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A Year with the 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid Touring Model – Real Talk

In today’s media landscape it’s difficult to get the full story of a product from a consumer’s standpoint. Often times, blog reviews are made of short, if not one-time experiences. That’s why I’m really excited to share with you my Kia Niro Hybrid Touring model review after having one for nearly a full year. I even had two different colors! I started the first half of my year with a red Niro and finished the year with the blue. My favorite color is the blue, but my favorite interior was in the red. 




Kia Niro Hybrid


As a proud owner of a Kia Sorento and an honest supporter of the Kia brand, I’m happy to share my authentic Kia Niro Hybrid story, a full report on what it’s like driving this car, and how it has suited our lifestyle. I was loaned a Niro Hybrid Touring model this year. In fact, I was loaned two different colors of the same car for photographic purposes. I also had the chance to attend the Kia Niro launch program in San Antonio where I first drove the car. So, I’ll share with you my opinions as I would my own friends and family. But first, I’d like to tell you a little bit about my lifestyle.


My Lifestyle – Atlanta Based Blogger, Mom, Homeschooler and Work-from-home Lady Boss


I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t live an ordinary life. I might be flying off to a press event one day, then grocery shopping the next. But I’m just as busy, if not busier than the next person. My son and I moved to the Atlanta area in 2016 to pursue affordability. I wanted to lower my cost of living because saving as much money as I can is important to me. As a single mom (and by single I mean unmarried, I do have a partner) who runs her own business, saving is everything. This is why driving a car that runs on both electric and fuel is a game changer.


Kia Niro Hybrid
Noreen was ready for spring and so was the Niro!


On a typical day, I homeschool my son, work from home and run errands in the afternoon/evenings. Or, I’m braving Atlanta rush hour traffic to get to the airport for a work-related business trip. Sometimes, we just load up the car with our bags and the dog and hit the road to explore our new state taking spontaneous day trips from Atlanta.


The Places We Go


Kia Niro Hybrid


I’m always testing the performance of the Kia Niro Hybrid. I’ve taken it through pouring rain, snow and pure sunshine. It’s seen everything from country roads to gridlock, mountain vistas and cityscapes. Over the year, the Niro has become an inanimate family member. It’s been there for a lot of things, like taking my son to his first day of homeschool co-op, life lessons in bullying and countless adventures.


Kia Niro Hybrid


I’ve experienced safety beyond my imagination, fuel economy like I’ve never had before, a hands-free cabin experience, adventurous yet upscale style, more space than meets the eye, exceptional sound, and reliable on-the-road performance.


Let’s talk about those things, shall we?


What I Find Most Impressive About the Kia Niro Hybrid Touring Model


Kia Niro Hybrid


It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing that impresses me about the Niro Hybrid. I’ll admit I come from having an SUV over the last ten years. I’ve never really looked at crossover vehicles, and I honestly didn’t think I could ever afford a hybrid. But when I was delivered the Niro Hybrid Touring model, I realized that was all about to change.


This fully-loaded crossover with an EPA-est. of 50 mpg was an instant crush. And with its added Advanced Technology Package, came with a price tag of $32,445 suggested retail. So I guess it’s safe to say the thing that impresses me the most about this car is everything you get for under 33k.


Safety beyond my imagination


Each year I get more and more confident about my son driving when he is of age. With the safety features that Kia offers, I’ve decided that buying him a new car is smarter than handing down an old one. Simply because I want him in the safest car possible. Considering what the Niro has now, I can only imagine what it will have in seven years when he’s driving. The Kia Niro Hybrid Touring model that I have came standard with:


  • Dual Front Advanced Airbags & Driver’s Knee Airbag
  • Dual Front Seat Side-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Full-Length Side Curtain Airbags
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) helps reduce skidding
  • Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) helps keep my car in place as I move off an incline
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) helps improve stability
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) offers increased steering control in harsh road conditions
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)


Extra features on my Niro included an Advanced Technology Package:


  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD) lets me know with visual and auditory signals when there’s an object in my blind spot
  • Lane Change Assist (LCA) adds to Blind Spot Detection by letting me know when there’s a vehicle behind me
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) when I’m in reverse it signals me when there’s cross traffic
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCWS) anticipates and responds automatically by giving me an audible and visual alert of potential hazards in my path
  • Lane Keep Assist (LKA) helps to keep me on course by monitoring my position and applies corrective steering if I start to drift from my lane
  • Park Assist System lets me know with an audible warning when an object is nearby while I’m trying to park
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDWS) lets me know when I’m leaving my lane if I don’t have my signal on
  • Smart Cruise Control (SCC) applies the brakes or gas to help maintain a predetermined distance from the vehicle in front of me


Fuel economy like I have never had before…LIKE EVER


Most of the fancy wording on product sheets go beyond my skillset. When I’m talking about fuel economy I want to know how much I put in the tank, and how long until I have to put more in the tank. Plain and simple. I also want to know how many miles a tank is going to give me so I can figure out fuel costs on road trips. The Niro is full of engineering that makes it save as much on fuel as possible. I can tell you that on average I spend $22 to fill up my tank and it gives me about 500 miles to a tank.


