Plug-in Hybrid Comparison: 2022 Kia Niro PHEV vs 2022 Ford Escape PHEV – Kelley Blue Book

Getting an electrified SUV doesn’t have to break the bank. There are a growing number of small plug-in hybrid SUVs on the market at an affordable price. These vehicles can operate as an electric car for the first 30 kilometers or so after a full charge, then effectively transform into an efficient gasoline-electric hybrid.

The price figures below are before any federal or state tax incentives take effect. Depending on where you live, these SUVs could be even more affordable once incentives are factored in.

2022 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

The Kia Niro PHEV is a safe bet in plug-in crossovers thanks to its reasonable starting price and efficient powertrain. Even when it’s not running purely on electricity, this Kia is super efficient. Pricing starts at $29,590. See listings near you.

Highlights of the Kia Niro PHEV

More affordable: The Kia Niro PHEV has a lower starting price than the Ford Escape PHEV by around $5,000. Even the fully loaded EX Premium version is only slightly more expensive than the base Ford SE version. Part of the reason for the price difference is that the Niro is a smaller SUV, but that makes it good value if it has enough space for you.

More efficient: The Niro PHEV and the Escape PHEV have the exact same MPGe rating when fully charged. However, when the full charge is depleted, the Niro is more efficient. It gets a combined 46 mpg in gas-electric hybrid mode, while the Ford gets 40 mpg.

Exceptional guarantee: The Kia warranty beats the Ford warranty. The Niro PHEV has a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile base warranty. By comparison, the Escape PHEV has a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 3-year/36,000-mile base warranty, but it also has an 8-year/ 100,000 miles on all hybrid components.

2022 Ford Escape plug-in hybrid

2022 Ford Escape PHEV in White.

The Ford Escape PHEV is a practical compact SUV with an efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain. It’s bigger and more expensive than the Niro PHEV, but it’s more affordable than the Toyota RAV4 Prime. Pricing starts at $35,455. See listings near you.

Ford Escape PHEV Highlights

More space: Since the Ford Escape PHEV is a larger SUV than the Kia Niro PHEV, it offers more space for passengers and cargo. The Ford has more rear legroom and a lot more cargo space. There’s 34.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats in the Escape, compared to 19.4 cubic feet in the Niro.

Longer electrical autonomy: The Escape is the winner of these two electric ranges. The Escape PHEV has an all-electric range of 38 miles before the gas engine has to join in the fun, and the Niro PHEV has an all-electric range of 26 miles.

Best performance: The Niro PHEV is a bit cramped, while the Escape PHEV offers fairly fast performance for a compact SUV. Its hybrid powertrain makes a total of 221 horsepower compared to the Niro’s 139 horsepower. The Escape has quick acceleration and plenty of passing power on the highway.


Plug-in hybrid powertrain, front-wheel drive, standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay


The Kia Niro PHEV is the value choice between these two, thanks to its lower starting price and lower annual fuel costs. However, the Escape PHEV has a lot going for it, such as better performance, more interior space and longer electric range while maintaining a reasonable price. Which one is right for you depends on your priorities and budget.

2022 Kia Niro PHEV 2022 Ford Escape PHEV
Starting price $29,590 $35,455
Engine 1.6 liter PHEV I4 2.5 liter PHEV I4
Powerful 139 hp at 5,700 rpm 221 hp at 6,250 rpm
Couple 195 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm 155 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic Automatic CVT
fuel economy 46 mpg, 105 MPGe 40 mpg, 105 MPGe
Electric range 26 miles 38 miles
Total range 560 miles 520 miles
Transmission YOUR YOUR
Basic warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles (8 years/100,000 miles on hybrid components)
NHTSA Global Safety Unclassified Unclassified
Maximum seating capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 106.7 inches
Total length 171.5 inches 180.5 inches
Lenght 71.1 inches 74.1 inches
Height 60.8 inches 65.9 inches
Turning diameter 34.8 feet 39.0 feet
Headroom, front 40.1 inches 40.0 inches
Headroom, rear 39.1 inches 39.3 inches
Leg room, front 41.7 inches 42.4 inches
Leg room, rear 37.4 inches 38.9 inches
Shoulder room, front 56.0 inches 57.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.2 inches 56.0 inches
Cargo volume 19.4/54.5 cubic feet 34.4/60.8 cubic feet

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