Earlier this year, Kia decided to spearhead the competition from other auto manufacturers by releasing several eco-friendly cars. With more companies thinking “green,” the variety of eco-friendly cars on the roads today is pretty diverse, however Kia offers a lot of diversity in its collection of eco-friendly vehicles. Today, we’re taking a look at three of Kia’s eco cars: the 2016 Kia Soul EV, the 2017 Kia Niro, and the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid.
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?
Photo Source: Shutterstock; Photo Copyright: Ed Aldridge
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