New 2019 Kia Niro Wagon
Kia Niro Wagon
The 2019 Kia Niro delivers the room and versatility of a small SUV with the impressive fuel economy only a hybrid can achieve.
2019 Kia Niro Pricing
For Sale Near 20146
2019 Kia Niro KBB Expert Review
The 2019 Kia Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid are as family-friendly as they are eco-friendly. The attractive 4-door-hatchback design rejects the more futuristic contours of some rivals, offering a look that’s part hot hatchback and part small SUV. Competing head-on with the more fuel-efficient Toyota Prius, the aging Ford C-Max and the electric-hybrid Chevy Volt, the Niro has its work cut out. Still, with a combined 50-mpg fuel-economy rating, and the plug-in’s ability to travel up to 26 miles solely on electric power, the Niro twins are clearly in the game to win. Alongside an unbeatable standard warranty, the Niro comes in a variety of trims, all of which include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you’re shopping for a hybrid car that’s not too expensive or avant-garde, the 2019 Kia Niro has what you’re looking for. From its stylish exterior to its handsome and functional 5-passenger interior, the Niro is designed to please, as is its standard 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Comparing the Kia Niro with the Toyota Prius, the Toyota gets better fuel economy and comes standard with driver-assist systems optional on the Kia. In full electric mode, the Chevy Volt can travel nearly twice the distance as the Niro PHEV, and unlike the RAV4 Hybrid, the Niro doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
What's New for 2019
Changes for 2019 are minimal. Last year’s Graphite Edition is renamed the S Touring, the navigation system is updated and there are some new color and trim combinations.
Kia wanted to be sure its hybrid kept pace with the company’s sporty image, so it injected the Niro with a nimble platform that feels as good in the turns as it does the open highway. Despite its 139 horsepower and 3,000-pound weight, the Niro accelerates briskly. Setting the drive mode to Sport sharpens the throttle response, improves the 6-speed automatic’s shift points and firms up the steering. We like that Kia has avoided the trend toward using a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) in its hybrid, a decision that doesn’t seem to have affected fuel economy. The 1.6-liter engine and electric motor work seamlessly together, and you’d be hard-pressed to know you’re driving a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, that is, until the electric motor goes solo. In town, the Niro feels right at home, with a tight turning radius and helpful assists such as the standard rearview camera and available rear cross-traffic alert.
REAR CROSS TRAFFIC ALERT
This available option should be offered across the line, but for now is offered only on upper level trims. Using sensors in the rear bumper to scan behind the car, the system can alert the driver of vehicles approaching from the side out of the driver’s line of sight.
When penny-pinching fuel economy isn’t your first priority, the Kia Niro’s Sport mode lets you improve acceleration and handling by improving throttle response, firming up the steering and quickening the transmission’s shift points. The system also keeps the engine engaged longer than when in hybrid mode, allowing for instantaneous bursts of power as needed.
A number of years ago, Kia’s interior design went from frumpy to fantastic, and the cabin of the 2019 Kia Niro is one of the finest in its class. The design is clean and simple with an upscale feel and high-quality materials. The layout is intuitive, and all of the controls work with precision. Seat comfort is excellent, and the 6-speed automatic is controlled with a conventional shifter on the console, which is a good thing. There’s a handy open bin with USB and power ports ahead of the shifter, and the Niro’s audio and climate controls are smartly situated. There’s plenty of rear-seat headroom and legroom for 6-footers, and the 60/40-split-folding seatback adds valuable cargo/passenger flexibility.
Kia markets the new Niro as a compact-crossover SUV, and its exterior design backs up that market position. The hybrid’s black plastic wheel arches, rear skidplate and other design cues add visual height, and its rather formal roofline bears a strong resemblance to Kia’s much larger 3-row Sorento SUV. It all gives the well-proportioned Niro a more rugged appearance than the futuristic Toyota Prius and the mechanically similar Hyundai Ioniq. While every Niro gets body-color door handles and mirrors, you have to reach all the way to the top-line Niro Touring to move out of 16-inch wheel covers into 18-inch alloys.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2019 Kia Niro lineup begins with the FE trim, but Kia doesn’t plan to sell many of them and you shouldn’t plan to buy one (you get one extra mpg, but it’s not worth the equipment trade-off). So let’s focus on the standard-equipment roster of the Niro LX, which is priced just a few hundred dollars higher than the FE. Highlights include keyless entry and push-button start, UVO3 infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, AM/FM/SiriusXM audio, a 7-inch touch screen, rearview camera, Bluetooth phone connectivity and dual-zone automatic climate control, to name a few.
