Kia Niro First Drive
Kia’s new hybrid crossover is coming and carbuzz.com dishes on the Niro First Drive.
The Niro First Drive event was held in San Antonio, Texas, where Kia product planners, engineers, and designers didn’t want to deem the new car as a hybrid. Instead, they saw the Niro as a CUV that gets great gas mileage. However, getting up to 52 mpg (with the top Touring trim) on the highway pretty much classifies the crossover as a hybrid. Right?
In fact, the Niro marks as Kia’s first dedicated hybrid model. Kia designed the Niro to have both a smooth style and drive. Not to forget the fuel efficiency and added techy features.
The Niro is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine making 103 horsepower. The electric engine provides an additional 43 horsepower. The total output of the two motors producing 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Kia estimates the 3,106-pound Niro goes from 0-60 mph in 8.5 to 9.0 seconds. Not bad.
The exterior has a simple and sleek design with contoured hood and sinister headlights. Suggesting simple and mature.
Kia currently has the Kia Niro available with front-wheel drive only and no all-electric driving is offered. But a plug-in model and possible full electric could be on the horizon in the future. The default driving mode is Eco, with no manual shifting available. Flip to Sport mode and the throttle and six-speed dual-clutch transmission give permission to manually shift gears.
The Niro is offered in several trim options: the base FE, the middle LX/EX, and the top Touring. All trims come standard with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment center, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Top-tier models get upgraded to an 8-inch touchscreen, heated and ventilated front seats, an 8-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and surplus of driver’s aids and safety features. Some include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, radar cruise control and autonomous emergency braking.
The interior is roomy, with sleek and simple design elements, creating a clean environment. Despite the battery for the electric motor being situated below, there is plenty of legroom and headroom within the cabin. The dashboard design is simple and the UVO infotainment system, standard on all trims, is easy to use and navigate. If extra storage is needed, the rear seats fold for additional storage.
Kia has provided the Niro with a tech-savvy interior and drivability encased in solid design with sleek, simple, and more mature design elements. It may very well be the best Kia yet. But, if you want to shop around, come into Yonkers Kia and let us help you find the perfect Kia vehicle for you.