2017 Kia Niro EX Hybrid Review: Offering MPG That Will Turn Heads

2017 Kia Niro Ex Hybrid
The 2017 Kia Niro EX Hybrid photo: Jenn G

Meet The 2017 Kia Niro EX Hybrid

First and foremost it looks nothing like a hybrid. The design is Kia’s strongest selling point: a hybrid that doesn’t look hybrid. Its crossover design, short overhangs, extended roof-line, and wide stance give the Niro a look that other hybrids don’t have.

As a crossover, the Niro sits higher off the ground and I love this in a smaller car. The front grill was designed to not only be efficient with airflow (the key to top MPG) but to look good as well. They nailed it, because I have yet to see a hybrid with this sleek of a front end.

2017 kia niro ex hybrid
I LOVED the sleek front end on the Niro. photo: Jenn G

What it Costs

The 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid is available in five trims: FE, LX, EX, Touring Launch and Touring Editions. The base MSRP for the lowest trim, the FE starts at just $22,890.

The EX model I drove was priced at $28,895, which included the sunroof, forward collision warning system, lane departure warning and smart cruise control.

2017 kia niro ex hybrid

MPG That Turns Heads 

The Kia Niro offers MPG that I haven’t found in any other hybrids on the market. I drove the car for two weeks on a full tank of gas and still had almost a quarter tank left at the end of day 14. Yes, hybrids are known for gas economy but this is off the charts impressive. By not driving my gas guzzler for two weeks I saved $65! That is a savings that could really add up in the long run.

Depending on the style you purchase this may vary a bit, on average I got 52 MPG city driving in the EX model. The Touring and Touring Launch have 18-inch alloy wheels, and the other models receive 16-inch wheels. If you add leather seats, a premium audio system, and other equipment, the Touring model will be almost 150 lbs heavier than the FE model. This will in fact make for lower MPG due to the weight. If you want the top MPG go with the EX model. When it comes to hybrids the lighter the vehicle the better the MPG.

2017 kia niro ex hybrid
The MPG is NO JOKE in the Niro. photo: Jenn G

Room For Four, Comfortably 

The Niro boasts more room than other hybrids for sure. The front is very open and comfortably seats two passengers, with elbow room to spare. The interior is well designed and not at all overwhelming. The touchscreen was easy to use,  and there were plenty of small storage spots including bottle pockets in the doors and a small compartment inside the center arm rest. There are two 12v charge ports, and two USB ports: one under the center console and one in the center arm rest.

My kids found the back seat to be comfortable but lacking any USB or 12v ports. To me that isn’t a big deal, but I can see why they missed their ability to stay charged from the back seat. My 6 foot tall teen was comfortable even with the passenger’s seat moved back.

2017 Kia Niro Hybrid EX
Plenty of room for four in the Kia Niro. photo: Jenn G

Great Cargo Space

The trunk space in the Niro is very large even with the back seat up. Boasting 19.4 cubic feet of space with the seats up, we were easily able to hold our groceries without encroaching on the back seat. If we had put the back seats down we would have had 54.5 cubic feet of cargo space, more than double!

2017 kia niro review
Ample Cargo Space with seats up. photo: Jenn G

Interior Conveniences Abound 

With the roomy interior comes a 7″ touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. You also have Bluetooth capabilities. Dual climate control keeps the air conditioning arguments to a minimum; my husband prefers it to be cold and I prefer not to have to wear gloves in the summer. The heated front seats would prove very valuable to me in the winter.

2017 kia niro hybrid
All of the extras make the interior stand out. photo: Jenn G

Safety and Reliability Offer Peace of Mind

No matter if you choose the base Niro or the Touring edition, all top safety features are included.

  • Dual front and side airbags
  • 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS uses electronic sensors at each wheel hub to detect when wheels begin skid. If skidding under braking is detected, ABS modulates brake force to reduce skidding which in turn allows for reduced braking distances and helping you maintain control
  • Hill Start Assist Control offers an added measure of security when moving from a stop on a steep hill by preventing the vehicle from rolling backward. It functions by gently applying the brakes for two seconds while you move your foot from the brake pedal to the accelerator
  • Vehicle Stability Management adds steering direction control capability. It intervenes when appropriate to help the driver regain control of the vehicle
  • Electronic Stability Control offers an enhanced level of vehicle control and peace of mind by offering improved directional stability, helping you maintain the vehicle’s intended direction of travel. ESC monitors and assists in the control of key vehicle functions by braking individual wheels and reducing engine power accordingly.

While those features do come standard in all models, the EX model I drove offered extra safety features including lane departure warning, smart cruise control, forward collision warning system and blind spot detection. My favorite added feature was the Autonomous Emergency Braking. The (AEB) system works independently of the driver in critical situations, applying the brakes to help prevent or lessen the effects of a frontal collision. While I did not test this out, I have seen this on other test drives and the car’s reaction time is quick.

2017 kia niro hybrid review

If you are in the market for a small car with MPG that is unsurpassed you NEED to take a closer look at the Kia Niro. It’s a stylish departure from the other guys, and the price cannot be beat for all that is included in even the standard trim package. The Niro has certainly changed the way I look at hybrid vehicles.

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