2017 Kia Niro
Kia Motors has really been stepping up their game as of late, and it doesn’t seem like they’re stopping any time soon. With an ever-increasing lineup of vehicles, especially hybrids, it’s safe to say Kia is a forward-thinking company. Fossil fuels won’t last forever, and if we can drive cars that lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and emit less greenhouse gases, why shouldn’t we? The fourth hybrid Kia introduced (soon to be available as a PHEV) is the 2017 Kia Niro, a hybrid crossover, and it is an excellent versatile new vehicle.
Avail. Fuel Economy
The all-new 2017 Kia Niro is equipped with a 1.6-liter gasoline-direct injection (GDI) four-cylinder engine and an electric motor powered by a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and generator. The engine is from Kia’s exclusive line of Kappa engines, which are specifically built for hybrid vehicles. The engine is paired to a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, and when the electric motor and engine work together, the hybrid system produces a total of 139 horsepower.
The Kia Niro has a combined city-highway fuel economy of 50 mpg , 52 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway. The vehicle’s battery charges via regenerative braking, a technology used that recycles braking energy to the battery.
When consumers learn that the Kia Niro has a “Full Parallel Hybrid System,” they don’t really know what that means. Surprisingly, it’s not the same as a regular hybrid - in a regular hybrid, the electric motor is powered by the generator, powered by the gasoline engine, and the transmission determines whether power is needed from the battery or the generator to propel the car. Sounds silly when compared to a full parallel hybrid where the engine and electric motor work in tandem to power the vehicle; the transmission determines whether either or both are needed.
At first thought, a hybrid sounds like it may lack the bells and whistles commonly found on a normal gasoline-powered vehicle, but that’s a common misconception. Furthermore, being a crossover, there’s more to love about the Kia Niro. Standard features throughout the lineup consist of solar control glass that prevent the cabin from heating up, a sound-absorbing windshield also keep the cabin quiet, privacy glass for dark tinted rear windows, a rear window heater, and automatic on/off headlights. Some of the upper-level trims have some upscale features, such as HID projector beam headlights, LED daytime running lights, and roof rails.
The last three trims have power-folding heated mirrors, LED mirror-mounted turn signal indicators, Kia Smart Key Smart Welcome, and the option of installing a power sunroof (not on the Touring Launch). Style is also a big deal when it comes to this hybrid crossover - a glossy black radiator grille with chrome trim, a rear spoiler, and premium color paint jobs are just the start. Available with 16- or 18-inch wheels, all made of alloy and with various styles, the Kia Niro rides with flair.
The cabin of the Kia Niro is pretty nice and it has a lot of standard features. Cloth seats are the norm with leather trim in the upper-level models, and each Niro has a 60/40 split-fold rear seat. The Niro is available with luxury features like heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and driver seat memory on select trims, but the convenience features and technology span far across all models.
Standard throughout the lineup is an eco driving system that helps keep the driver aware of their driving habits and the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. The Niro also has an auto defogging windshield, dual-zone automatic temperature control, push button start with smart key and engine immobilizer (not in the base trim, FE), keyless entry, steering wheel mounted audio controls, Bluetooth connectivity with hands-free voice command system, and a rear camera display. That’s a whole lot of goodies that can be found in every model. Some of the upper-level trims are available with a wireless phone charger, rear vents, cargo cover shields (optional on FE and LX), floor storage compartments, and a leather-wrapped and/or heated steering wheel and gear shift knob.
UVO eServices are on each of the Niro trims. The main difference is whether the UVO is displayed on a 7-inch touch screen (FE, LX, and EX trims) or an 8-inch touch screen with voice-command navigation added on (Touring and Touring Launch trims). The standard sound system is 6 speakers, but the Niro Touring and Touring Launch Edition trims have an 8-speaker Harman/Kardon premium sound system with surround sound and an integrated subwoofer. Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto capabilities can be found on all models.
Safety Features and Warranty
When it comes to the 2017 Kia Niro, the safety features are jam-packed! Standard features consist of advanced dual stage front airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, anti-lock braking, stability and traction control systems, a brake assist system, child-safety locks, is built with front and rear crumple zones and LATCH-tethers for LATCH-ready child seats. Available advanced safety systems consist of front and rear parking assist, blind spot detection with lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and smart cruise control.
All Kia models are backed by an industry leading warranty. The Kia Niro is backed by a 10-year or 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, a 5-year or 60,000-mile limited basic warranty, and a 5-year or 100,000-mile limited anti-perforation warranty.