2023 Kia Niro Hybrid GT-Line assessment

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The primary Kia Niro was a really late starter in Australia, arriving some three or 4 years after it hit the remainder of the world.

Providing a mixture of hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and pure electrical (EV) drivetrains, Kia’s first correct eco-car was by no means an enormous vendor right here prefer it was abroad, largely as a consequence of its dated design and comparatively premium pricing.

That’s no reflection on its deserves although, because the first-generation mannequin was a pointy driver and fairly environment friendly in all engine variants, whereas additionally packing a shocking quantity of house and tech.

Quick ahead to 2022 and Kia’s launched an all-new era, and Australia is alongside the remainder of the world by way of the launch rollout.

The brand new-generation Niro drops the PHEV in Australia, however each the Niro Hybrid (HEV) and Niro EV pack a way more fashionable design inside and outside, the most recent tech and options the corporate has to supply, and a brand new era of platforms and powertrains for enhanced efficiency, dynamics and effectivity.

All these developments haven’t come low-cost although, with the new-generation vary as much as $4500 dearer than earlier than, positioning each the HEV and EV according to premium competitors in addition to autos from the scale class above.

On check we now have the 2023 Kia Niro HEV GT-Line, the top-spec petrol-electric model which is priced about the identical as a top-spec Toyota RAV4 Edge Hybrid regardless of being a bodily smaller automotive.

Can the electrified Kia justify its steep asking value, or is the Korean model having amusing?

How a lot does the Kia Niro HEV GT-Line value?

Costs are up considerably over the earlier era, however that’s offset considerably by the improved tools ranges throughout the vary, in addition to ongoing value changes throughout the trade. Regardless, the Niro is hardly a cut price.

The highest-spec Niro HEV GT-Line on check is priced from $50,030 plus on-road prices, or about $55,705 drive-away.

For reference, it’s some $4000 dearer on the street than a Toyota RAV4 Cruiser 2WD Hybrid ($51,308 D/A), and is sort of as a lot as an entry-level Lexus UX250h Luxury 2WD Hybrid ($59,807 D/A).

It’s additionally some $6500 dearer than the outgoing top-spec Niro Hybrid Sport.

2022 Kia Niro pricing:

  • Kia Niro HEV S: $44,380
  • Kia Niro HEV GT-Line: $50,030
  • Kia Niro EV S: $65,300
  • Kia Niro EV GT-Line: $72,100

Costs exclude on-road prices

Rivals embrace:

Costs exclude on-road prices except specified

What’s theKia Niro HEV GT-Line like on the within?

The brand new-gen Niro is a world away from its predecessor inside and outside, and it’s all for the higher within the cabin. It’s like a mini EV6 in right here.

In GT-Line spec, the Niro will get nearly each characteristic and display the corporate can throw at it, and the automotive’s boxy design means it feels a lot airier inside than the compact exterior may counsel.

From the primary row the Kia feels effectively constructed with an excellent mixture of supplies and surfaces, nevertheless it’s a bit of… darkish. Australia doesn’t get any of the sunshine inside choices out there abroad, however not less than there’s good soft-touch supplies on the higher sprint and doorways, and the switchgear all feels strong.

The configurable contact bar that homes the digital infotainment and local weather controls is, just like the EV6 and Sportage, one of many higher examples of touch-based switchgear. The shortcuts are organized logically and so they aren’t so small or shut collectively that you simply’re continually urgent the flawed factor on the go – plus there are precise knobs for quantity and temperature.

As we’ve seen with different Kia fashions, the Niro homes the digital instrument cluster and central infotainment show in a conjoined design, with the shows measuring 10.25-inches every in GT-Line specification.

Each screens provide the identical appear and feel as different Hyundai and Kia fashions, although the Niro is the primary Kia in Australia to characteristic the model’s net-based Kia Join companies – assume distant engine begin, app-based car standing, car monitoring, emergency name, and distant vacation spot entry by way of smartphone.

