LA Auto Show 2019

Refreshed 2020 Kia Niro gets exterior enhancements, high-tech additions

Kia has updated the Niro Hybrid and Niro PHEV for the 2020 model year.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

It feels like the Kia Niro was just introduced but here we are at mid cycle refresh. The enhanced 2020 Kia Niro Hybrid and PHEV see the addition of key exterior equipment and technology to help it competitive in the tough SUV market as more hybrids make their way to the market.

"It's difficult to improve on a winning formula," said Michael Cole, president, KMA, "but we're always striving to improve every product we sell and the enhanced 2020 Niro provides new owners the latest and greatest while retaining the value, utility and performance of the original Niro."

2020 Kia Niro Hybrid 2020 Kia Niro PHEV front face wheels lights Kia has given the Niro new headlights and grille.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Niro now features projector-type headlights and fog lamps. A new diamond-pattern grille brings its looks in line with the freshest Kia models. There are dual chevron-shaped LED daytime running lights.

The rear faux skid plate is wider and more pronounced in the 2020 model versus the 2019. Kia has added new 16- and 18-inch wheel designs.

2020 Kia Niro Hybrid 2020 Kia Niro PHEV back rear tailgate The back of the Niro features a faux skid plate.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The powertrain in unchanged. The 2020 Kia Niro Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor that work in tandem to get 50 mpg in the FE trim and 43 mpg in the Touring trim. The Niro PHEV is powered by the same engine and motor but also has a lithium-ion battery. The model achieves 105 MPGe. It has 26 miles of all-electric range.

2020 Kia Niro Hybrid 2020 Kia Niro PHEV dashboard screen wheel shifter The Kia Niro has a new standard 7-inch infotainment screen.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has given the cabin of the Niro a more significant upgrade with a new 7-inch instrument cluster with drive mode graphics. An 8-inch infotainment touch screen is standard but buyers can choose to upgrade to a 10.25-inch screen. There's also an available Harman Kardon premium audio system.

Drivers can utilize new optional paddle shifters. An electronic parking brake and mood lighting with six different colors are available.

2020 Kia Niro Hybrid 2020 Kia Niro PHEV paddle shifters Paddle shifters are available.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Pricing for the Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-In have not yet available and will be announced closer to the on-sale date early in 2020. The 2019 Niro Hybrid started in the low $20,000s. The 2019 Niro Plug-In is priced closer to $30,000.

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New performance SUV

Hyundai announces pricing for 2022 Kona N

The Kona N is price right at $35,425.


Hyundai is hard at work developing new electric vehicles, and has released some truly interesting electric concepts in recent months. However, the automaker’s efforts in the electric world haven’t stopped it from rolling out fun-to-drive and affordable performance vehicles under its N brand. Today, Hyundai announced pricing for the latest vehicle in the series. The Kona N will go on sale soon with a reasonable starting price of $35,425, which includes a $1,225 destination charge.

2022 Hyundai Kona N One well-equipped model will be available.Hyundai

The Kona N joins Hyundai’s high-performance stable that also includes the Veloster N and Elantra N, though the latter hasn’t yet hit the streets. The hot crossover gets the same output numbers from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as the Elantra N: 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. The Veloster gets 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. That rowdy four-banger is paired with an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.

Hyundai’s full-on N cars get plenty of other go-fast bits to keep them planted in corners and stable at higher speeds. The Kona N gets an electronic limited-slip differential, an active sport exhaust system, electronically controlled suspension, and 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P-Zero performance tires.

2022 Hyundai Kona N Aggressive wheels and tires help keep the Kona N planted in corners.Hyundai

Hyundai generally knocks it out of the park with value, and the Kona N is no exception. Its modest price tag buys a generous helping of advanced driver aids in addition to its exciting specs. Standard features include forward collision warnings, lane keep assist, lane following assist, driver attention warnings, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and a safe exit warning system.

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Updated compact SUV

2022 Nissan Rogue gets new VC Turbo engine

The Rogue was fully redesigned last year.


Nissan refreshed its best-selling vehicle, the Rogue SUV, in 2021 with a grown-up new look and plenty of new tech. Changes the year after a major overhaul are usually minor, but for 2022 Nissan's giving the Rogue a new powertrain. A brand-new 1.5-liter variable compression (VC) Turbo engine is on board, producing 201 horsepower and 225 pound-feet of torque.

2022 Nissan Rogue The new VC engine can change its compression to adapt to driving conditions.Nissan

Power is up 11 percent and torque is up a staggering 24 percent with the new power plant. The variable compression engine is capable of adapting to changing driving conditions. When the driver needs more power, the engine shifts to higher compression, which delivers better acceleration at the expense of fuel economy. When efficiency is best, the engine changes its compression again. The VC engines made their debut in 2019 in both the Infiniti QX50 and Nissan Altima. It's trick engine technology, but it doesn't always deliver on its promise of efficiency gains. Nissan's continuously variable transmission is still in place, though it has been improved with 17 percent wider gear ratio coverage and 32 percent lower friction. The automaker says it helps deliver better acceleration and fuel economy.

2022 Nissan Rogue Top Rogue trims get upscale finishes and a handsome cabin.Nissan

Pricing for the 2022 Rogue S FWD starts at $27,875, including a $1,175 destination charge. Adding all-wheel drive pushes the price by $1,500. Nissan offers three packages for the SUV as well, including a $2,660 SV Premium Package, a $1,320 SL Premium Package, and a $400 10.8-inch head-up display for the top Platinum trim.

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