Kia releases pricing for the 2023 Niro, every state now has an approved charging plan, the electric Nissan Ariya finally has a price tag. All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.
Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.
Kia Prices The 2023 Niro
Pricing for the 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid is out, and it’s a pretty big climb from the base model to the range-topper. The entry-level LX trim starts at $27,785 including a $1,295 freight charge, the mid-range EX trim climbs to $30,385, and then an EX with the Touring package stickers for $32,685. The range-topping SX trim stickers for $33,785, while the SX with the Touring package retails for $36,085. So what’s in this Touring package that makes it command a $2,300 premium over a standard car? Well, it depends. Both Touring packages get 18-inch alloy wheels, satin chrome trim on the door handles, alloy pedals, black mirror caps, but the Touring package on the EX model adds such luxuries as a sunroof, power-folding mirrors, gloss black exterior trim, and LED interior lighting.
While the Touring package seems a bit steep, the base Niro LX looks to be really good value. It’s a well-priced, capacious crossover with a funky design and an estimated 53 mpg combined. Of equal importance, it puts a ton of pressure on Toyota when pricing the 2023 Corolla Cross Hybrid. While hybrid crossovers might not be the most exciting subject in the world, we like the Niro Hybrid’s weird styling, and I’m far more impressed by a good sub-$30k car than I am by a good six-figure car. Making cheap cars is hard, yet Kia’s whipped up one that looks and sounds really nifty. Kia also says the Niro will go on-sale nationwide this month, really impressive considering there aren’t many days left in September.
GM Walks Back Office Return
Last week, General Motors announced that office employees would see a part-time return to office before the start of next year. Understandably, this didn’t go over terribly well. Reuters reports that GM is now walking back those plans.
General Motors Co on Tuesday said it will not mandate workers return to offices before 2023 after it had told them on Friday that they would be expected to work three days on-campus each week later this year.
GM said Tuesday’s clarification was “based on the dialogue that took place since Friday. We intend to spend the next few weeks continuing to listen to your feedback so that we incorporate it into our implementation plans.”
GM said it would “communicate more information at the end of next month. Between now and then, we continue to ask for constructive dialogue about our culture, collaboration, speed and innovation.”
If a person has the equipment to do their required work, there’s no good reason they should go into an office as weekly routine. As long as work is being done, what’s the difference between working from home and working in-office?
[Ed Note: If you’ve worked in/with a larger corporation you know that “we continue to ask for constructive dialogue about our culture” usually means ‘please stop sending us angry emails.'” -MH]
Every State Now Has An Approved EV Charging Plan
Well, that was fast. Automotive News reports that all 50 states now have federally-approved charging infrastructure plans.
The approval unlocks more than $1.5 billion in funding in 2022-23 to build EV chargers across roughly 75,000 miles of U.S. highway, including interstates and alternative fuel corridors, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
“With this greenlight, states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico can ramp up their work to build out EV charging networks that will make driving an EV more convenient and affordable for their residents and will serve as the backbone of our national EV charging network,” said Stephanie Pollack, acting administrator for the Federal Highway Administration.
Building out national EV charging infrastructure is an incredibly labor-intensive project, so it’s impressive to see work being done so quickly. Hopefully, it won’t be long now before charging stations start popping up all over the place.
We Finally Have Pricing For The Nissan Ariya
Speaking of electric cars, here’s some good news from Nissan. After massive delays, the 2023 Nissan Ariya electric crossover will go on sale in America this autumn, and we finally have pricing.
Every Ariya is subject to a freight charge of $1,295. With that out of the way, here’s what every variant will cost. The base front-wheel-drive Engage model with a 63 kWh battery pack stickers for $44,485. Step up to the Venture+ trim, and you’re looking at a price tag of $48,485. The Evolve+ trim starts at $51,485, while the Empower+ goes for $54,985. That’s a lot to remember, but here’s a tip: Every trim that ends in a plus sign gets a bigger 87 kWh battery pack. Well, every trim save for the $55,985 Premiere model.
All-wheel-drive is a $4,000 option on every trim except Venture+, Empower+, and Premiere, which doesn’t get an all-wheel-drive equivalent. However, all-wheel-drive also includes two more trims: The Engage+ e-4ORCE which stickers for $52,485 and the Platinum+ which stickers for $61,485.
[Ed note: Wait, what? – MH]
I got the chance to poke around an Ariya several months ago and I’m pleased to report that it features a very roomy cabin with rather comfortable seats. Three fully-grown adults can fit quite nicely in the rear seats, which should make the Ariya a serious family car. While it feels like we’ve been waiting forever for Nissan’s electric crossover, this is one electric car that’s likely worth the wait.
Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. Happy Wednesday, we’re officially halfway through the week. I quite enjoyed seeing everyone’s answers to yesterday’s game, so let’s play another one in the same spirit. Let’s say you’re given a blank check to buy two examples of one car. The twist is that one must have zero options and one must be fully-loaded. For example, an F-150 XL and an F-150 Raptor R, or a W204 Mercedes-Benz C180 and a C63. What pair of cars are you picking up?