2018 Kia Niro Reviews, Ratings, Prices - Consumer Reports
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2018
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Kia Niro

Thanks to its high stance, conservative styling, and a more normal, traditional-acting automatic transmission, the Kia Niro is a genre-splitting hybrid that combines fuel economy with versatility. It uses the same drivetrain as its sibling hybrid -- the Hyundai Ioniq -- and also suffers from some of that car's shortcomings. When compared with conventional wagons and small SUVs, the Niro's 43 mpg overall is impressive.
Alerts
There is 1 recall on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

Thanks to its high stance, conservative styling, and a more normal, traditional-acting automatic transmission, the Kia Niro is a genre-splitting hybrid that combines fuel economy with versatility. It uses the same drivetrain as its sibling hybrid -- the Hyundai Ioniq -- and also suffers from some of that car's shortcomings.

When compared with conventional wagons and small SUVs, the Niro's 43 mpg overall is impressive. But that falls 9 mpg shy of the Toyota Prius and Ioniq, our current hybrid fuel economy champs, and that's due to the Niro's extra weight and less aerodynamic body shape.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Sequential
Engines Available
  • 1.6-liter 4 hybrid (139 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 Kia Niro owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

"A couple months after owning rear passenger side door handle fell off. Repaired at dealership. A year after purchase front passenger side door handle fell off and a couple of weeks later the rear passenger side door handle fell off again. Replaced at dealership. Dealership contacted Kia and my car manufacture date now included in Technical Service Bulletin which originally just for 2017 models. Having an upgraded repair done next week."

Luan R., IL (2018 Kia Niro EX 1.6-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"rear passenger side door latch completely broke off the car when a passenger tried to open the door from the outside."

Chad S., IA (2018 Kia Niro EX 1.6-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Door handle broke on passenger front. This was a known factory issue and all passenger door handles were replaced under warranty."

Mark C., TX (2018 Kia Niro EX 1.6-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Left rear door handle fell off 3 days after purchase. Got the run-around from the dealer - ordered the wrong color, had to make 2 40-mile round trips to get it fixed."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Kia Niro Touring 1.6-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Bad catalytic converter"

Anonymous, (2018 Kia Niro LX 1.6-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Fuel injection system

"The car ran fine, but it reported an “Engine malfunction” several time. Ultimate the fuel injectors were replaced under warrantee by Kia. No problems noted since then."

Errol D., AZ (2018 Kia Niro Touring 1.6-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Power steering pumps and hoses

"The car made a small squeaking sound when I turned the wheel. It was repaired under warranty."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid 1.6-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Shocks or struts

"We think it might be the shocks as it is a very bumpy ride."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Kia Niro LX 1.6-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Hybrid/electric battery replacement

"each morning after purchase, car would not start. I believe the dealer knew the hybrid battery in this car was defective but still allowed me to drive it home. It was days before they changed the battery system"

Anonymous, CA (2018 Kia Niro EX 1.6-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"A cell went bad in the battery that supplies power to the electric motor, and the car would not start. Kia paid to have the car towed to the dealer, where they replaced it for free (under warrantee)."

Anonymous, OR (2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid 1.6-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

"It happen right after I took it in for a software update. The display screen would go blank, except for when I was backing up. The camera still was able to display. The music still played in car play also, you just could not see the icons. It is still under warranty and they were able to reload the software and fix the problem."

Anonymous, NC (2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid 1.6-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Evaporator

"Air conditioner would not work. The car was out of service for 2 weeks while they waited for parts to repair."

Rudy C., OH (2018 Kia Niro LX 1.6-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Sure of cause, but car lost power while driving. It may have been old gas as an issue since i maths later were on same tank. (We mainly use it short distances, so usually electric. Finally reset all systems and no problems since."

Anonymous, NC (2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid 1.6-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

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