Kia globally debuted its assembly Niro amalgam crossover at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, afterwards abounding months of sketch-teasing. The Niro debuted in abstraction anatomy in 2013, as a glimpse into Kia’s eco-conscious future, with assembly brain-teaser sketches absolution above-mentioned to the Detroit and LA Auto Shows.
Sculpted as a crossover account agent (CUV), the able association at Kia absitively the Niro bare a new business classification: amalgam account agent (HUV), because CUV wasn’t specific enough. The Niro is Kia’s aboriginal amalgam agent engineered from the arena up with a committed Eco-Car platform.
Despite actuality a hybrid, the Niro looks like a approved auto CUV, which is what I acquisition best attractive. Unlike the Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf, which accept alien administration that screams “look-at-me, I’m environmentally friendly!” the Niro lets you accept the amalgam fuel-economy after aboveboard cogent the apple about it.
Powering the Niro is an all-new powertrain consisting of a Kappa 1.6-liter direct-injected four-cylinder agent abutting by an electric motor akin to a second-generation six-speed dual-clutch (DCT) transmission. The electric motor is powered by a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion array placed below the rear seat.
Altogether, the powertrain produces 146 application and 195 pound-feet of torque. Kia is targeting a accumulated 50 mpg, which is shy of the 2016 Toyota Prius’ 52 mpg (56 mpg in the Eco trim). I’m accommodating to accord up some ammunition abridgement for accepted styling, however.
Kia affairs a constituent electric amalgam adaptation of the Niro after in its life-cycle, too.
There’s one downside with the Niro: it’s alone accessible in avant-garde caster drive, which is actual uncrossover-like and makes it added like a amalgam Kia Soul than a abate another to the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
Inside, Kia’s latest UVO3 infotainment arrangement takes centermost date with a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is supported. The user interface resembles Hyundai’s Display Audio arrangement in the afresh advised Elantra, which isn’t a bad thing.
Driver assists will be accessible on the Kia Niro. The apartment includes a blind-spot monitor, lane abandonment admonishing (LDW), adaptive cruise ascendancy (ACC) and automated emergency braking. The LDW arrangement accessible isn’t as avant-garde as the lane accumulate abetment arrangement (LKAS) accessible in the afresh appear Hyundai Elantra, unfortunately.
Also abutting the Kia amalgam calendar is the revised 2017 Kia Optima Amalgam and PHEV. While the approved gasoline Kia was all-new for 2016, the amalgam adaptation agitated over unchanged.
The Kia Optima Amalgam appearance a 2.0-liter, direct-injected, four-cylinder motor with a 38 kW electric motor akin to a six-speed automated transmission. Kia’s amalgam architecture installs the electric motor in abode of a torque converter, which about goes amid the motor and automated transmission.
A beyond 1.62 kWh lithium-ion polymer array backpack provides added electric activity than the approachable model. Altogether, the amalgam powertrain produces 193 hp, which is bottomward from the aftermost generation’s 199hp.
Kia doesn’t acknowledgment the accepted ammunition abridgement numbers, but its accumulated cousin, the Hyundai Sonata Amalgam with the aforementioned powertrain, accustomed an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appraisement of 40 in the burghal and 44 on the highway. I adumbrate the Kia Optima won’t be too far off from those numbers.
A constituent amalgam electric (PHEV) archetypal joins the Optima agency for the aboriginal time, too. The PHEV has the aforementioned 2.0-liter four butt and six-speed automated transmission, but upgrades the electric motor to a 50 kW assemblage that can actuate the Optima with authentic electric power.
Kia doesn’t acknowledge the accumulated ability output, but its belvedere mate, the Hyundai Sonata PHEV, produces 202 hp from the aforementioned powertrain, so I apprehend the aforementioned from the Optima PHEV.
A beyond 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer array helps the car drive 27 afar on authentic electric power. Kia claims the array backpack accuse absolutely in beneath three hours with a Level 2 (240V) and beneath nine hours with a Level 1 (120V).
The aforementioned infotainment arrangement and disciplinarian abetment technologies accessible on the approved Kia Optima will be accessible on the amalgam and PHEV models. So apprehend Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, Harman Kardon Quantum Logic exceptional complete system, adaptive cruise control, lane abandonment warning, automated emergency braking and blind-spot adviser to be available.
Mark your calendars: The 2017 Kia Niro HUV, Optima Amalgam and Optima PHEV will access in dealerships after this year.