Her + His Car Reviews

2018 Kia Niro EX

There are two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and interesting, we provide an animated, insightful, detailed and sometimes uncouth two points of view on the same car from - Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$28,895 $28,895
Power of the 5 passenger hatchback comes from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine which in addition to the electric drive, outputs a total of 139 horsepower. Overall, for a smaller front wheel drive hybrid, the car has decent get up and go, the handling is agile enough and we enjoyed driving the Niro. Power comes from a combination 1.6 liter, 139 horsepower four-cylinder engine connected with a 43 horsepower electric motor. It has a six speed dual clutch transmission and a regenerative braking system, idle stop and go system and other items that are already familiar to most people acquainted with hybrid electric cars. In this case, the Niro performs reasonably well on the road, and is a great deal of fun when it comes to handling. I love how it corners, stops and just seems to beg for more challenging driving because of the confidence it inspires.

Only one thing bothered me: The engine sounded somewhat rougher and unrefined than some similar vehicles I've driven. A little adjusting here and there by Kia's engineers should take care of this.
Fuel Economy
Exceptional gas miles -- Overall miles per hour is 49 miles, with 51 highway and 46 city. Not quite as good as the Toyota Prius but a leader in the category. We're talking 51 city and 46 highway with a combined mileage of 49 mpg overall. Annual fuel cost: $750. Cost estimates are based on driving 15,000 miles annually with gasoline costing $2.45 a gallon. You can save $3,250 in fuel costs over the next five years. And it uses two gallons of gas per 100 miles driven. Is it economical or what?
The Car
We enjoyed driving the Niro EX. This front wheeler handles well in the snow. The acceleration is not the punchiest, as it is not supposed to be with less than 140 horsepower. Visibility is good in this vehicle, and blind spots are not apparent. Very generous trunk room, moon roof, but be sure - there is no spare time. Not available in an All-wheel-drive - too bad this is not an option.

A tad higher prices than its competitors in the subcompact SUV class, so that remains a disadvantage. Seating is very comfortable. Leather upholstery with heated front seats, as well as a 10-way adjustable. Leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat with river's memory settings, and a heated steering wheel. Roof Rails.

Assembled in Korea.
I liked the Niro a lot. First, it is absolutely spot-on perfect for urban driving with its fuel economy figures, its plenteous value for the money quotient, and its outstanding warranty package and stylish good looks. Of course, it has lots of competition, and the subcompact sport utility field is so crowded, complex and confusing right now that it is hard to say which cars are truly its competitors and which are similar but aimed at totally different markets.
Dual Front Advanced Airbags & Driver's Knee Airbags. Dual Front Seat Mounted Side Airbags and Full Length Side Curtain Air Bags. Anti-Lock Brakes. Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Vehicle Stability Management. Electronic Stability Control. Hill Start Control Assist. projector Beam Highlights with LED Lights.

Autonomous Braking System. Forward Collision Warning System. Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert Systems.
Kia's Niro has you covered when it comes to safety features.

Equipment includes antilock brakes, stability and traction control, hill start assist, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems are standard on the EX and Touring trims. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control are optional on the EX and standard on the Touring.
Dual zone Automatic Climate Control, Rearview Camera, Bluetooth, USB Port, Harman Kardon 8-Speaker Sound System, with Kia's UVO infotainment system and 7" Touch Screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, & Satellite Radio and HD Radio.

In addition to the Power Sunroof, an 8" touch screen infotainment with real-time traffic condition and navigation system. What we like about the Niro's infotainment system is it has bot the touch screen as well as physical knobs. Frankly, the knobs are much safer for a driver to use (or the steering wheel) on any vehicle, and we like that Kia offers both options.
Very competitive and up to date compared with other products in its market niche.

Consider: Among the offerings are Apple Car Play, Android Auto, a 7-inch touchscreen interface, Kia's Uvo Services app suite, Bluetooth and a four-speaker sound system. If you decide to get the EX version, you will receive a really terrific Harmon Kardon sound system with eight speakers, along with a larger eight display for the navigation system.

Thankfully, I found the infotainment graphics to be straightforward and easy to understand, and I thought the entire arrangement was presented on the dashboard in a really modern, information heavy format and I also loved how easy the smartphone connection works. CarPlay and Android Auto get you set up with Bluetooth, for example in less than about five seconds.
Aesthetics & Styling
The 2018 Kia Niro gets very high scores for the design and the upgrade in the cabin and interior layout. Overall, it's a very comfortable and pleasant feel and ride. It has a practical side to the vehicle - most aspects, materials and specs are user friendly and feel good - even the lumbar feature to help with fatigue on longer trips. Good placement of lights also. Trunk organizer included. It's really a beautiful product compared to some of the small and truthfully, ugly, hybrid cars out there. It's got styling that looks like Infiniti's larger crossovers, and quite a bit of similarity to the Kia Sportage, itself a pretty terrific looking crossover. Inside you will find one of the most creative, informing and easy to understand dashboard arrangements out there. And the Niro keeps you better informed of what the car is doing than most of its competitors. But where the Niro falls short is the choice of materials. The steering wheel felt a bit slippery and greasy, and there are plenty of hard edges and hard plastic throughout the EX model we drove. Maybe the higher level Niros do better on this count--it is probably worth checking that out.

Another more practical aesthetic problem: It takes quite a hunt to find the button to open the back hatch once you are at the rear of the car. We needed to do a lot of groping and checking to finally hit it, and when it's freezing outside, this is NOT my idea of fun.
5 Year/60,000 Mile Limited Basic Warranty. 5 Year/60,000 Mile Roadside Assistance Warranty. 10 Year/100,000 Mile Limited Powertrain & 10 Year/100,000 Mile Limited Battery Warranty. This is probably one of the biggest argument for buying the Niro--and the same can be said for other Kia products. 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 warranty.