The hybrid gets some mild updates before the all-new 2022 Niro arrives.

The Kia Niro is set to be heavily revised for the 2022 model year and will look very different from the current model, but in the meantime, Kia isn’t making the “old” version difficult to live with. In fact, the hybrid crossover is being offered at some really good prices, making it more affordable than ever. But a discount isn’t all that Kia is offering. For the 2021 model year, some updates make their way to the hybrid and plug-in hybrid models with “improvements in technology and enhanced customer convenience.” So, let’s see what’s new and if it’s worth waiting for the 2022 version or not.

Front-End ViewKia

Rearward VisionKia

First up is the standard inclusion of rear occupant alert. In addition, models with the base eight-inch infotainment display now feature wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto instead of the formerly fitted wired systems. Vehicles with Kias Smart Key also now get remote engine start, which is great considering the freaky weather conditions we’ve been seeing in some parts of the country. Another upgrade is that models fitted with navigation now get MapCare with 10 years of complimentary map updates. Finally, the DriveWise advanced driver aid suite now includes navigation-based Smart Cruise Control and Curve. Obviously, this only applies to models with nav and smart cruise control already.


2018-2020 Kia Niro Hybrid Fuel Tank Cap OpenKia

Overall, while changes aren’t all that big, they are certainly practical. Does this mean that the Kia Niro is now one of the best subcompact SUV offerings out there? We like to think so, but by the same token, we don’t blame you if you opt to hold out for the new version. We expect that 2022’s model will feature all of the above upgrades and much more, and with the Niro set to fall more in line with the Korean marque’s current design language, you can expect the next Niro to be one striking machine. If you don’t care about all that, the current Niro is better than ever. The 2021 Kia Niro will start at $24,690 for the hybrid LX and $29,590 for the plug-in hybrid LXS.