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2023 Kia Niro Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2023 Kia Niro Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: LX vs EX and EX Touring, SX vs SX Touring

What 2023 Kia Niro Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The 2023 Kia Niro is a subcompact SUV with a hybrid powertrain and exceptional fuel economy. Kia offers a standard hybrid and a plug-in hybrid model for each of the five trim levels. Standard models make 139 horsepower with 195 pound-feet of torque. The plug-ins offer more pep with an increase to 180 horsepower.

All five trims are mechanically the same for the most part. The main differences lie in the available features each gives you. The Niro can get up to 53 mpg (miles-per-gallon) in the city and 54 mpg on the highway. This little SUV has room for five people and up to 63.7 cubic-feet of cargo space. The Niro gets a bold new exterior design for 2023 too.

Here's a look at each of the five trim levels and how they compare with each other. Special attention will be given to the exterior, interior, technology and safety features. Anyone looking for a new subcompact would do well to give the Niro some consideration. This trim-level comparison will hopefully aid potential buyers in choosing the right model.


Compare the Niro LX vs EX Trims. What Is the Difference?

The engine that constitutes part of the hybrid powertrain is a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder. This engine has direct injection, dual overhead cams and 16 valves. It also features continuously-variable valve timing for better efficiency and lower emissions. The transmission Niro's is a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. There are also different driving modes that can be selected for optimal performance in varied situations.

All five trim levels of the 2023 Niro have front-wheel drive. Every one of them gets motor-driven power steering too. This system is mounted directly to the steering column. The front suspension on all models has MacPherson struts and gas shock absorbers. There's an independent multi-link suspension in the rear with a stabilizer bar. All models get 4-wheel disc anti-locking brakes as well.

When comparing the exteriors, the LX and EX trims come with the same 16-inch alloy wheels. Both trim levels get projector-beam headlights and LED taillights. There's also a set of LED daytime running lamps to make the Niro more visible to oncoming traffic. Both trims get a matte-black spoiler and chrome trim around the windows.

The side mirrors are power adjustable on both models but the EX trim adds integrated LED turn signals. The mirrors are heated for easy defrosting on both trims. The front windshield and rear window have defrosting features as well. Only the EX trim comes with rain-sensing windshield wipers and a set of roof rails. Roof rails really come in handy when extra storage space is needed for one's cargo.

On the inside, the LX and EX have a 4.3-inch instrument display. The LX has an 8-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. The EX gets a 10.25-inch touchscreen, a built-in navigation system and Kia Connect services. The infotainment system can sync up with Apple's CarPlay and Android Auto in both trims. Only the LX trim's system is compatible with SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Both vehicles have Bluetooth for music streaming. There are multiple USB ports in both the front and second rows. The sound system features six speakers. The main audio controls are also mounted on the steering wheel for the driver's convenience. The EX trim gets some extras here like a wireless charging pad and Voice Recognition Technology. EX models also offer Push-Button Start, Remote Start and ambient interior lighting.

Both models of the Niro share the same Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control. The EX models have extra rear vents for the A/C. The LX trim offers woven-cloth upholstery and 6-way manual seats in front. The EX trim has SynTex cloth trim and a 10-way power driver's seat with 2-way lumbar support. The EX trim also has heated seats for the driver and front passenger.

When it comes to safety the LX and EX models offer plenty of passive features as well as driver-assist aids. The LX has a Forward-Collision Avoidance-Assist System that can detect cars and pedestrians. The EX trim gets a more advanced version of this technology that can also detect cyclists and turning junctions. Other notable features of the EX trim include Highway Driving Assist and Park-Distance Warning.

The remaining safety features are basically identical when comparing the LX and EX trims. This includes dual front airbags and seat-mounted side airbags. The full-length side-curtain airbags protect the driver and all of the outboard passengers too. An Electronic Stability-Control System and Traction Control provide the driver with excellent control of the vehicle at all times.

The LATCH system for securing child-safety seats is installed on every version of the Niro. The LX and EX both get Rear-View Cameras and a Tire-Pressure Monitor. There's also a Lane-Keeping Assist system with separate Lane-Following Assist and Lane-Departure-Warning features. The Driver-Attention Warning system makes sure the driver is closely observing the road at all times.