The brand new options add a lacking layer of polish to the Kia’s infotainment system, which additionally will get 10 years of Visitors Data companies and free map updates while you service at your authorised Kia seller.

It even has voice instructions with pure voice recognition in GT-Line fashions with Kia Join, which is once more one thing that has been lacking from different mannequin strains. You now not want Apple CarPlay or Android Auto energetic to make use of the voice management button and get the car to enter navigation locations, for instance.

The interface itself continues to supply wealthy graphics and snappy response, and the usual six-speaker audio system is nice with out being nice. The eight-speaker Harman/Kardon-branded premium setup reserved for the Niro EV GT-Line is a greater wager, nonetheless.

The seats are trimmed in perforated Bio PU leatherette, and whereas not tremendous convincing as actual cow cover, the upholstery is supple and there’s a sample to the inserts that’s visually attention-grabbing.

Drivers are handled to an eight-way powered seat with two-way electrical lumbar assist, although there’s no reminiscence presets. There’s an excellent vary of adjustment in each the seat and the steering wheel to discover a snug driving place.

The entrance passenger seat is a guide six-way unit on all grades bar the Niro EV GT-Line, which appears a bit foolish given the HEV right here must be equal. The entrance seats characteristic heating and air flow, and the steering wheel is heated additionally.

Storage is nice up entrance, with a configurable cubby within the centre console with cupholders, door bins that may maintain decent-sized bottles, a shelf forward of the rotary e-shifter which additionally homes the wi-fi telephone charger. This little cubby additionally has a USB-A port for smartphone mirroring, a USB-C cost port, and a 12V socket.

Whereas the Niro is classed by VFACTS as a ‘Small SUV’, the second row is far nearer in passenger house to autos a dimension up.

There’s wonderful headroom because of the tall roofline, and there’s loads of legroom. I’m 6’1 and may comfortably sit behind my very own driving place, although the bench itself is kind of flat.

Facilities embrace airline-style map pockets on the entrance seatbacks, USB-C cost ports on the internal sides of each entrance seats, rear air vents, a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders, in addition to bottle holders within the rear doorways.

Kiddies are catered for with ISOFIX anchors for the outer seats, and top-tether factors throughout all three positions.

Open up the GT-Line’s hands-free energy tailgate and there’s 425 litres of baggage capability, which once more is a match for autos within the dimension class above – a Mazda CX-5 affords 438L/1340L, for reference.

The world itself is huge, sq. and flat, and expands to a formidable 1419L with the rear seats folded. Whereas there’s a step as much as the seatbacks in its max quantity setting, the ground folds upwards to even out the distinction in peak.

Boot options embrace a foldable cargo cowl, in addition to baggage internet hooks and a light-weight.

Not like the Niro EV, which will get a tyre restore equipment, the Niro HEV comes with a space-saver spare underneath the ground.

What’s underneath the bonnet?

Energy within the Niro HEV comes from a 1.6-litre Smartstream naturally-aspirated petrol engine teamed with a transmission-mounted everlasting magnet synchronous electrical motor and a 1.32kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

The direct-injected petrol engine develops 77.2kW (5700rpm) and 144Nm (4000rpm) by itself, whereas the electrical motor contributes an additional 32kW and 170Nm – system outputs are quoted as 104kW (5700rpm) and 265Nm (4000rpm).

Drive is distributed to the entrance wheels by way of a six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT). Kia claims the Niro HEV GT-Line ought to speed up from 0-100km/h in round 10.8 seconds, by the way 0.4s slower than the bottom mannequin.

The all-important gasoline consumption determine is a thrifty 4.0L/100km on the mixed cycle, with the Niro HEV rated to run on common 91 RON unleaded. The gasoline tank measures 42L, which means theoretically it is best to be capable to get 1000km on a tank. CO2 emissions for the Niro HEV are quoted at 91g/km.

Kia says the Niro HEV can tow as much as 1300kg, with a max towball obtain of 100kg.

How does theKia Niro HEV GT-Line drive?

