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2022 Kia Niro Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Kia Niro Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: LX vs LXS vs Special Edition, Touring, EX and Premium

Compare the 2022 Kia Niro Trims - LX vs LXS vs Special Edition, Touring, EX and Premium. What is the difference between them?

Hybrid vehicles have received mixed reactions since first coming on the scene. Some people see them as a way to save money and the environment, while others see them as weak and not worth their time. Naturally, some hybrids perform better than others.

The 2022 Kia Niro is actually available in three different versions. Buyers can go for a traditional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, or an all-electric version of this vehicle. Depending on who you ask, the Niro either looks like a big hatchback or a small crossover SUV. In either case, the size and fuel efficiency make it a smart buy for a variety of drivers, if they can pick the right version for their needs.

There are six different trim levels available, although not all trims can be paired with all powertrain setups. That fact, combined with the different features offered by each trim, can make it difficult for drivers to know where to invest their money. The LX may have everything they really need, or they may need to go all the way up to the EX Premium to be happy. Of course, there are several enticing options found in between the extremes.

This guide will simplify the 2022 Kia Niro selection process by detailing the differences between the models.

Price Tip
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Compare the LX vs. LXS Trims. What is the difference?

The LX trim level can only be had with the hybrid powertrain. A 1.6L four-cylinder combines with what Kia refers to as a "full parallel hybrid system" to create 139-horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. This can get drivers an impressive 53mpg in the city and 48mpg on the highway. The Niro comes standard with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and front-wheel drive. While no one would enter this vehicle in any races, it moves around town decently quickly.

Buyers can only choose from five paint colors if they stick with the LX. Most options are relatively safe, such as Snow White Pearl and Steel Gray, but drivers can opt for Runway Red if they really want to make an entrance. There is a gloss black radiator grille that features chrome trim to help the Niro LX get noticed as well. This entry-level trim is home to power-adjustable side mirrors and a rear spoiler. Rounding out the exterior highlights are roof rails and rear privacy glass.

Inside, the LX is running the Kia Connect infotainment system on an 8-inch touchscreen. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both included, along with Bluetooth. There is a six-speaker audio system for drivers to enjoy their favorite radio station on. The upholstery is cloth, and the rear seat has a split-folding function for added versatility. Dual-zone automatic climate control is also equipped on this base model. It has the option of going with "driver only mode" for solo trips.

All models of the 2022 Niro, including the entry-level LX, are pretty impressive when it comes to cargo space. This crossover has nearly 20 cubic feet behind the second row of seating. The total cargo capacity is 54.4 cubic feet if the front seats are folded down. According to Kia, there are 120 cubic feet of interior space total.

Unfortunately, the LX is lacking when it comes to safety features. There is a tire pressure monitoring system, along with a hill start assist. The standard rearview camera system features dynamic guidelines, which can genuinely help when trying to back into a tight parking space. None of the advanced driver aids that are becoming so popular are even available for the Niro LX.

Going with the LXS will open up the possibility of going with the plug-in hybrid powertrain. This setup also creates 139-horsepower, but it can get up to 102MPGe combined when operating in all-electric mode. When in hybrid mode, the PHEV powertrain can get 46mpg combined.

Interestingly, the standard hybrid version of the LXS is not as efficient as the LX. It is estimated to do 51mpg in the city and 46mpg on the highway. Buyers may or may not care about the loss of 2mpg when they look at the features added by the LXS, however.

The interior of the LXS benefits from a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel. There is additional storage located in a compartment under the cargo area, and the backseat gains a center armrest and extra cupholders. Proximity keyless entry and push-button start are also features added by the LXS. Remote engine start is yet another way this trim level upgrades the sophistication of the Niro. The LXS is available in the same five colors that the LX is, plus Solar Orange.

For many drivers, the most important upgrade for the LXS will be the safety features. This model gets automatic high beams, a driver attention warning, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot collision warning, and lane-keeping assist. The 2022 Niro LXS is also equipped with a forward-collision mitigation system that can help prevent accidents by stepping in and applying the brakes when the driver does not react in time. Included in the system is pedestrian detection.

Compare the LXS vs. LXS Special Edition. What is the difference?

The LXS Special Edition is another option that is only available for the standard hybrid version of the 2022 Niro. It is very similar to the LXS, but it does add a few important touches. The upholstery is a cloth and leather combination, for example, and a sunroof becomes standard.

