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2022 Kia Niro EV Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Kia Niro EV Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: EX vs EX Premium

What 2022 Kia Niro EV Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The 2022 Kia Niro EV is an electric-powered, subcompact crossover SUV. The EV stands for electric vehicle, and this model should not be confused with the other major variants of the Niro. Kia makes a standard gasoline-powered version of the Niro. They also make a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid version of this small SUV.

Kia treats each version as its own vehicle, and not just the same car with different powertrains. We will do the same, focusing only on the Niro EV models here. The Niro EV can accommodate up to five people. It also has plenty of storage room in the back. There's 18.5 cubic-feet of cargo space with the rear seats up and 53 cubic-feet of space when the rear seats are folded down.

The Niro EV has an EPA-estimated range of 239 miles on a single full charge. It offers DC fast-charging capabilities. It's powered by a single electric motor that can crank out 201 horses and 291 pound-feet of torque. It can reach 60 miles-per-hour in just about 6.2 seconds. This vehicle has a direct-drive transmission and is capable of one-pedal driving due to its regenerative braking

The 2022 Kia Niro EV has an attractive exterior design and a comfortable interior. It's no luxury vehicle, but it is well-equipped and offers a smooth and refined ride. Performance is strong and handling is excellent, making the Niro EV a joy to drive. The Niro EV is only available in two different trim levels for 2022. We will take a close look at both trims and compare them to highlight their similarities and differences.

Compare the 2022 Kia Niro EV EX vs EX Premium Trims. What Is the Difference?

Mechanical Differences

Both models of the 2022 Kia Niro EV are the same size. The Niro EV is 172.2-inches long, 71.1-inches wide and 61.8-inches high. It has a ground clearance of 6.1 inches and a wheelbase of 106.3 inches. On the inside, there's 40.1-inches of headroom up front and 37.7-inches of headroom in the back. There's about 41.7-inches of legroom in the front and 36-inches of legroom in the rear.

The Niro EV gets its power from a Permanent Magnet AC Synchronous motor. This vehicle also has a lithium-ion polymer battery. This is a 64 kWh, 356-volt battery. A 120-volt charging cable is included with both trim levels. A charging-status indicator is located conveniently on the dashboard. AC charging can take up to two-and-a-half days, while DC fast-charging can be done in as little as one hour.

As previously mentioned, there's regenerative braking as part of the powertrain. Braking energy is converted into electric power for better efficiency. There are paddles located on the steering wheel that allow the driver to have some control over the process. This makes for a more integrated driving experience. The Niro EV also has a battery heating system to keep things working properly during cold weather.

Both versions of the Niro EV are front-wheel drive and have a steel uni-body construction. There's an electric motor-driven power-steering system. The front suspension has MacPherson struts and a stabilizer bar. The rear has an independent, multi-link suspension with its own stabilizer bar. There's also a 4-wheel disc, anti-lock brake system and an electronic parking brake.

When it comes to the mechanical features and performance specs, there aren't any real differences between the EX and EX Premium trim levels. The EX Premium trim takes the same base and simply adds on more convenience and technology features.

Exterior Feature Differences

On the outside of the Niro EV, there's an aerodynamic front grille. This is also where the charging port is located. The EV models get some unique blue accents to set them apart from the other Niro models. There's a rear spoiler to give the Niro EV a more sporty appearance. This matches the car's athletic performance too.

There are heated, power-adjustable exterior mirrors. These have integrated LED turn-signals. In addition to being adjustable, the mirrors also have a power-folding feature. This is handy for folding the mirrors in when you need to fit the vehicle into a tight parking space. A set of roof rails provides some extra options for transporting cargo.

Solar Control Glass helps to mitigate heat build-up inside of the vehicle during warm weather. There's also a sound-absorbing front windshield. This is just one part of the sound-proofing process that Kia uses to provide a quiet ride. The windshield and rear window have a heating element for defrosting. This feature also includes a timer to disable it automatically.

There are intermittent windshield wipers and a washer up front. There's a single intermittent wiper in the rear. The rear window is made from Privacy Glass. This further reduces heat build-up, and like the name suggests, provides some privacy for your backseat passengers.

Both trim levels have projector-beam headlights, front fog lamps and LED daytime-running lights. There are bulb-type combination lights on the back of the EX and LED combination lights on the back of the EX Premium. The two trims also have an Auto-Light Control function for turning the headlights on and off automatically. The door handles and exterior mirrors are painted to match the body color for the EX and EX Premium trims.

These two models of the Niro EV have similar 17-inch alloy wheels. The wheels are designed with an aerodynamic shape to reduce air resistance. This is a common theme in the overall design of the Niro EV. The more efficient a vehicle is, the better, especially with an all-electric vehicle. Both trims have 215/55R17 tires and a tire-mobility kit in case of a flat.

The EX Premium trim level has a power sunroof. This can be opened all the way for an open-air riding experience. It can also be tilted when one just needs some extra air flow inside of the cabin. This trim level also adds a cargo cover. This helps to keep one's precious cargo hidden from view from those outside of the vehicle.