12981 2018 Niro 1


I can also tell you that I made a drive from Atlanta to Orlando on under $30 in fuel. Which is pretty much unheard of to me. I still flip out over it when I say it. How does a car do that?


Kia Niro Hybrid
This was at the Kia Niro press event earlier this year!


Anytime I slow down the Niro is charging itself up. There’s a fancy science behind it (and if you really want to know you can go here). With its hybrid technology, I am using fuel and electricity to power my car. But don’t think for one minute that this means the Niro doesn’t have the street power of a regular car.


Reliable on-the-road performance


Kia Niro Hybrid


I want to give a shout out to left-hand turns. I despise them. I never have confidence when making a left hand turn into traffic. And up until now, I thought the only drivers who could maneuver this with confidence were the ones driving sports cars.


Welcome to Sport Mode, my favorite performance feature in the Kia Niro. One little flick of the wrist gives me all the power I need to get into traffic like a boss. And I love using it on hills and for passing on the interstate too. It makes the Niro fun to drive, something that is missing from other hybrid cars. It even has a dual clutch automatic transmission which means you can shift or be shifted. That is pretty cool if you ask me. Especially in a crossover.


A hands-free cabin experience with advanced technology


Kia Niro Hybrid


The technology in the Kia Niro literally blows my mind. Before I purchased my 2012 Sorento I drove a 2004 Saturn Vue.  I didn’t have LED lights, a rear camera, Bluetooth or a USB connector. When I bought the Sorento I thought I had it all.


I did not. 


Allow me to tell you all the fancy tech features of the Kia Niro Hybrid Touring model:


  • UVO a voice-activated free infotainment system that allows me to send and receive texts, access my favorite apps and connect to my smartphone via Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto™ on a built-in 8” touchscreen display
  • Wirelessly Charge My Smartphone
  • My Car Zone lets me set notifications for speed limits, curfews and notifies me when they are exceeded
  • Multiple Ways to Charge Up I can use USB or standard 12v plugin in the front and back seats



Adventurous yet upscale style both inside and out


There’s nothing wimpy about this car. The designers at Kia have managed to make this crossover look big and bold while keeping it small enough for those pesky parking spaces. And they made magic of the cabin space. That’s why they make the big bucks right!


Kia Niro Hybrid

12978 2018 Niro 1

12980 2018 Niro 1

12979 2018 Niro



There are certain features about this car that give me a luxurious feel like the High-Intensity Discharge projector beam headlights, stylish wheels, door handle lights, seat warmers/coolers, steering warmer, seating position memory and leather seating. And, the technology in the car makes me feel a little bit like night rider I’m not going to lie.


“Okay Google play the theme song to Night Rider.” Literally me all the time.


Running errands has never been this much fun. I feel like every time I get into the Niro I’m going on a little adventure. It’s fun to drive!


Our adventures always fit – with plenty of legroom


Kia Niro Hybrid



At one point this year we had to move. I kid you not I fit an entire cat condo into the Niro. We’ve gone on road trips with a family of three and fit everything in the car without a hitch. And, when we needed it to, the back seat folded completely flat for added cargo space.


Exceptional sound


Every adventure should have its own special score. I have the available Harman/Kardon Premium Sound System in my Niro and let me tell you when that new Taylor Swift song dropped this year, ‘Look What You Made Me Do” so did the bass. I was bumping all the way to the grocery store! Sometimes we get in the car just to listen to music! If you’re a sound geek I recommend you compare them to some of the best car speakers out there (including their other brand JBL). They are incredible and really offer exceptional clarity and sound in the Kia products.


I tell no lies.


Kia Niro Hybrid


Buying a car is not something that should be done with haste. It’s like bringing a new family member into your life. You want a car that’s going to be reliable, affordable and give you the most bang for your buck. Having the Kia brand in my family has given me the opportunity to experience these standards first hand. Not only as an owner but as a consumer. I tested the Kia Niro Hybrid Touring model’s abilities over most of this year. It proved itself, again and again, leaving me to strongly believe that this car is the perfect crossover for singles, couples and small families. Sharing that story with you is important to me. If you have any questions about the Kia Niro Hybrid, feel free to contact me or leave me a comment below.

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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