As gas prices reach an all-time high, so too are the sales of electric vehicles. That’s good news for the new 2022 Kia Niro EV, which combines the utility and functions of an SUV with the benefits of an electric vehicle (EV).
Now available in all 50 states, the Kia Niro EV sales were up 318% last year. In addition, it received the highest ranking among mass-market EVs by JD Powers for two years straight.
Sales of all EVs in the U.S. are expected to top 670,000 this year, according to forecasts by AutoPacific. However, automakers continue to be challenged by rising costs of supplies and microchip shortages to meet the demand.
Despite the challenges, the Kia Niro EV will most likely sell every vehicle it makes. Particularly since it has a driving range of 239 miles on a full charge, is loaded with high-tech features, has a slick design, smooth performance, and a spacious interior. In addition, it quickly accelerates from 0 to 60 in 6.6 seconds.
History of the Kia Niro
Kia Niro Hybrid – launched 2016
Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid – launched 2017
Kia Niro EV – launched 2019
Models/Pricing: The 2022 Kia Niro EV starts at $41,205 for the EX and $45,865 MSRP for the Premium model. It also qualifies for the $7500 federal tax credit.
The 2022 Niro EV receives a handful of minor changes. It now wears Kia’s newly designed badge and adds more standard features. The latter includes a 10.3-inch touchscreen that replaces the previous 8.0-inch base unit; it also comes with built-in navigation, a Harman/Kardon audio system, and SiriusXM satellite radio.
I tested the EX Premium trim with ventilated front seats, a power sunroof, and wireless charging. In addition, both models have an intuitive two-zone automatic climate control system that turns off the passenger side when the seat is empty, thereby saving power.
Power: The Kia Niro EV generates 201 horsepower and 291 lb-ft of torque from a lithium-ion battery with an electric range of 239 miles. The Niro is one of the fastest EVs in its class, which quickly accelerates smoothly and is fun to drive. Sitting inside feels like the inside of a futuristic space mobile.
eMPG Range/Battery: The Kia Niro EV has an estimated EPA range of 239 miles on a full charge on the highway.
The Niro EV takes about nine hours to recharge on a 240-volt connection and one hour on a 100-kW DC fast-charger. So long trips are now down to only one-hour breaks, instead of overnight.
The 2022 Niro EV also has improved its regenerative braking, which recharges the battery while driving. In addition, the driver can use the paddle shifters on the steering wheel to choose between four levels of braking.
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