The second-generation Kia Niro has arrived for 2023, boasting three electrified powertrains and a whole lot more appeal– We were invited out to San Diego to see it for ourselves.

This compact utility is bolder, sharper, and slightly larger than the outgoing model: overall length is up nearly three inches at 174 while the wheelbase also grows a skosh now at 107-inches. Interior space hasn’t changed much, but one big improvement is rear seat legroom. Up to two-and-a-half inches more depending on powertrain. 

Storage behind the second-row ranges from 19.4 cubic-feet to 22.8, but it is expandable on all models thanks to the folding seats.

There are three front-wheel drive powertrains to choose from. First, the Niro Hybrid pairs a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder with a 32-kilowatt electric motor. They make 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque– same as last year– delivered through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The plug-in hybrid pairs the same 4-banger and transmission to a larger 62 kilowatt electric motor, combined for 180 horsepower. That’s up from the previous year’s 139 horsepower but still rated at 195 lb-ft of torque. Expect 33 miles of all-electric range from the 11.1 kilowatt-hour battery, 7 miles more than before.

But if all-electric range is your calling, the fully electric Niro EV’s 64.8 kilowatt-hour pack provides 253 miles of range, up from 239. The 150 kilowatt motor matches the outgoing model’s 201 horsepower, but torque has dropped from 291- to 188 lb-ft, which is a bit of a bummer, but we can take solace in the Niro EV’s efficiency and the bliss of silent propulsion.


The 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid starts near $28-thousand, the PHEV near $35-thousand, and the EV just over $40-thousand. Those prices, along with the handsome redesign and electrified powertrains, keep the next-gen Niro on the map as electric mobility becomes ever present.