The brand new Niro includes a improvement of the 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated hybrid system from the earlier automotive, regardless of quoting equivalent outputs to its predecessor.

It’s additionally driving on a more recent, lighter platform shared with the brand new Hyundai i30 Sedan (or Elantra), although the tare mass remains to be up on the previous-gen Niro Sport by about 40kg because it’s a bodily bigger car than earlier than.

Press the starter button and the Niro involves life in silence, because it defaults to EV mode on startup. You’ll be able to’t really toggle hybrid mode settings like you’ll be able to in another vehicles although – i.e. there’s no EV button like a Toyota hybrid.

As we’ve famous in earlier evaluations of Kia hybrid merchandise, it takes a second to get used to the driving really feel of the Korean model’s electrified merchandise, as the electrical motor is mounted on the transmission and subsequently shifts by gears even when the petrol engine isn’t firing.

You’ll be able to really really feel the cogs shifting as you construct velocity, which feels a bit of overseas at first however you shortly get used to it.

Whereas the Niro’s outputs aren’t tremendous thrilling, the low-down response from the electrical motor means it will get together with first rate tempo and doesn’t really feel underpowered in comparison with rival hybrid choices.

It solely ever actually runs out of puff on the high finish, given electrical motors taper off at greater speeds and the petrol engine solely generates 77kW at 5700rpm.

The 1.6-litre petrol engine is nice and fairly refined in city driving, however can get a bit of gruff and shouty if you happen to actually push it. Don’t purchase into the sporty GT-Line branding, that is no efficiency product.

Nevertheless, the Niro does really feel athletic in the best way it rides and handles. With its native suspension tune and concentrate on dynamics with this new platform, the Niro HEV is surprisingly nippy and responsive while you level it at a bend.

The Kia’s fast and direct steering groups effectively with the taut, planted chassis, which makes for a little bit of enjoyable when slinking by suburban streets and tight automotive parks. It’s additionally effectively damped, so whereas it rides a bit of on the firmer aspect, it doesn’t crash and jar over imperfections like drain covers and tram tracks.

You should use the paddles on the steering wheel to take management of shifting your self, and there’s Sport mode for the steering and powertrain for higher response. Nevertheless, as famous earlier getting the engine to carry revs is usually a little coarse and unrefined.

Gradual issues down a bit of and the Niro HEV does a fairly seamless job of shuffling between energy sources, and flicks itself into EV mode very often.

That is mirrored in its spectacular real-world gasoline consumption – we noticed an indicated 4.9L/100km after per week of testing together with a return journey to Phillip Island on nation highways, however at instances we noticed low fours, even excessive threes.

Insulation from wind and street noise is first rate with out being standout, although that is nothing new for the phase.

On the aforementioned return journey to Phillip Island from Melbourne, the coarse-chip nation highways transmitted a little bit of tyre roar into the cabin nevertheless it wasn’t overwhelming or boomy like some similarly-sized rivals.

The Niro HEV GT-Line comes geared up with an array of energetic security and help techniques, and like different Hyundai/Kia merchandise these options are effectively calibrated and fairly helpful in on a regular basis use.

Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic assists are at all times useful on busy freeways and inner-city roads, and assist to alleviate any blind spots prompted from the Niro’s thick C-pillars.

Kia’s adaptive cruise management and Lane Following Help options additionally take the pressure off longer freeway stints, managing acceleration, braking and turning inside a lane. It really works for visitors jams, too.

For all its strengths although it’s price noting the dearth of a 360-degree digital camera system in any grade. Given many rivals provide one, it’s disappointing the Niro’s premium pricing doesn’t purchase you a digital camera with 3D view as we’ve seen within the firm’s different merchandise.

What do you get?

