Is the 2020 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid a Good Car

The 2020 Kia Niro is a practical car that combines the benefits of a fully electric vehicle with those of a traditional hybrid.
Written by Sean Boehme
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
The 2020
Kia Niro
plug-in is a great choice if you’re looking for a practical hybrid with excellent efficiency. The hybrid SUV is surprisingly spacious and is a great value considering the features the vehicle comes equipped with.
Not everybody is ready to take the plunge and purchase a fully electric vehicle, and that’s where plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) come in. The 2020 Kia Niro is one of the better PHEVs on the market and could be had for just over $30,000 when bought new.
Interested in learning more about the 2020 Kia Niro’s plug-in hybrid?
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2020 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

The Kia Niro is the name for a lineup of three separate cars: a standard hybrid, a PHEV, and a fully electric vehicle. Although all three cars share the same body type as
crossover SUVs
, they vary significantly when it comes to their powertrains
What the 2020 Kia Niro PHEV does well is deliver excellent fuel efficiency and a comfortable passenger experience at a reasonable price. If you’re hoping for a hybrid car that’s a thrill to drive, however, you may need to look elsewhere.
Let’s take a closer look at what exactly the Kia Niro PHEV has to offer:

Pricing

The basic 2020 Kia Niro PHEV LXS has a starting price of right around $30,000, an affordable price considering its class and fuel efficiency. If you’re looking for a more upscale trim you’ll have two options with the EX and EX Premium. The latter of these trims is the most expensive at right around $36,000.
On top of the affordable price tag, don’t forget that buying a Kia Niro makes you eligible for a $4,543
federal tax credit
.

Performance and fuel economy

The 2020 Kia Niro comes equipped with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine alongside a dedicated electric motor. When combined, the powertrain provides 139 hp. Although functional, the engine will not impress thrillseekers or anyone who values performance above practicality.
Where the Kia Niro PHEV does excel is with its fuel economy. The vehicle gets an EPA-estimated 46 MPG when you combine city and highway driving and this figure jumps to 105 MPGe when the car combines gas and electric. 
The Kia Niro has a pure-electric range of 26 miles, which might not sound like much but is competitive with other PHEVs in the class. If you have a level 2 charger you’ll be able to get the electric battery fully charged in around two and a half hours. If you only have a regular wall outlet, you’ll need to leave it charging overnight.

Exterior styling

The Kia Niro looks like what you’d expect out of a modern crossover SUV, with a sleek body and exterior that hardly screams “hybrid”. The colors available for the 2020 Kia Niro PHEV include:
  • Snow White Pearl
  • Silky Silver
  • Platinum Graphite
  • Deep Cerulean
  • Horizon Blue
  • Aurora Black Pearl
  • Runway Red

Interior and comfort

One area where the Kia Niro excels is passenger space. The total passenger space narrowly exceeds 100 cubic feet and rear-seat passengers can enjoy a respectable 37.4 inches of leg room
The seats themselves are comfortable and
leather seating
is available at some of the higher trim levels. The higher trims also offer powered and heated seats alongside ambient lighting. 

Technology

Features and technology have only become more important to drivers in recent years, and the Kia Niro delivers a decent amount of it, especially at higher trim levels. Some of the standard features included with every Kia Niro PHEV include: 
  • Collision-avoidance assistance
  • Blind spot detection
  • Compatability Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
Once you get to the higher trim levels you’ll gain access to more driver-assist and quality-of-life features such as lane-follow assist, a premium audio system, and a voice-activated navigation system

Warranty coverage

Kia vehicles always come with an
exceptional warranty
, and that remains true for their hybrid offerings. Not only does the Kia Niro come with a five-year limited warranty and a ten-year powertrain warranty, but it also has an additional offering specific to hybrid components:
  • Limited warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes first)
  • Powertrain warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first)
  • Hybrid system warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first)

Trim levels and options

The 2020 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid is sold at
three trim levels
, with the most affordable being the LXS. Although the basic trim, the LXS manages to offer the same performance as higher trims alongside some basic driver-assist features.
The middle trim for the Kia Niro PHEV is the EX, a pretty major step up that will cost you $3000 to $4000 more. This trim improves the comfort of the car’s interior thanks to leather seats and ambient lighting. If you want to splurge on the highest trim, the EX premium, you’ll enjoy a sunroof, parking assist, and a larger touch-screen display.

The bottom line

The 2020 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid is a practical PHEV that’s easy to charge and pleasant to ride in. It’s not the type of car that’s going to thrill you, but it’s efficient enough to work well for commuters or small families.
Although the high-end trims cost a significant amount of extra money, the many quality-of-life and safety features may prove well worth the cost

2020 Kia Niro PHEV vs. 2020 Subaru Crosstrek PHEV

The Kia Niro doesn’t have all that much competition that fills the same crossover-SUV niche that it does, but one exception is the
Subaru Crosstrek
. The 2020 Crosstrek was sold with a PHEV option that stacks up well with the Niro.
The 2020 Subaru Crosstrek gets a combined 35 MPG and 90 MPGe according to the EPA. While not quite as impressive as the Niro, it’s still excellent efficiency. The 17-mile electric range also trails behind the Niro. 
Where the Subaru Crosstrek outclasses the Niro is with performance and the driving experience. The Crosstrek’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine outclasses the Niro’s powertrain and it shows when you get behind the wheel of one. If you’ve got a mind for practicality you should stick with the Niro but, if you want a little more punch, pick up a Crosstrek.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2020 Kia Niro PHEV
46 mpg
105 MPGe
27 miles
2.5 hours
10 years or 120,000 miles
2020 Subaru Crosstrek Plug-in Hybrid
35 mpg
90 MPGe
17 miles
2.5 hours
8 years or 100,000 miles
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2020 Kia Niro PHEV vs 2020 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV

Since there weren’t many other affordable plug-in hybrid crossovers available for the 2020 model year, let’s take a look at how the Niro stacks up against a hatchback
The
Hyundai Ioniq
has earned a reputation as one of the better and more affordable plug-in hybrids on the market. The Ioniq is practical and efficient, getting 52 mpg using gas and 119 MPGe using both gas and electric.
The choice between the Niro or the Ioniq will just come down to your needs. If you do not need the extra space provided by the Niro’s crossover body type, then you should consider going with the Hyundai Ioniq.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2020 Kia Niro PHEV
46 mpg
105 MPGe
27 miles
2.5 hours
10 years or 120,000 miles
2020 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid
52 mpg
119 MPGe
2.5 hours
Lifetime

How to save money on car insurance

Between tax incentives and gas prices, buying a plug-in hybrid is a great way to save some money long-term. Another way to save money is by revisiting your car insurance
every six months
, and Jerry can help you do just that. 
The
Jerry
super app will find you the cheapest quotes by using your information to compare over 50 different top providers. If we find you a cheaper rate and you decide you’re ready to switch your plan, one of our world-class agents will be happy to help.
Jerry users save an average of over $800each year on their car insurance payments.
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