Kia’s answer to the Toyota Prius is heading to Geneva after its official reveal at the Chicago Auto Show.
The all-new Kia Niro is the firm’s first dedicated hybrid model and surprisingly comes wrapped in a crossover costume rather than the usual streamlined hatchback shape we are used to from this sort of vehicles.
Based on the same platform with the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq, the new Kia Niro is powered by a combination of a 103hp 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 43hp electric motor. Rather than opting for a CVT transmission, Kia installed a six-speed double-clutch gearbox in order to make the Niro a more engaging drive.
The 1.56kWh lithium-ion battery pack weighs just 33kg and offers up to 50 per cent higher energy density and 13 per cent greater energy efficiency than the battery packs found in key rivals, claims Kia.
Despite the SUV shape, the Kia Niro proves to be slippery enough as the drag coefficient is just 0.29 Cd. The key economy figures are not finalized yet, with the company’s engineers targeting CO2 emissions of 89g/km.
“The Kia Niro will offer buyers a compelling blend of crossover practicality with the cool, modern styling for which Kia is famous, and an efficient new hybrid powertrain to keep running costs down,” said Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Europe. “The Niro fills a gap in the market for a crossover with typically low hybrid emissions, and will appeal to a broad range of European buyers.”