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2019 Kia Niro Overview

The Kia Niro, a sharp hybrid-powered crossover, made its debut in 2017, competing against the likes of the Nissan Rogue Hybrid. This efficient and functional vehicle carries over mostly unchanged for 2019 with some minor updates to trim levels and available features.

The Niro’s simple yet modern exterior, still fresh after just two years on the market, needs no updates. Kia trimmed Platinum Graphite, Metal Stream, and Rich Espresso from the list of available finishes, and Runway Red replaces Crimson Red.

The Niro is powered by a combination of a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a 1.56 kWh battery, good for a total of 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Every Niro gets a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive (FWD). According to the EPA, the LX and EX trims of the Niro are good for 51 mpg city, 46 highway, and 49 combined. The FE trim returns 52, 49, and 50. The Touring offers 46, 40, and 43.

There are five trim levels available for 2019: FE, LX, EX, S Touring, and Touring. The FE includes cloth upholstery, a 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, power-adjustable side mirrors, LED headlights, and 16-inch alloy wheels. The LX adds push-button start, roof rails, and rear LED lights, and can be upgraded with the LX Advanced Technology package, which includes additional safety features. The EX includes heated front seats; power-folding, heated side mirrors; front fog lights; and LED daytime-running lights, and is offered with the EX Advanced Technology package with a 10-way power driver’s seat. The S Touring, formerly known as the Graphite Edition, adds 18-inch wheels and other exclusive styling details. The Touring features leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, wireless device charging, and HID headlights.

Every Niro gets an infotainment system with a 7-inch color touchscreen and features such as AM/FM radio, MP3 compatibility, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a 4-speaker audio system. The S Touring and Touring add an 8-inch touchscreen, an 8-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and navigation.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn’t tested the 2019 Niro, but the 2018 model earned Good crash test scores and models equipped with front crash prevention technology got a Top Safety Pick+ designation. The Niro includes a reversing camera in every trim. Blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on EX, S Touring, and Touring trims. Autonomous emergency braking, forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist, and advanced smart cruise control are standard on the Touring trim and are available in packages in some other trim levels.

The Kia Niro is a hybrid without compromise, as well-rounded and likable as any other vehicle in its class. In just its third year on the market, it may be too early to tell, but the Niro should go a long way toward helping to normalize hybrid technology.


Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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Kia Niro Questions

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