With the crossover segment as hot as ever, the Ford Escape has its fair share of rivals, including a pair of new ones from Kia – the 2023 Sportage Hybrid and PHEV. Now, that same automaker has revealed yet another Escape rival – the 2023 Kia Niro, which is available with a trio of powertrains – a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric offering, all of which will do battle with the forthcoming refreshed Escape and its fresh exterior styling and larger infotainment screen.
The 2023 Niro hybrid will come equipped with Kia’s 1.6L four-cylinder powerplant coupled with a 32kW electric motor that produces 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, which is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The front-wheel drive hybrid will reportedly return 53 miles-per-gallon in combined driving, which is an improvement of 3 mpg over the outgoing model.
Stepping up to the 2023 Niro PHEV nets buyers the same 1.6L four-cylinder gas engine, but it’s paired with a more powerful 62kW electric motor, for a total system output of 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The plug-in hybrid utilizes an 11.1 kWh lithium-ion battery that gives the crossover an all-electric driving range of 33 miles. Meanwhile, the Niro EV offers up 253 miles of range via its 64.8 kWh battery and a 150kW (201 horsepower) motor.
On the outside, the 2023 Niro features refreshed styling and is a bit larger than the outgoing model, while the inside sports a redesign as well with some additional tech. Driver assist features including pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring are now standard across the range, while adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous driving feature is optional.
The 2023 Kia Niro is set to launch in the U.S. this fall, while pricing information will be revealed closer to the crossover’s on-sale date.