2022 Kia Niro EV adds standard tech as EV6 waits in the wings

Kia has priced up its most affordable all-electric car, and while the 2022 Niro EV may not be as striking as the EV6, it's likely to be a whole lot more attainable. Packing 239 miles of EPA-estimated range, the newest iteration of the Niro EV keeps the compact hatchback style but throws in more tech for the cabin.

Pricing, though, has crept up a little as a result. The 2022 Niro EV EX trim will start at $39,990 (plus $1,175 destination), while the EX Premium trim starts at $44,650 (plus destination).

That's before the US federal tax incentive – of which the Niro EV is eligible for up to $7,500 – though still $900 more than the 2021 Niro EV EX. Pricing for the EX Premium remains the same.

In return, you now get the 10.25-inch touchscreen on the dashboard as standard on both trims, rather than needing to step up to the EX Premium. The old EX had an 8-inch touchscreen instead. The Harmon Kardon audio system is also standard on both trims now, too, along with SiriusXM and Kia's UVO link system.

Each EV uses a single, 201 horsepower motor, rated for 291 lb-ft of torque. The drivetrain is rated for 105 MPGe on the EPA combined cycle. Both trims get forward collision warnings, forward collision avoidance assistance including pedestrian and cyclist awareness, blindspot warnings and rear cross-traffic alerts, lane keep assistance and departure warnings, lane follow-assist, adaptive cruise control, and navigation-based Smart Cruise Control.

There's also Kia's Highway Driving Assist package, high-beam assist, and drive attention warnings. Indeed, the only thing you'll need to step up to the EX Premium for on the safety features list are the rear parking sensors.

Those who need – or just want – all-wheel drive are still out of luck, unfortunately. For that, you'll have to wait for the imminent arrival of the Kia EV6, which is an altogether larger (and more powerful) EV. However for affordability, it's hard to find fault with Kia's smaller electric model. Lease deals on the 2021 Niro EV EX started from just $248 per month, for example, making it one of the cheapest ways to get inside a brand new all-electric car in the US at the moment.

For those not quite ready to ween themselves off gasoline entirely, Kia also has a new 2022 Niro Hybrid. Announced earlier this month, it's considerably cheaper than the Niro EV, and pairs a 1.6-liter gas engine with a small electric motor. It's not a plug-in hybrid, though fuel economy gets a bump up thanks to the efforts of the electrification.