Interior Features Differences

On the inside of the 2022 Kia Niro EV, there's an infotainment system with a massive 10.25-inch touchscreen display. The system has an AM/FM stereo that offers HD Radio® and compatibility with Kia Connect Services and SiriusXM® Radio. There's Bluetooth Technology for music streaming. Voice-Command Technology and an integrated navigation system are available here as well.

There are USB ports for both connections and for charging smartphones and other devices. There's also a wireless charging pad for both trim levels. The Niro EV infotainment system is compatible with the ever-popular Android Auto® and Apple CarPlay® technologies. There's a Harman Kardon® Surround-Sound System with Clar-Fi™ restoration technology for amazing sound. This setup has a total of eight different speakers and a subwoofer for superior bass sounds.

Both trims have audio controls mounted on the steering wheel for easy access. It's also a bit safer to adjust the controls from the steering wheel rather than removing a hand from that wheel. There's a Drive Mode System with ECO and SPORT modes that can be selected via paddles on the steering wheel. This allows drivers to choose from more efficient or more athletic driving modes. The Niro EV also has a 12-volt power outlet and a USB power outlet on the inside.

Both models of the Niro EV have power door locks and windows. The windows also have a One-Touch Auto Up/Down feature. There's a tilt and telescoping steering column that allows for adjusting until one finds the perfect position for the steering wheel. The Niro EV has Push-Button Start and Remote Start which are attached to a Smart Key. A vehicle immobilizer prevents the vehicle from being started without the Smart Key present, which helps to prevent theft.

Both models have Automatic Climate Control to keep everyone comfortable no matter what the weather is like. This system also has a Driver-Only Mode. This channels the air-conditioning at the driver only in order to preserve power. Once again, Kia has built a lot of features into the Niro EV to make it more efficient. This is how they've built an all-electric vehicle with such a high driving range.

The interior offers an automatic defogger to keep the windows clear and to keep visibility good. There's a front center-console with an armrest and some storage space underneath. There's also a rear folding center-armrest with some cup holders. Kia includes two cup holders up front as well. There's a pocket on the back of the driver's seat. The EX Premium adds a second pocket for the front-passenger's seat.

Speaking of the seats, the driver gets a 10-way power seat with 2-way power lumbar adjustments. This is covered with cloth upholstery in the EX trim and SynTex faux-leather upholstery for the EX Premium trim. The front seats are heated. Ventilation for the front seats gets added to the EX Premium models. A heated steering wheel is optional.

There's a 60/40 split-folding rear bench for the backseat passengers. The Niro EV interior has satin-chrome door handles and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The EX Premium trim gets stainless-steel trim for the door-scuff plate. The EX trim has a plastic door-scuff plate. Both trims also offer dual illuminated vanity mirrors in the visors.

Some of the remaining standard features for the interior include an overhead sunglasses holder, dual map lights, a room lamp and a cargo light. All of the interior lights have a delay feature so they stay on as needed and then turn off, usually once the occupants are out of the vehicle. The EX Premium trim level also adds interior ambient lighting. The EX Premium trim level swaps out the interior bulb lights of the EX model for brighter LED lights.

Safety and Driver-Assist Tech Differences

Most of these features are the same when comparing the two trim levels. There are two advanced airbags up front. Sensors detect whether or not there's a front passenger. They also monitor the severity of the crash and adjust the inflation level of the airbags accordingly. The driver and front passenger also get seat-mounted, side-impact airbags. There's an airbag to protect the driver's knees and a side-curtain airbag to protect passengers in both rows.

An Electronic Stability-Control System improves directional stability by monitoring key vehicle systems and making adjustments as needed. Braking can be done to individual wheels and engine power can be reduced when needed in order to keep the vehicle headed on its intended path. The Niro EV also has an advanced Traction-Control System that can detect wheel spin. It also regulates braking and engine power in order to increase traction and to improve vehicle control.

Both trim levels have a Brake-Assist System and Electronic Brake-Force Distribution. There are child safety locks in the back and a LATCH tether system for child safety seats. A Tire-Pressure Monitor gives a warning on the instrument cluster to let the driver know when a specific tire or tires are too low. There are three-point seat belts at every position and pretensioners for the front seat belts.

Hill-Start Assist Control helps out when the car is sitting on a steep grade. Highway-Driving Assist can adjust cruising speed automatically to match the speed-limits in certain areas. Forward-Collision Avoidance applies brakes automatically and gives the driver a warning to prevent accidents. Both trim levels also get a Blind-Spot Warning, Lane-Keeping Assist and a Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning.

The EX Premium trim gets an additional Reverse-Parking Distance Alert to warn the driver when the vehicle gets too close to another object. Other than this, there are no major differences in the safety and driver-assist tech when it comes to these two trim levels.

Which Trim to Choose?

The 2022 Kia Niro EV is an amazing subcompact crossover SUV. It succeeds in every area that matters for this class of vehicles. Add on the all-electric power with an incredible range, and you have something truly special with the Niro EV. There are only two trim levels here, so making a selection shouldn't be too hard.

The price increase for the EX Premium may not be worth it for some buyers. There really aren't that many additional features, and the base model comes loaded already. The EX base trim is simply a great bargain and has plenty of bells and whistles that will please the majority of buyers.

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