All-New 2017 Kia Niro Is A 50MPG Dedicated Hybrid Crossover

Kia’s very first stab at a dedicated hybrid model is the Niro sub-compact crossover that was introduced today at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show.

It might share its same name with the Niro Concept from the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, but there’s nothing else in common between the two, with the production model that Kia calls a “hybrid utility vehicle” or HUV, adopting a modern but inconspicuous exterior design, something that Kia says was a conscious choice.

“The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid,’” said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning at Kia Motors of America.

The sub-compact model rides on the Hyundai-Kia Group’s new dedicated eco-car platform also found on the new Hyuindai Ioniq, but unlike the latter that offers a choice of electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid powertrains, the Niro will launch with a single hybrid powertrain, a 103hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline direct-injection unit working in tandem with a 43hp electric motor to produce a combined 146hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.

That power is transmitted to the front wheels through a newly developed, second-generation six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT), while the system is completed by a lightweight 1.56-kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery located underneath the rear seat.

While it hasn’t been certified yet, Kia says that it’s targeting a combined fuel economy of 50mpg, equal to 4.7l/100km and 60.1mpg UK, which is very close to the new Toyota Prius’ 52mpg combined.

To help the driver achieve better fuel economy numbers, the Korean maker has fitted the Niro with what it calls Eco-DAS(Driver Assistance System) incorporating the brand’s first application of Coasting Guide and Predictive Energy Control that utilize the navigation system and cruise control to anticipate topographical changes on the road ahead and actively manage energy flow.

Prices for the new Niro are expected to be released closer to its sales launch in the fourth quarter of the year.

Photo Gallery

Pininfarina Battista Electric Hypercar Gets A Design Update, New Color

Italy’s most powerful car ever costs €2 million and can hit 62 mph in under 2 seconds.

New BMW M3 And M4 To Be Unveiled In Mid-2020

M Division’s new compact performance coupe and sedan will be powered by the same engine as the X3/X4 M duo.

LEVC Debuts Light Van Version Of Its Electrified London Taxi

The new commercial van comes with a range-extender petrol four that offers a 377-mile maximum range.

This Looks A Lot Like The New-Generation Renault Kangoo

The revamped Kangoo looks more modern, and very similar to the Z.E. Concept.

New Nissan e-NV200 Concept Previews The Ice Cream Van Of The Future

Nissan and Mackie’s of Scotland want to take ice cream vans to the 21st century.

2020 Kia Seltos Unveiled As The Company’s New Small SUV For Global Markets

The Kia Seltos will be made in India and Korea and will go on sale in Q2.

18-Year-Old Charged With DUI Smashes Lamborghini Gallardo Into Two Vehicles

The crash was so loud it made some mistake it for an explosion or something.

Maserati Quattroporte L’Ultimo Concept Is Italian Luxury At Its Finest

This futuristic Maserati Quattroporte render stays (mosty) true to the current model’s design language.

Lexus Safety System+ To Be Standard Equipment On All 2020 Models

The safety suite includes automatic high beam headlights, adaptive cruise control and a a pre-collision system.

Porsche North America Boss Says EVs Will Soon Become Commonplace

Porsche is confident it can easily out-sell its first year of production of the upcoming Taycan .