Plug-in Hybrid Comparison: 2022 Kia Niro PHEV vs. 2022 Ford Escape PHEV

Getting an electrified SUV doesn’t have to break the bank. There’s a growing number of small, plug-in hybrid SUVs on the market at an attainable price point. These vehicles can operate like an electric car for the first 30 or so miles after a full charge, then effectively turn into an efficient gas-electric hybrid.

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

2022 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid

2022 Kia Niro PHEV in blue

The Kia Niro PHEV is a strong value in plug-in crossovers thanks to its reasonable starting price and efficient powertrain. Even when not running on electricity alone, this Kia is super efficient. Pricing starts at $29,590. View listings near you.

Kia Niro PHEV Highlights

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

Outstanding warranty: 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 basic warranty. By comparison, the Escape PHEV has a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, but it also boasts an 8-year/100,000-mile warranty 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 is bigger and more expensive than the Niro PHEV, but it’s more affordable than the Toyota RAV4 Prime. Pricing starts at $35,455. View listings near you.

Ford Escape PHEV Highlights

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

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

Better performance: The Niro PHEV is a bit pokey, while the Escape PHEV delivers pretty zippy performance for a compact SUV. Its hybrid powertrain makes a total 221 horsepower compared to the Niro’s 139 horsepower. The Escape has quick acceleration and plenty of passing power on the highway.

Similarities

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

Conclusion

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

2022 Kia Niro PHEV 2022 Ford Escape PHEV
Starting Price $29,590 $35,455
Powertrain
Engine 1.6-liter PHEV I4 2.5-liter PHEV I4
Horsepower 139 hp @ 5,700 rpm 221 hp @ 6,250 rpm
Torque 195 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 155 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic CVT automatic
Fuel Economy 46 mpg, 105 MPGe 40 mpg, 105 MPGe
Electric Range 26 miles 38 miles
Total Range 560 miles 520 miles
Drivetrain FWD FWD
Specs
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 Overall Safety Not Rated Not Rated
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 106.7 inches
Overall Length 171.5 inches 180.5 inches
Width 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
Legroom, Front 41.7 inches 42.4 inches
Legroom, 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