Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Reviews 2023 Kia Niro PHEV at AJAC EcoRun

2023 Kia Niro PHEV at AJAC EcoRun

  • The 2023 Kia Niro PHEV starts at $35,165 in the United States and at $39,845 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.

  • EV-only driving range is set at up to 33 miles or 55 kilometres on a full charge.

  • The combined fuel economy equivalent rating is 108 mpge or 2.1 Le/100 km.

Unlike any other vehicle available in North America, the 2023 Kia Niro is available in regular hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric configurations, giving consumers the energy efficiency choice they want according to their needs.

During the AJAC EcoRun, an annual event showcasing green vehicles and serving to promote the benefits of eco-driving, a bunch of Canadian automotive journalists got to drive a wide variety of cars, crossovers and SUVs across British Colombia. The route from Vancouver to Kelowna, passing through Kamloops, allowed everyone to sample ten vehicles each, including the Niro PHEV and the Niro EV.

Yours truly took the helm of the plug-in hybrid variant, an interesting in-between for those who want to try out emissions-free driving, but aren’t yet committed to take the plunge into a fully electric vehicle—which is totally understandable at this point in time. A full review of the 2023 Kia Niro lineup covers the basics of this subcompact crossover, as now, we set out on squeezing the maximum efficiency out of the PHEV’s system.

The Niro PHEV is available in two trim levels for the U.S. market, and only one for Canada. The latter EX trim does include an essential list of comfort and convenience features, such as roof rails, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a 10.25-inch infotainment system touchscreen, navigation, a smart key with remote start, wireless phone charging, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as well as a slew of active safety features. The U.S.-market EX gets about the same set of features, while the SX Touring adds a Harman/Kardon sound system, a digital key, a power sunroof, a power liftgate, driver’s seat position memory and ventilated front seats. In the U.S., the heated steering wheel is optional on the EX, standard on the SX Touring, while heated rear outboard seats are available on both. A heat pump is standard in Canada, optional in the U.S.

2023 Kia Niro PHEV

The 2023 Kia Niro PHEV is equipped with a 1.6L four-cylinder engine, a propulsion electric motor, a motor-generator and a six-speed automatic transmission feeding the front wheels, along with an 11.1 kWh battery pack. City/highway/combined fuel economy ratings are set at 51/48/49 mpg or 4.6/4.9/4.8 L/100 km, while the all-inclusive rating is 108 mpge or 2.1 Le/100 km. Driving range is pegged at up to 33 miles or 55 km.

During my AJAC EcoRun leg aboard the Niro plug-in hybrid, the road was mostly downhill and flat, unlike other energy-sapping portions of the trek that included ascending highways and city streets. I ended up with an excellent fuel economy average of 71 mpg or 3.3 L/100 km, and that’s starting with an empty battery pack. One of my colleagues obtained the same score, and while most averaged between 3.8 and 4.5 L/100 km. The worst score on a mostly uphill stretch of road was 32 mpg or 7.4 L/100 km.

Average (mpg)Average (L/100 km)
Best average713.3
My average713.3
Worst average327.4


2023 Kia Niro PHEV

One-pedal driving is possible with the 2023 Kia Niro PHEV, as is several intensity levels of energy recovering when coasting or slowing down, which can be adjusted using the wheel-mounted paddles. The powertrain produces 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, providing 0-60 mph and 0-100 km/h dashes in just less than 10 seconds. While that’s not overly quick, it’s fine for the daily commute.

The Niro PHEV starts at $35,165 in the United States and at $39,845 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included. Green vehicle rebates or tax credits are available in select regions that sweeten the deal, and in some cases, the plug-in hybrid can end up costing about the same per month as the regular hybrid variant.

On the same subject:
2023 AJAC EcoRun: Going The Extra Mile
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70 at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Lexus RX 500h F SPORT at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Lexus RZ 450e at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE Sedan at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Range Rover PHEV at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Toyota Corolla Hybrid at the AJAC EcoRun
2023 Toyota Mirai at the AJAC EcoRun

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