Power adjustment is added for the driver's seat when buyers go with the LXS Special Edition. The cabin is also home to ambient interior lighting for a more luxurious and high-tech look. Rear parking sensors are the only safety feature that is added by this trim.

Overall, the LXS Special Edition costs about $1,500 more than a hybrid LXS. It is actually $2,000 less than the LXS with the plug-in hybrid powertrain, however.

Compare the LXS Special Edition vs. Touring Special Edition. What is the difference?

Once again, the Touring Special Edition is only available with the hybrid powertrain. This model gets the worst fuel economy estimates for the 2022 Niro. Buyers can expect 46mpg in the city and 40mpg highway, which is significantly less than what the entry-level LX can do.

Exterior upgrades found here are things like 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, and power-folding heated side mirrors. This trim level shows off satin black roof rails. The Touring Special Edition can be had in stunning Horizon Blue, which is a color that is exclusive to this upper trim level.

Going with the Touring Special Edition will also mean upgrading to a 10.25-inch touchscreen. The infotainment system gains integrated navigation, along with both HD and satellite radio. Drivers can use their voice to control the navigation system so that their eyes can stay on the road and their hands can stay on the wheel. On the downside, the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features lose their wireless feature.

An eight-speaker audio system including an integrated subwoofer is another upgrade made for the Touring Special Edition. A wireless charging pad is also thrown in for upping convenience and sophistication. The upholstery is synthetic leather and the rear passengers get their own air vents to help everyone stay cozier as the weather changes. Choosing this variation of the 2022 Niro will mean getting steering-wheel-mounted controls for the audio, cruise, and phone functions of the vehicle.

The forward-collision mitigation system gains cyclist detection along with the pedestrian detection that the lower trims have. Adaptive cruise control for driving around town is also added, along with Kia's highway driving assist program. That last feature combines lane-keeping with speed control to significantly reduce the strain on the driver while cruising down the highway. It also keeps the Niro at a set distance behind the vehicle ahead, similar to adaptive cruise control.

Compare the Touring Special Edition vs. EX Trims. What is the difference?

The EX trim level is available as a plug-in hybrid. It is also the first trim level that can be had as a pure electric vehicle. It creates 201-horsepower and works with a single-speed automatic transmission. Thanks to the extra horsepower, the electric Niro feels a bit more satisfying to drive. It is estimated to get 112MPGe combined.

Buyers will need to be prepared to pay a lot more if they want the electric Niro, however. With the plug-in hybrid, this trim level starts at about $33,390. Pure electric models start at $39,000.

Underneath the EX trim level are 17-inch alloy wheels. It has very similar equipment to the Touring Special Edition, but it also adds heated front seats.

Compare the EX vs. EX Premium Trims. What is the difference?

The top trim level for the 2022 Niro is the EX Premium. This trim level is the only one that is available with all three of the powertrain options, and it comes with 16-inch alloy wheels. There are a few significant upgrades to be found on the inside of the EX Premium as well.

This is the only version of the 2022 Niro to come with a heated steering wheel. The front seats are heated as well as ventilated, keeping the vehicle comfortable no matter what the weather does. A cargo cover, which is optional on all other trim levels, comes standard when buyers go all the way up to the EX Premium trim level.

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

The middle of the trim level list is where buyers will want to do their shopping. Lower trim levels are missing a few key convenience features, and upper trim levels get expensive without adding enough to back up the price jump. Buyers will also have to think about the proper powertrain for their driving style.

Plug-in hybrid and electric models of the 2022 Niro cost thousands of dollars more than the typical hybrid. Electric models are particularly pricey. If buyers are specifically seeking those types of vehicles, they will want to look at the EX trim level. It is well-equipped and includes extras like wireless device charging. On the other hand, most drivers will find that the standard hybrid is efficient enough to save them quite a bit of money at the pumps.

If buyers are satisfied with the hybrid, they will want to choose the LXS Special Edition. This is a trim level that comes with things like a sunroof and a power-adjustable driver's seat, but it does not break the bank. It is a more than capable daily driver for single drivers as well as smaller families. The Touring Special Edition is taken out of the running by the fact that its fuel economy is lower than the other trims.

The 2022 Kia Niro LXS Special Edition is a strong option for those seeking a versatile and capable hybrid vehicle that combines efficiency with fun.

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