The Kia Niro is on the way!
The Kia Niro was first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show it builds upon our new found love of the SUV and adds the extra benefit of a hybrid engine to perfectly combine efficiency and power. This mixture also creates the newest acronym in the motor world HUV (Hybrid Utility Vehicle).
The Kia Niro will be built in Korea at Kia’s Kwasung plant and will be available to UK customers in August. Orth Hedrick, Vice President of Product Planning had this to say about the upcoming model;
“The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging experience, utility and most importantly a stunning design that doesn’t shout hybrid”
The Niro will help Kia along the way with their plans to triple the number of eco-friendly models they provide by 2020, to reach a combined total between Kia and parent company Hyundai of 22. The Niro will be a Hybrid only model making use of a platform recently developed by Hyundai for hybrid technology.
The engine used will be a 1.6 litre four cylinder petrol engine with 104bhp alongside the latest 1.56kWh lithium ion polymer battery that increases the total output to 139 bhp and 265 Nm of torque. To make sure the battery doesn’t encroach on any interior space it will be stored under the rear seat. When making a car as efficient as possible, keeping the weight down is a must. Kia have manufactured lightweight seats and used aluminium for the bonnet, boot and suspension parts. 55% of the platform, including reinforcement in the A and B pillars as well as the roof bars, uses Advanced High Strength Steel to reduce weight and increase durability In the quest to reduce weight Kia have also used fibre reinforced plastic for the parking brake pedal. Aerodynamics have not been forgotten with the crossover body producing a respectable 0.29 drag coefficient.
Several other features help the Niro on its quest for maximum efficiency, such as the use of exhaust gases to speed up the engines warm up process during the early stages of a drive. Kia’s Predictive Energy Control System makes use of navigation data to take note of changes in the road ahead such as a hill, to maximise the efficiency of the hybrid system. Regenerative braking also features to feed power back to the battery. Kia want drivers experience to be identical to a non-hybrid vehicle so have paid special attention to the brake pedal. A common criticism for other hybrids already available is the grabbing sensation when applying the brakes, Niro drivers should not have this feeling. For the comfort of the driver Kia have also worked to make the Niro as quiet as possible by using special glass, foams in the bodywork and specially shaped door mirrors to reduce noise levels.
All these features work together to produce 74.3 mpg and 88 g/km CO2, the main rival for the Niro would be the Toyota Prius. The Prius boasts combined efficiency of 94.10 mpg with CO2 emissions of 70 g/km. However the starting price for the Niro will be £21,295, an important £2,000 less than the Prius.
The entry level Niro will include; cruise control, DAB radio, Bluetooth, Android Auto Connectivity and Lane Keeping Assist. For a little added comfort and £1,500 extra you could add a 7” touchscreen sat nav, reversing camera, part leather trim, parking sensors, automatic wipers, electric folding mirrors and LED indicators to your Niro. For those who would like the top level of comfort the top spec is available for £26,995 giving you 18” alloys, a larger 8” touchscreen, wireless phone charger premium sound system, leather heated seats and wheel, autonomous braking, blind spot detection, electric sunroof, cooled front seats and heated back seats. The extra comfort in the top level doesn’t only cost more, it also compromises efficiency with mpg dropping to 64.2 and CO2 emissions rising to 101g/km.
The new Kia Niro will be available to order in August with the first deliveries to customers expected in early 2017, all supplied with Kia’s 7 year warranty. As soon as we have leasing prices, they will be displayed on our Kia homepage!
What do you think of the new Kia Niro?
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20 July 2016
Written by Natalie Faughy