2023 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid Gets Bigger Battery And Stronger Electric Motor
According to InsideEVs, Kia Sweden has revealed that the 2023 Niro PHEV will have an 11.1 kWh battery (up from 8.9 kWh) which should mean it will be capable of 30+ miles of EV range on a charge (I’ll guess 32 on the EPA cycle, to match its Sorento and Sportage kin). The 2023 Niro PHEV also gets a 62 kW (80 hp) electric motor (up from 59 kW and 60 hp). In total the 2023 Niro is said to have 183 hp compared to 139 hp in the current 2022 model. That seems to indicate an increase in the gasoline motor’s output of about 24 hp as well. Other sources have also suggested the 2023 Niro will get a small boost to its gasoline engine efficiency, the proverbial icing on the cake as it were. Autoblog.com estimates about a 4% improvement, or about 2 mpg better, which translates to around 48 mpg, on average, which places it at or near the top of the list for most fuel efficient PHEVs on the market today. All of this is in addition to growing slightly in proportions compared to the current model (at 2.5 inches longer, .8 inches wider, and .4 inches taller) to give drivers a little more space for people and stuff. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?
This increased battery size and EV range may mean greater incentives from U.S. state and federal governments too (for those based on battery size in kWh or on EV range), meaning the 2023 Niro may end up being cheaper, after the increased incentives are factored in. This depends of course, and assumes that Kia doesn’t raise the price much and that dealers don’t mark-up the vehicles (which is quite common these days). That is certainly good news for those who may be considering the Niro, Kia’s lowest price PHEV, EV and HEV model. This news may also interest current or previous owners or fans of the Kia Soul EV (which is no longer on sale in the U.S.) since it means the Niro will have more internal volume than the Soul EV had or the gas only models have (assuming they aren't being revised for 2023). As such, it could be a more attractive option for anyone that may be looking to move from the shorter range Soul EV, or into a small, electrified SUV in one of the Niro EV or hybrid models.
All of these changes should set Kia up well to compete against any other compact or subcompact electrified SUVs, like the Honda CRV or the forthcoming Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid or possibly, a plug-in hybrid version of the same vehicle. Considering that Toyota may begin running out of the plug-in vehicle tax credit this year, while Kia will not, Kia may enjoy a distinct price advantage over some of its primary rivals for a few years as well. With all these updates, the only thing that may (still) be missing from the Kia Niro model line is an option for AWD.
What do you think? Would these changes to next year’s model increase your interest in or likelihood of purchasing a Kia Niro? Leave your comments below.
Image provided by Kia.
Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 14 years, including a first generation Nissan LEAF, second generation Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, an electric bicycle and most recently a Kia Sorento PHEV. He is also an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking long EV and PHEV road trips to beautiful and serene places with the people he loves. Follow Justin on Twitter for daily KIA EV news coverage.