2020 Kia Niro Overview
The Niro was Kia’s first dedicated hybrid vehicle and debuted in 2016 at the Chicago Auto Show. Since then, the automaker hasn’t changed much to its eco-friendly SUV other than adding a plug-in hybrid variant in its 2018 lineup. For 2020, the Niro has received a handful of updates that were revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November.
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What’s new for the 2020 Kia Niro?
Most of the upgrades on the Niro are purely aesthetic, with the efficient SUV getting new lighting in the front and back, a more prominent faux skid plate, and new alloy wheel designs. Inside, the cabin has a more streamlined design with advanced graphics on the touch-screen display and a six-color mood lighting feature. Along with making the Niro more visually attractive, Kia added optional features like steering wheel paddle shifters and an electronic parking brake.
When Kia showcased the Niro at the LA Auto Show, some of the most noticeable upgrades were on its exterior. New chevron LED headlights and projector-type headlamps accented the diamond-pattern grille in the front. If you want to get more than just the standard design features, choose the Touring model and its heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors with LED turn signals; roof rails; power sunroof; heated rear glass; and front fog lights. The only differentiators moving up to the Touring Special Edition is the inclusion of the previously mentioned LED headlights as well as 18-inch alloy wheels.
On the base trim of the 2020 Niro, you’ll have an abundance of tech and comfort features at your disposal. You’ll first notice the 8-inch color touch-screen display, compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth. One of the most innovative features is the climate control system and its “Driver Only” mode that focuses air conditioning solely on the driver’s area when needed, meaning no more fiddling to move air vents on a hot day.
A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob can be found on the LXS trim while leather seating is reserved for the Touring trim and above. The Touring trim is also where you’ll get a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, adjustable mood lighting, rear console climate vents, and the UVO link infotainment system. However, if you want the ultimate music experience, the Touring Special Edition and EX Premium come with a standard Harman kardon eight-speaker premium sound system with Clari-Fi music restoration technology as well as a large 10.25-inch touch-screen display connected with a navigation system, SiriusXM Radio, and HD Radio.
Performance and efficiency
Across the Niro’s five trims, you’ll find a 1.6-liter four-cylinder hybrid system under the hood. Combined with the dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission, the Niro is capable of a net 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Because the weight of the Niro varies by trim and the features included, fuel economy is also varied:
- LX: 52/49/50 MPG City/Highway/Combined
- LXS: 51/46/49 MPG City/Highway/Combined
- Touring: 46/40/43 MPG City/Highway/Combined
- Touring SE: 46/40/43 MPG City/Highway/Combined
- EX Premium: 51/46/49 MPG City/Highway/Combined
Standard safety features on the 2020 Niro include a rear-view camera with dynamic parking guidelines, a collection of airbags throughout the cabin, and helpful features like Vehicle Stability Management and Traction Control. However, by moving up to the LXS trim — just above the base trim — you get a few of the Kia Drive Wise assistive technology like Blind Spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and Driver Attention Warning. When you opt for the Touring trim and above, Smart Cruise Control and Lane Following Assist are added.