Kia’s all-new hybrid utility vehicle, the Niro, has debuted at Chicago with a new eco-car platform shared with Hyundai and a single powertrain option.
That powertrain consists of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder direct-injection unit delivering 103 hp and joined with a 43 hp electric motor. This results in a total of 146 hp and 195 lb-ft and when sent through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission driving the front wheels, returns 50 mpg over the combined cycle (4.7l/100km), just shy of the Prius’ fuel consumption.
Underpinning the Kia Niro is the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq and to ensure it is as efficient to drive as possible, includes the firm’s Coasting Guide and Predictive Energy Control. This setup sees the navigation system and cruise control working in tandem to maximise efficiency by gathering information about topographical changes in the road and adjusting the car accordingly.
Visually, the Niro is quite unassuming with simple curved lines across the front, down the sides and at the rear. These curvy elements are then offset with a number of sharper elements, like the fog light surrounds and silver trim found on the rear bumper.