2023 Kia Niro EV Limited

Several years ago, the 2023 Kia Niro EV Limited would have been a segment leader.
Several years ago, the 2023 Kia Niro EV Limited would have been a segment leader.

by Jon Pangindian | March 27, 2023


With the rise of gas prices and improvements in electric vehicle technology, there has never been a better time to make the switch. Slow charging and substandard range like that of the Mazda MX-30 have shown that buyers will no longer accept the lame duck. Kia has put in a more respectable effort with their Niro EV. It has sold in respectable numbers across North America since its introduction in 2017 and now we’re entering its second generation. Armed with better technology and overall design, Kia hopes to win over more customers with the redesigned 2023 Kia Niro EV Limited.

Kia’s EV6 may have garnered most of the attention in their lineup this past year with its class-leading performance, technology and striking design. The Niro EV hopes to take some of these ingredients and execute an offering at a lower price point for those on a slightly tighter budget.

The previous Kia Niro EV was an easily forgotten model in the lineup, with a rather pedestrian exterior design with little to differentiate it from most small crossovers on the road. The 2023 Kia Niro EV seems to have taken cues from other Kia electric models. It is a handsome design but could do without the Audi R8-style side blade, which looks especially strange on the Snow White Pearl colour of our test vehicle.

The traditional tiger nosed grill that represents Kia’s current design language is here, though smaller than the one found in their combustion engine vehicles. LED lighting is used all around, and there is extensive use of gloss black cladding used on the lower portions of the Niro EV.

The Kia Niro EV has a welcoming interior that is well thought out, with very high quality materials and enough technology to look the part of an electric vehicle. The digital instrument panel and infotainment system command center stage. Angular surfaces are all around and more impressive than the previous generation Niro’s drab interior. Unlike some EVs that do away with buttons completely, the 2023 Kia Niro still offers users this ability for quick and snappy access. Kia has used recycled materials throughout with very little sacrifice to overall quality feel.

Temper any expectations that the 2023 Kia Niro EV can match the swiftness found in the Ford Mustang Mach-E or Tesla Model 3. With a rather pedestrian 201 horsepower at 6,000RPM and 188 lb-ft of torque, this motor will propel the 3,803-pound Niro EV to 100km/h in 6.8 seconds. Thanks to the immediate torque available, it does feel faster than it is.

While the ride is comfortable and quiet, don’t expect to toss the Niro EV into corners with ease. With the heavy battery underneath and low stance, it tends to hug the ground but the steering is too light and its suspension leans towards comfort over handling. The Niro EV uses a 64.8-kWh battery. When connected to a DC fast charger in ideal conditions, a 10 to 80 percent charge takes about 45 minutes; more than double the time it would take an EV6 to accomplish the same task. Range in optimal conditions is rated at 407 kilometers, but in January with a cold snap, the Niro EV showed a rating of 305 kilometers of available range when fully charged

The Niro EV is only available as a front-drive, which does work to its advantage as an all-wheel-drive system would add weight to an already heavy vehicle. Those looking for all-wheel-drive capabilities will need to move to the EV6. During a heavy snowfall during our week of testing, the Niro EV equipped with proper winter tires took on the slippery conditions with relative ease.

Kia offers the Niro in three configurations; hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and the fully electric version tested here. The regular hybrid starts at $29,995, and the PHEV at $37,995. The Niro EV starts at $44,995, and our Limited model at $52,995 adds things like a heads-up display, Harman-Kardon premium audio, sunroof, and a few other niceties. At this price point, buyers aren’t far off Kia’s own EV6 Long Range at $2,000 more. Those considering the top-trim Niro EV may want to compare and contrast both models.

Several years ago, the 2023 Kia Niro EV Limited would have been a segment leader. However, the Niro EV’s biggest competition may come from their own brand in the EV6. For slightly more money, buyers can get state-of-the-art technology, more space, fantastic styling and a more engaging driving experience.

See Also:

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line

2023 Kia Soul EV Limited

First Drive: 2023 Toyota bZ4X

Vehicle Specs
Compact Electric Crossover
Engine Size
Horsepower (at RPM)
201 at 6,000
Torque (lb-ft.)
188 at 0
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
1.9/2.3/2.1 (Le/100km)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Jon Pangindian

Staff Writer

An experienced detailer and diehard car guy, Jon brings a creative eye to his new vehicle road tests. Aside from writing, Jon spends most of his time tinkering with new detailing products and experimenting with ceramic coatings.

Current Toy: ’13 650i Gran Coupé