A little while after Kia Motors released the Kia Niro, a hybrid crossover, they also started to tease the upcoming 2018 Kia Stonic and a plug-in hybrid variant of the Niro. There was no set release date, really very little talk about a Niro plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), so Kia Motors pulled a fast one when they released the 2018 Kia Niro PHEV over the holiday break. Now officially a part of the lineup, the Niro isn’t the only great crossover hybrid anymore.
The 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid
Whenever a vehicle is called a plug-in hybrid, that means the vehicle can operate solely on gas from the internal combustion engine, an electric motor powered by a battery, or a combination of both. Because of that, the Niro PHEV has a larger battery than its counterpart, the Kia Niro. The Niro is equipped with a a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, whereas the Niro PHEV has an 8.9 kWh battery powering its motor. The internal combustion engine found in the Niro is the same engine in the Niro PHEV. Together, the engine and the motor produce 139 horsepower combined and 195 lb-ft of torque.
Being a PHEV, the Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s battery is so large that when it is depleted it needs to be recharged by being plugged in, which replaces a drivers need for constant fill-ups at a gas station. With its on-board charger and charging cable, the 2018 Kia Niro PHEV can be recharged in nine hours with the standard 120V cable and it can be recharged in 2.5 hours with a 240V power outlet, available for home installation and found at select charging stations.
Able to be driven independently of the internal combustion engine, the Kia Niro PHEV has an electric range up to 26 miles, give or take thanks to regenerative braking. The total driving range of the 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid is 560 miles, and when the battery and internal combustion engine work together, the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid averages 110/99 MPGe city/highway. Other than the powertrain, minor changes can be seen between the Kia Niro and Kia Niro Plug-in.
There are three 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid trims versus the four found in the Kia Niro lineup. For the Niro PHEV, the new base trim is the Niro Plug-In Hybrid LX, and the high-end trim is the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium. A power sunroof has been removed from the lineup completely, but the entertainment options have been kept intact. The wheel choice has been reduced to one, 16-inch alloy wheels as the standard, and select interior features have been changed, such as replacing the active eco system with a drive mode selector so drivers can choose between fuel economy and performance, and a larger trip computer screen option on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium (7.0-inch TFT color LCD display).
With the 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid added to the lineup, it’s only a matter of time before they end up on dealership lots. Interested in yours? Give us a call at Miami Lakes Automall to find out when you can test drive the first PHEV of 2018.