Niro HEV GT-Line highlights:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 10.25-inch central touchscreen
  • 10.0-inch head-up show
  • Satellite tv for pc navigation
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired)
  • Distant Good Park Help
  • Kia Join app connectivity
  • Keyless entry and begin
  • Synthetic leather-based seat trim
  • Heated, ventilated entrance seats
  • Gloss black exterior mirror trim
  • LED headlights and fog lights
  • Rear privateness glass
  • Laminated entrance door glass
  • Metallic scuff plates, pedals
  • Gloss black inside trim highlights
  • Entrance ambient lighting
  • Wi-fi telephone charger
  • Twin rear map pockets
  • Two-tone paint choices

That’s on high of the Niro S specification:

  • LED daytime operating lights
  • Automated headlights
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Powered, auto-folding exterior mirrors
  • 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
  • DAB+ digital radio, AM/FM tuner
  • Leather-based-trimmed steering wheel
  • Paddle shifters (to regulate regen)
  • Twin-zone local weather management
  • Fabric and synthetic leather-based trim
  • Six-way powered driver’s seat
  • Adaptive cruise management with cease/go

Is theKia Niro HEV GT-Line protected?

The brand new Niro hasn’t been crash examined by ANCAP or Euro NCAP as but, however Kia says it’s prone to be put to the check in the course of the third quarter of 2022 – watch this house.

Naturally, a five-star security score is the goal for each the HEV and EV.

Commonplace security tools consists of:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian and Bike owner detection
    • Junction help
    • Reverse AEB
  • Blind-spot help
  • Rear cross-traffic help
  • Driver consideration monitoring
  • Excessive Beam Help (auto high-beam)
  • Clever Velocity Restrict Help
  • Lane Following Help
  • Lane-keep help
  • Main Car Departure Alert
  • Parking sensors, entrance and rear
  • Rear Occupant Alert
  • Reversing digital camera
  • Protected Exit Warning
  • Protected Exit Help

How a lot does theKia Niro HEV GT-Line value to run?

The Niro, like the broader Kia vary, is backed by a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

Additional, the high-voltage elements (e.g. battery, e-motor) are lined for seven years or 150,000 kilometres.

Scheduled upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000 kilometres – whichever comes first.

Pricing is as follows:

  • 12mths or 15,000km: $276
  • 24mths or 30,00km: $653
  • 36mths or 45,000km: $370
  • 48mths or 60,000km: $1035
  • 60mths or 75,000km: $311
  • 72mths or 90,000km: $818
  • 84mths or 105,000km: $533

In complete, the Niro HEV will value $3996 over the lifetime of the seven-year capped-price service schedule, which is a heavy whack no matter the way you have a look at it. Three years sits at $1299, and 5 years is $2645.

Kia Australia says all service gadgets are included within the above CPS schedule, which means there’s no hidden prices for gadgets like brake fluid, brake substitute, or coolant modifications.

Maybe much less daunting is the gasoline consumption, which in the true world noticed an indicated 4.9L/100km over 640 kilometres of combined driving with a skew to freeway environments. In the beginning of the week with extra city driving and slow-moving visitors, we noticed nearer to 4.0-4.2L/100km.

That’s nonetheless inside 1L of Kia’s declare, and the small 42L tank will run fortunately on cheaper 91 RON unleaded.

CarExpert’s Tackle theKia Niro HEV GT-Line

The brand new Kia Niro HEV is an enormous step ahead over its predecessor, however its excessive pricing and restricted provide (more here) will little doubt preserve it a reasonably low-volume providing, at the same time as consumers scramble to get hybrids.

It drives fairly effectively, returns spectacular real-world gasoline financial system, and affords segment-busting practicality, whereas additionally that includes head-turning design and the most recent tech the Korean model has to supply – principally.

The servicing will get fairly costly in the long term too, particularly when manufacturers like Honda and Toyota are doing $125-$200 companies for the primary 5 years. Kia’s common of $400-$600 each year is certainly a bit excessive.

Whereas costly each to purchase and to take care of, the Niro HEV GT-Line provides one other worthy participant into the rising hybrid market, and extra alternative for the Australian shopper can solely be a win in in the present day’s ever pricier and supply-stricken new automotive market.

Click on the photographs for the complete gallery

MORE: Everything Kia Niro

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