Compare the Niro EX vs EX Touring. What Is the Difference?

EX Touring models take everything that's great about the EX trim and then improves upon this. The performance specs are basically identical here. Both trims drive and handle the same too. On the outside, the EX Touring has a unique front bumper design and a chrome skid plate. There's some added satin chrome trim and the rear spoiler now comes in a glossy black finish.

The EX Touring gets a set of 18-inch alloy wheels. These are machine finished and come in glossy black. The exterior mirrors get an added power-folding feature. This model also gets a set of LED fog lamps for better vision in rough weather. Perhaps the best exterior addition here is a power sunroof for the EX Touring.

On the inside, the EX Touring gets alloy sport pedals. The infotainment systems stay basically the same. The same holds true for the audio setup. The EX Touring has some extra LED lighting for the interior. There's also extra LED lighting around the vanity mirrors. The seats and upholstery stay the same here.

It should be noted that every Niro trim has a 60/40 split-folding, rear-seat configuration. These backseats can be folded down to reveal a larger storage space too. The EX Touring trim also has the same safety features as the EX trim level. This trim level is a nice upgrade though there aren't too many major changes.

Compare the Niro EX Touring vs SX Trims. What Is the Difference?

Next up is the SX trim and it shares most of its exterior features with the EX Touring. It gets the same glossy-black and satin-chrome elements. The wheels go back to the smaller 16-inch size for the SX. Both trims get sound-absorbing glass for the windshield, but the SX adds this glass to the front windows as well. One of the biggest additions here is the Smart Power Tailgate for the SX. This tailgate offers programmable customization.

One of the most notable interior features of the SX is its premium audio system. This sound system was crafted by the audio experts of Harman Kardon. It includes a high-powered stereo with seven strategically-placed speakers. The stereo delivers plenty of volume and deep, rich bass sounds. Music lovers will appreciate the realistic surround-sound experience. The infotainment system features from the EX Touring all carry over to the SX trim.

The SX trim provides one-touch function for its power windows. This trim level also gets a useful digital key. This means owners can program their compatible smartphones to carry out all of the functions of a vehicle key. The rear mirror now has auto-dimming capabilities. This feature kicks in automatically to negate glare from the headlights of vehicles behind the Niro. This trim level also provides perforated SynTex seat trim, a heated steering wheel and an integrated memory system for the driver's seat.

The safety features and driver aids mirror each other when comparing these two trim levels. There is only one single addition here for the SX trim level. This is a Park-Distance Warning feature for the front end of the vehicle. Otherwise, this model of the Kia Niro is just as safe as the rest of them.

Compare the Niro SX vs SX Touring. What Is the Difference?

SX Touring represents all of the best of what Kia has to offer for their 2023 Niro. These Niro models provide all of the great features of the SX trim and then some. The exterior features and cosmetic flourishes are mostly the same here. The SX Touring goes back to the larger 18-inch alloy wheels with a machined finish and glossy black color scheme. This trim also swaps out the headlights for LED projector models.

On the inside, the SX Touring gets the same infotainment system as the regular SX version. It also gets the exceptional Harman Kardon audio system. The alloy sport pedals previously only found on the EX Touring models make their return here. In most ways, this trim level is to the SX what the EX Touring was to the EX. It just builds off of and adds a few more perks to its previous trim.

It's not exactly clear why, but this trim level actually has slightly decreased fuel efficiency. Still, it's not different enough to really matter much. The new numbers are 53 mpg in the city, 49 mpg on the highway and a combined rating of 49 mpg. Once again, all of the safety features and driver aids are identical when comparing the two trim levels.


Final Thoughts

Buyers won't be disappointed with any of these available trim levels of the Kia Niro. The fuel efficiency and performance stats will always be roughly equal here. The SX trim level will offer the best overall value for most buyers. It adds desirable features such as a power liftgate, ventilated seats and parking sensors. The premium audio system by Harman Kardon is well worth the extra cost of this trim level.

There's never too large of a jump in price when moving up a trim level. Kia set the starting prices just right here, always tempting you to go one level higher. Still, the differences between the SX and SX Touring are pretty minimal. Save just a bit on costs and stick with the SX trim level. It's a fantastic subcompact SUV that you'll be enjoying for years to come.

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2022 Kia Niro Trim Levels