The Kia Niro LX Wagon 4D is the base model for the Kia Niro, and for a lower-level trim, it packs in a lot of standard features. In fact, you might be surprised by how much you can get on a gently used 2018 Kia Niro LX. It adds a little bit more than what you get on the highly fuel-efficient base FE trim level, but it still retains a great fuel economy.
This vehicle is actually classified as a hybrid SUV, even though it is done in the hatchback design. You would not guess from its exterior that it is a hybrid vehicle, though. It looks much more athletic and SUV-esque than hybrids in its segment, but it does lack some ground clearance. It does, however, perform better than some competitors. With its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, the Niro can outrun a Toyota Prius and just about match its fuel economy at 50 mpg combined.
The cargo area is smaller than some competitors. There is 19.4 cubic feet of cargo space available with the rear seats left in place. When these 60/40 split-folding seats are folded down, the amount of space maxes out at 54.5 cubic feet. These are decent figures for a car of its class. However, the seats do fold down totally flat, and there is optional underfloor storage that creates more utility for the cargo area.
Overall, the Kia Niro LX is a peppy little hatchback with a hybrid’s solid fuel economy. While cargo space might be limited, the amount of features you get on this lower-level trim makes up for it. The following is a deeper look into what these features are and why they make the Niro LX wagon a smart choice.
Each Niro LX is powered by a standard 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that gets matched up with a hybrid powertrain. The engine generates 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque that gets sent via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) to the front wheels.
Eco mode is the driving mode that saves the most on fuel. Sport mode is a lot spunkier and helps the Niro LX sprint to 60 mph faster than competitors like the Prius. It delivers a lot of low-end torque when you need it, and the DCT is quick to shift between gears in this mode.
You will not notice when the brakes switch over from the regenerative brakes to the regular ones. The steering system comes across as being responsive to your inputs, and the vehicle is able to remain planted while rounding through turns. Its battery placement puts weight lower on the vehicle than in some of its competitors, which helps create this feeling of being grounded.
Comfort and Convenience Features
Creature comforts inside of the LX build upon what you get in the base FE trim. On the outside, you get xenon headlights and 16-inch alloy wheels, but the interior has a lot more interesting features. In addition to dual-zone automatic climate control, the LX comes with keyless entry and ignition, an underfloor cargo area storage space, and a rear center armrest.
After 2017, Kia moved away from the stand-alone features and instead began offering the Advanced Technology package on the LX trim. This equips the Niro LX with forward collision warning, pedestrian detection on the automatic emergency braking system, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights, and leather wrapping on the gearshift knob and steering wheel.
Bear in mind that, as of 2020, the LX became the Niro’s base trim. Its features are mostly the same, ranging from an 8-inch touch screen with smartphone app integration to roof rails on top of the vehicle.
The LX receives standard smartphone app integration through both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This makes it easy to sync your smartphone up to the infotainment system and use your preferred apps, including navigation and music players.
The 7-inch touch screen on the 2018 LX nicely shows everything on the screen in a neat and orderly fashion. There is little guesswork involved in how to use Kia’s infotainment system as the interface is user-friendly. Despite the Uvo system needing some updates to make it more current-gen, it is totally functional.
Along with that, the Niro LX offers a standard four-speaker sound system. It is not terribly impressive, but there is an optional Harman Kardon sound system available on higher trims that music lovers will be more enthusiastic about.
Safety features aren’t as plentiful as standard features on the Niro LX as they are on some of its competitors. You might find yourself opting for the Advanced Technology package in order to get the most out of what Kia has to offer. On the LX, this addition feels almost necessary.
Forward collision warning works well at detecting potential front-end crashes and helping mitigate away from them. You won’t deal with too many false warnings from it, either. Smart Cruise Control (which is Kia’s term for adaptive cruise control) will keep a reasonable distance between the LX and the vehicle in front of it, but it will only bring the car to a stop for a moment before giving you back control.
The addition of the front fog lights and LED daytime running lights is helpful, though. These give you better visibility on days when fog or clouds make the atmosphere gray and harder for drivers to detect one another without their lights on. And, since they are automatic, the headlights can switch themselves on when they are needed.
The Kia Niro LX’s highlight is its strong fuel efficiency. The 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain works particularly well at generating a good return on fuel. Expect to get around 49-50 mpg combined, with 51 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway. If you should opt away from the LX and go up to the Touring, Touring Special, or EX Premium trim, you will lose a little bit of fuel efficiency. However, your miles per gallon will only slightly drop, allowing the Niro to remain one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles out there regardless of trim level.
On the plug-in variant of the LX, you can expect to get a combined 46 mpg. However, the bonus here is that you can make about 239 miles on a pure electric charge before the gas engine kicks in. Right now, that is a competitive number for a PHEV and makes the LX PHEV one worth looking into.
For under $20,000, a gently used 2018 Kira Niro LX Wagon 4D vehicle is a respectable investment. This vehicle is meant for those wanting to save on fuel and who do not care for anything super-sporty. With its impressive fuel economy and a decent list of features, the Kia Niro LX gives you some bang for your buck.