one USB, and an AUX. There is also a wireless charger for compatible phones. In the back, there is a household charging plug, but oddly, no USB. The Niro is Android Auto and Apple Carplay-compatible.

Further Reading: Check out another hybrid SUV: The Toyota Rav4 Hybrid

Charging Ports In Kia Niro

Easy to reach charging ports. Photo: Shannon Entin.

Everything is in the Perfect Place

Two cup holders adjust to fit nearly any size container. And I loved the placement of the heated steering wheel control and the heated and ventilated seat controls – so easy to reach down and click when I got a little too warm (or cold)!

Kia Niro Heated Seat Controls

Great cupholder space and heated/ventilated seats. Photo: Shannon Entin.

Roomy Second Row and Cargo Space

Second-row and cargo space can sometimes suffer in a hybrid car because often tbe car’s battery takes up space. But the Niro was more than adequate for our needs. There was plenty of room in the back seat for my grown children – even on a 12-hour road trip.

Kia Niro Backseat

The second row of the 2018 Kia Niro PHEV. Photo: Shannon Entin.

A Spacious Cargo Area For All Your Stuff

Surprisingly, this small car accommodated plenty in the back and never felt it wasn’t big enough. While it is a compact SUV, it doesn’t feel compact. It’s safe to say you can easily fit your luggage, groceries and more back there!

Kia Niro Cargo Space

Pretty decent cargo space for a compact SUV! Photo: Shannon Entin.

Multimedia System With Info You Need

I found the multimedia system to be intuitive and comprehensive. Yes, there are phone apps to help you find nearby charging stations when you are on the road, but no need to pick up your phone while driving; Kia’s UVO system can find them for you.

Kia Infotainment.

Electric charging info with Kia’s UVO system. Photo: Shannon Entin.

List Of Charging Stations

Finding a nearby charging station is easy. Photo: Shannon Entin.

The 2019 Volvo XC60 Hybrid: A Plug-in SUV That is Far From Frumpy

Ready, Set, Let’s Hit the Road! 

I also loved the Kia Niro’s navigation system. I always tell people to test the navigation in any car they consider buying – and test it thoroughly! Sometimes, the navigation cues or display just don’t mesh with your style and don’t work for you. Again, Kia gets this right. I love the way they not only tell you what turn or exit is coming up next, but they also give you the “next-next” direction so you are prepared to get in the proper lane!

Kia Niro'S Navigation

Loved Kia’s navigation system! Photo: Shannon Entin.

Standard Active Safety Systems Assist the Driver 

The 2018 Kia Niro PHEV comes with an impressive array of standard safety features that include:

  • Smart adaptive cruise control
  • Electronic stability control
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Blind spot detection
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Airbags: dual front, driver’s knee, dual front side, full-length curtain
  • Anti-lock brakes
Kia Niro Phev

The 2018 Kia Niro PHEV at the Milwaukee Public Market. Photo: Shannon Entin.

What You Need to Know

  • 26 miles all-electric range
  • 105 MPG electricity and gasoline combined
  • 46 MPG gasoline only
  • Pricing ranges from $27,900 to $34,500
  • 10 year / 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty
  • 10 year /100,000-mile limited battery warranty
  • 5 year /60,000-mile limited basic warranty
  • 5 year / 60,000 mile roadside assistance

Disclosure: The Kia Niro PHEV was loaned to me for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. 

Can A Plug-In Hybrid Suv Be Spacious, Tech-Filled, Get Great Mpg (100Mpg!?!) And Affordable (At $34K Or Less)? Meet The 2018 Kia Niro.

Feeling most at home when on the road, Shannon Entin grew up under the impression that the highest form... More about Shannon Entin