Notable Optional Equipment
A fully loaded 2019 Kia Niro Touring stickers around $33,000 with destination. In addition to 18-inch aluminum wheels and power-folding heated outside mirrors with integrated turn indicators, a loaded Touring model features upgrades like a moonroof and heated and ventilated leather front seats. The touch screen is upgraded to eight inches, sound is upgraded to an 8-speaker Harman Kardon system, and there’s a wireless charger for compatible phones. Then there’s a long list of driver-assist technologies that includes blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control, plus front and rear parking sensors.
Under the Hood
The Kia Niro employs a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with a 43-horsepower tractive motor sandwiched between the engine and transmission. Together, the two units produce a combined 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. A quick-shifting 6-speed dual-clutch automatic improves performance without sacrificing fuel economy. Fuel economy on the FE, LX and EX exceeds 50 mpg in the city, although the slightly heavier and less aerodynamic Touring grades see about a 5-mile-per-gallon drop-off. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid gets a larger battery pack and separate electric motor, allowing an all-electric range of 26 miles and combined fuel-economy rating of 46 mpg/105 MPGe.
1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine + 1.56-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery
139 horsepower (gas/electric combined)
195 lb-ft of torque (gas/electric combined)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 52/49 mpg (FE), 51/46 mpg (EX, LX), 46/40 mpg (Touring)
1.6-liter Atkinson cycle inline-4
104 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
109 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
44.5-kW Interior-Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
60 horsepower, 125 lb-ft of torque
Total system output: N/A
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 48 mpg/44 mpg/105 MPGe
The 2019 Kia Niro lineup starts with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $24,430 and tops out around $33,000 for a fully loaded Niro Touring model, putting it in the same ballpark as the Toyota Prius. The Plug-in LX starts just over $29,000 and tops out around $37,000 for a fully loaded EX Premium. While the Niro is covered by Kia’s superior 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, as well as a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the Prius boasts an established reputation and excellent resale value. Given the wide gap in resale, there’s a good chance a $30,000 Niro will cost you more over a full buy-own-sell ownership cycle than a $30,000 Prius. Keep in mind, however, that it’s usually worth spending a little extra to drive the car you prefer. Check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the Kia Niro.
Bonus Content: Check out the new 2019 Kia Niro EV!
OK, so what's next?
I'm interested in the newest version of this car. What's for sale near me?
I'm interested in this car, and I'd like to trade in my current car while I'm at it.
Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used car.
Planning to lease? Read the KBB Complete Guide to Leasing first!
Before you buy: Understand how rebates and incentives work
Bonus Content: Is it better to shop at the end of the month?
Kia Niro Consumer Reviews
January 26, 2019
great car all around
October 16, 2018
Great ride, Even better Mileage
I love only getting gas every other week! I average 48-50 miles per gallon (more in the summer when not using heat). It has been a...
October 05, 2018
Highest mpg per tank is 57 city/hwy combined
So far so good. We bought at the end of the year so we could get "all" the discounts plus we bought it through Costco program. Back seat...
October 05, 2018
This is a road trip car
Just drove 1500 miles in this car for a trip. We stopped for gas 4 times, and after being back home for a week, I finally had to fill up...
July 09, 2018
I have no regrets
This was my first hybrid ever. I drive 28k miles per year so efficiency, reliability and comfort are important in what I drive. This car...
June 19, 2018
Bought it for my dog.
I am almost a year into it with 14,500 miles. Love that it only needs the oil changed every 7500 miles. Love the organized storage...
May 17, 2018
Insights after 6 months and 12,500 miles
First and foremost, the Niro has been a completely reliable, very comfortable and incredibly economical commuter car. Some...
May 07, 2018
First hybrid and extremely impressed.
I had to change my driving style. I am an agressive driver meaning I like when a car moves in response to depressing the gas pedal. In...
March 21, 2018
Great Car for the
I test-drove this car at a car show, after already owning a Rondo for 9+ year. I was instantly impressed with the handling and roominess...
February 26, 2018
Like NIRO better than Toyota Prius V -
I LOVE THE NIRO so far ! - . I almost bought a 2017 Niro after I did a test drive. I loved it at first sight and first drive, but I...