First Look Review: The 2024 Kia Niro PHEV is a stepping stone to going all-electric

  • Second-gen Kia Niro PHEV enters its second model year in the U.S.
  • Loses Fire Orange Metallic exterior color option
  • Delivers an EPA-est. electric range of 33 miles
  • Priced from USD 34,290 (excl. USD 1,325 destination charge)

Update: ‘Specifications’ and ‘Price & Sales’ sections revised.

The second-generation Niro PHEV is the cheapest plug-in hybrid SUV in the U.S. and serves as a bridge between gas-powered SUVs and pure-electric SUVs for many customers. The 2024 Kia Niro PHEV has begun rolling into American dealerships, and recently I experienced it (2024 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid SX Touring variant) at 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show to know if it was any good. Here are my first impressions of the plug-in hybrid SUV:


The 2024 Kia Niro PHEV is a carryover model, meaning that it doesn’t have styling changes. That said, it looks pretty futuristic, featuring a sporty and technical design that makes it instantly recognizable. Its conventional crossover silhouette is complemented by unique elements like the unusually shaped vertical headlamps, an air curtain in the C-pillar, and boomerang-shaped tail lights. I find the ‘Heartbeat’ daytime running lights & turn signals in the headlights particularly appealing, and the thin full-width chrome strip that accentuates the slim upper grille adds a touch of sophistication to the front.

The available 18-inch alloy wheels and gloss black wheel arch molding provide the 2024 Niro PHEV a sporty styling. The charging port is on the left-side front quarter panel, and I think this location is not the most convenient. I like the C-shaped turn indicators integrated into the mirrors, which pair well with the vertical headlamps and tail lights.


2024 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid dashboard
Standout features are the 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster and the 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The piano black finish on the doors and dashboard enhances the interior’s appeal, but it also tends to attract fingerprints, which require regular cleaning.

The 2024 Kia Niro PHEV has a modern and tech-focused interior that makes it look just as trendy and premium as on the outside. As soon as I stepped into the cabin, my eyes went to the off-center dashboard’s two floating 10.25-inch displays. I feel that the sleek instrument cluster with customizable layouts and the comprehensive infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, and other latest features presented a clear step-up in the segment.

2024 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid front seats
The 2024 Niro PHEV has the same cabin as last year’s model. I feel that the vegan leather upholstery, ample headroom, and the supportive seats, designed in the style of the EV6, make this cabin an inviting space, even for drivers who are tall.

Getting comfortable in the 10-way power driver’s seat with 2-way lumbar adjustment, I felt that the manually adjustable two-spoke steering wheel was comfortable to reach, and other main controls like the rotary gear selector in the center console and the climate control panel in the dashboard were placed ergonomically.

2024 Kia Niro PHEV instrument cluster and infotainment system
The top-end Niro PHEV SX touring gets a 10-inch HUD, 10.25-inch fully-digital gauge cluster, a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system equipped with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a power sunroof.

The various buttons, switches, and dials in the 2024 Niro PHEV offer a tactile feedback. I like the fact that Kia has included normal steering buttons and also rotary dials to adjust the cabin temperature, speaker volume, radio station, etc. The storage box under the central armrest is practical, but the door bins could have been bigger. The SynTex artificial leather seat covers Kia has used in the new plug-in hybrid SUV uplifts the cabin feel and I think they are a good alternative to animal-skin leather seat covers. I could spot plenty of hard plastics around the cabin, but overall quality is quite good for a car in this price range.

2024 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid rear seat
Passengers in the rear get an AC vent and USB-C ports, but the seats don’t recline and heated seats is an optional extra. That said, head- and leg-room are good, and overall comfort is good even for a six-footer for rides around town.

I’m six-feet-tall, and I felt that entering/exiting the 2024 Niro PHEV was easy for me, with ample head room. When I was sitting in the driver’s seat, I felt that my lower back support and under-thigh support was adequate. In the back, while I wasn’t able to stretch out my legs, I can say that there is a good level of knee room even for taller folks. Here, I felt that the headroom was again good for a sub-compact-to-compact vehicle, and the under-thigh support was decent.

2024 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid boot
The hybrid battery is placed below the cargo area, and therefore it takes up useful storage volume. Where the Niro EV offers 22.8 cu. ft., the PHEV has only 19.4 cu. ft. of space behind the rear seat, which I feel should still be sufficient for most trips in the city.

