Kia Optima Hybrid, Soul EV and Niro: 3 Fuel Efficient Kias
Let’s first talk about the Kia Optima Hybrid. The fuel economy is definitely the shining characteristic of this car, sitting at 36/40 city/highway MPG. Described as a car that mixes style and eco-dynamics, if its classy exterior is anything to go by, color us impressed. The Kia Optima Hybrid has the signature “Tiger Nose” look, designed with aerodynamics in mind; given that its side airflow vent allows for air to pass freely through the front bumper and reduces drag, it certainly accomplishes that goal.
Because this is a hybrid, it’s not all gasoline and it’s not all electric. Combined, the 47-hp electric motor and a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine peaks at 199-horsepower with 235 lb.-ft. of torque. The Optima Hybrid does not plug-in as one would think, it runs on gasoline, but uses a regenerative braking system to recapture energy for its electric motor.
Another hybrid released this year is the Kia Niro, a subcompact crossover. Riding on Kia’s new dedicated eco-car platform, the Kiro Niro will be launched with a single hybrid powertrain, powered by a 103-horsepower 1.6L 4-cylinder gasoline engine that works in tandem with a 43-horsepower, 32 kW electric motor powered by a lithium ion polymer battery pack.
Combined, the Niro generates up to 146-horsepower with 195 lb.-ft. of torque. Coupled with its newly-developed, second-generation six-speed dual-clutch transmission, Kia is shooting for a combined fuel economy of 50 MPG. This is a hybrid crossover that truly aims to push the boundaries set by its predecessors.
The third car on our list is the 2016 Kia Soul EV, heralded as the first UL-validated vehicle with an estimated driving range of 93 miles. The current fuel economy stands at 120/92 city/highway MPGe. Being solely an electric car, the range alone is phenomenal. It may not be the car you want to take with you on a road trip, but for the day-to-day errands, it is well worth the price. Starting at an MSRP of $24,450 plus all the money saved on gasoline, the 2016 Kia Soul EV will practically pay for itself.
* What do you think of the current Kia lineup? Are you excited to see what other eco-cars the auto industry will introduce next? *