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2018 Kia Niro LX Road Test Review & Information

2018 Kia Niro LX SUV – What a delightful surprise!

Who knew there were so many gray cars and suvs in Los Angeles? Our 2018 Niro Graphite Edition test car made me keenly aware of all the gray and silver cars on the road. Turns out, research shows, that grays and silvers are the most popular color car in the U.S.

New for 2018, the Kia Niro LX SUV is small and slender, easy entry and exit for the driver as well as for parking. With all the basic creature comforts at hand, the Niro wasn’t fancy but it was fruitful in all ways that mattered, a delightful surprise from Kia.

I was impressed by its style and amenities for the price range. It also felt perfect for someone my size for day-to-day doings. It's somewhat of a petite SUV compared to road monster SUVs that dominate the highways and byways. I actually prefer a smaller SUV, no climbing up to get into a seat, or needing a step stool. It's size made it easy to maneuver to get into and out of tight spots. Yet inside, roomy enough for all my needs and stuff. The Niro is a compact SUV that inspired a sense of safety and security while testing it in LA's testy traffic.

2018 Kia NiroTopping the quality charts earning a J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) award and J.D. Power’s 2017 Initial Quality Study (IQS)1 accolade in the Small SUV category, Niro carries over into the 2018 model year with minor packaging enhancements.  New for 2018 is the limited-production Niro Graphite Edition, which features exclusive Platinum Graphite exterior paint color, unique 18-inch gloss black wheels, black roof rails, metallic grille insert, Harman Kardon premium audio2 with subwoofer, 8-inch touchscreen navigation3 and a 10-way power driver’s seat.

Meanwhile, the Niro Touring now comes standard with HID headlights, a wireless phone charger4 and a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Features.5

Trim Levels/Pricing6 – MSRP (excludes $940 destination)
  • FE:
  • LX:
  • EX:  
  • Touring:
  • FE:
1.6L Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)
  • LX:
1.6L Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)
  • EX:  
1.6L Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)
  • Touring:
1.6L Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)
Fuel Economy – EPA-est. MPG: (city/highway/combined)7
  • FE:
  • LX:
  • EX:  
  • Touring:     
Available Driver Assistance Features5
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection:
    • Std: Touring; Opt:  LX, EX
  • Forward Collision Warning System:
    • Std:  Touring; Opt: LX, EX
  • Lane Keep Assist:
    • Std: Touring; Opt: LX, EX
  • Smart Cruise Control:  
    • Std: Touring; Opt: LX, EX
  • Blind Spot Detection with Lange Change Assist:
    • Std: EX,  Touring
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert:
    • Std: EX, Touring
Dimensions: (in.)  
  • Overall Length:
171.5 in.
  • Overall Width:
71.1 in.
  • Overall Height:
60.4 in. (w/o roof rails)/ 60.8 in. (w/roof rails)
  • Wheelbase:
106.3 in.
  • Cargo Capacity:
19.4 cu. ft. (back seat up)/ 54.5 cu. ft. (back seat down)

1. The Kia Niro received the lowest number of problems per 100 vehicles reflecting higher quality among small SUVs in the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Initial Quality Study based on 77,419 total responses, evaluating 189 models, and measures the opinions of new 2017 vehicle owners after 90 days of ownership, surveyed in February-May 2017. Your experiences may vary. Visit

2. Harmon/Kardon is a registered trademark of Harman International Industries, Inc.

3. Distracted driving can result in a loss of vehicle control. When operating a vehicle, never use a vehicle system that takes your focus away from safe vehicle operation. Navigation is for information purposes only, and Kia does not make any warranties about the accuracy of the information.

4. Charging system only works with select devices. Refer to the vehicle's Owner's Manual for warnings and instructions.

5. These systems are not substitutes for proper and safe driving, parking, and/or backing-up procedures. Always drive safely and use caution. These systems may not detect every object behind or alongside the vehicle or in the vehicle’s blindspot or direction of travel.

6. MSRP excludes destination and handling, taxes, title, license fees, options and retailer charges.  Actual prices set by retailer and may vary.

7. Based on EPA estimates.  Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and your vehicle’s condition.

Our Niro LX test model had a price tag of $24,095 and had combined of 49MPG. Greenhouse rating 10!