Kia Niro EVgives you an all-electric vehicle for less money than most. But it also costs much more than the other versions of Kia’s small SUV—a contradiction that can be difficult to get your head around.
Sure, it’s well-known that
electric vehiclescost more to make, but is the emission-less motor and lithium-ion battery really worth $15,000?
The price gap between the Niro and Niro EV, explained
With a starting manufacturer-suggested retail price (MSRP) of $24,700, the base trim Niro LX sits comfortably in the middle of Kia’s lineup, price-wise. Its electric variant, on the other hand, comes second only to Kia’s other EV, the
EV6, as the brand’s most expensive model.
A good majority of the price difference between the two small SUVs is the result of each vehicle’s energy source. But it doesn’t account for everything. You see, the Niro EV is only available in the top two trim levels, EX and EX Premium.
The EX is available for the plug-in hybrid and electric models and comes with all the upgrades from the lower LXS trim like remote start and driver-assist technology, plus a larger touchscreen, navigation, a better stereo, and 17-inch wheels.
Upgrading the plug-in hybrid Niro from the LXS to EX trim increases its price by $3,800. Deduct that from the price difference between the Niro and Niro EV, and the all-electric powertrain looks to increase the price of the vehicle by about $11,000 rather than $15,000.
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How does the Niro EV compare to similar electric vehicles?
Kia has another all-electric model, the EV6, but the vehicle the Niro EV gets compared to the most is actually made by Kia’s parent company, Hyundai.
Outside the Hyundai family, the Volkswagen ID.4 has a similar starting price to the Niro EV. It also has a better range than the Kia’s 239 miles, jumping from to 260. But its energy consumption lags behind the Niro by 13 MPGe.
As for the Kia EV6, the $42,115 electric SUV is better than its sibling in pretty much every way except its range, which lands seven miles below the Niro.
Car insurance for the Kia Niro EV
Car insurance for EVs is becoming less affected by powertrain choice, as average rates for Kia models show. Premiums for a non-electric Niro tend to land between $1,800 and $2,700 per year. Annual coverage for its short-lived electric sibling, the Soul EV, averages out to $1,700.
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