The 2024 Niro PHEV’s cargo area, though smaller than that of the 2024 Niro and 2024 Niro EV, offers similar dual-level adjustability for the load floor. It gives 19.4 cu. ft. of luggage space, which is expandable to 54.6 cu. ft. by folding the rear seat backrests.


The 2024 Kia Niro PHEV has a 1.6-liter GDI engine-based powertrain that produces 180 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque and a 6-speed DCT. The FWD-only plug-in hybrid SUV stores energy for the electric motor in an 11.1 kWh battery pack, which gives it a zero-emission EPA-est. range of 33 miles. Kia doesn’t state any mechanical changes for the Niro PHEV as part of the MY2024 revisions, so it’s safe to assume that it drives and feels the same.

From what we know, the second-generation Niro PHEV is not exceptionally fast or scary, and provides adequate performance for everyday driving. It’s also worth noting that the cabin can become somewhat noisy at higher speeds, particularly on the highway.

Aspect2024 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid Specification
Length174.0 in.
Width71.8 in.
Height60.8 in.
Wheelbase107.1 in.
Headroom40.5 in. (front)/39.5 in. (rear)
Legroom41.5 in. (front)/39.8 in. (rear)
Shoulder Room56.2 in. (front)/55.4 in. (rear)
Hip Room53.3 in. (front)/53.0 in. (rear)
Luggage Capacity (SAE)19.4 cu. ft. (2nd row seats upright)/54.6 cu. ft. (2nd row seats folded)
Passenger Volume (SAE)105.1 cu. ft.
LayoutFront engine, Front drive
Engine Type1.6L Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) 4-cylinder engine
Engine Power77.2 kW (103 hp) at 5,700 rpm
Engine Torque106.3 lb.-ft. at 4,000 rpm
Motor TypePermanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM)
Motor Power62 kW (83 hp)
Motor Torque149.7 lb.-ft.
System Power180 hp
System Torque195 lb.-ft.
Battery Pack TypeLithium-ion polymer
Battery Pack Capacity11.1 kWh
Charging Time2 hours and 45 minutes (Level 2 charger)
Transmission6-speed dual-clutch automatic
Fuel Tank Capacity9.77 gallons
Fuel Economy108 MPGe
Electric Range33 miles
Combined Range510 miles
Towing CapacityNo Towing Capability
Roof Load Capacity220 lbs.
Specifications sourced from the official Kia website

The additional weight of the Niro PHEV’s bigger battery does affect handling and braking, making it not as much fun to drive as the Niro hybrid. From what we read, the synchronization between the regenerative braking system and the disc brakes is well-sorted. The suspension setup is on the firmer side, which impacts the ride quality.

Price & Sales

The 2024 Kia Niro PHEV retails at USD 34,290 in the EX trim and USD 40,040 in the SX. Both MSRPs exclude a destination charge of USD 1,325. Kia doesn’t publish variant-wise sales numbers, but in its 2023 annual sales press release, it notes that the Niro family (gas, electric, and plug-in hybrid) enjoyed the highest-ever demand in the U.S., clocking 36,300 units.

TopElectricSUV says

2024 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid rear
For drivers in states where electricity comes cheap, the Niro PHEV is a practical vehicle. It can cover much of the typical daily commutes (up to 33 miles) using just the energy stored in the traction battery, with the gas engine serving as a backup.

The 2024 Kia Niro PHEV offers style, space, and practicality as well as many latest tech features. It offers decent performance and delivers a good electric driving range, to where the annual fuel cost is $850 (as per the EPA). What works against it is that it is not eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, as the car is imported from Hwasung, S.Korea. While it’s no longer priced lower than the regular hybrid model, as was the case with the first-gen Niro family, it’s still over $5,000 less expensive than the Niro EV.

We recommend that you take the Niro PHEV only if you plan to plug-in regularly, else the Niro Hybrid is the better choice. The only downside we could find in this variant is its firm ride quality, but for customers who don’t mind, the plug-in hybrid is a solid eco-friendly commuter which offers the added benefit of being less affected by fluctuating gasoline prices.

2024 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid FAQs

What is the 2024 Kia Niro PHEV release date?

The 2024 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid is now available at U.S. dealerships.

What is the 2024 Kia Niro PHEV price?

The 2024 Kia Niro PHEV starts at USD 34,290 (excl. USD 1,325 destination charge).

Which models are 2024 Kia Niro PHEV rivals?

The 2024 Kia Niro PHEV competes with the Toyota Prius Prime.

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