It’s crazy how the automarket is suddenly shifting into alternative fuel vehicles. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have finally turned over to making hybrids and electric vehicles, whereas Chevrolet and Kia Motors are only improving upon their current vehicles. Just like when Chrysler made the first plug-in hybrid minivan with the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Kia Motors made the first hybrid crossover, the Kia Niro. Soon after, in late 2017, Kia released a plug-in hybrid variant of the Niro, and soon, we’ll be getting an electric vehicle (EV) variant of the crossover, as updates about the Kia Niro EV continue to pour in.
The first of its kind, the Kia Niro crossover is a hybrid vehicle. Powered by a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder and Full Parallel Hybrid System, the powertrain is made up of a 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine optimized with Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) and Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) for improved performance and fuel efficiency. Coupled with the engine is an AC Synchronous Permanent Magnet Motor, powered by a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Combined, the powertrain can generate 139 horsepower and 196 lb-ft of torque. All trims are paired to a dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission with Sportmatic.
Four trims make up the 2018 Kia Niro lineup – FE, LX, EX, and Touring. The fuel economy varies with each depending on the trim and wheel size. The Niro FE comes standard with 16-inch wheels and has a fuel economy of 52 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway. Although also on 16-inch wheels, the Niro LX has a fuel economy of 51/46 mpg city/highway. Able to ride on 16-inch wheels or optional 18-inch wheels, the Niro EX has the same fuel economy on 16-inch wheels as the LX, or can get a combined fuel economy of 43 mpg if riding on 18-inch wheels. The 2018 Kia Niro Touring comes standard with 18-inch wheels and gets the same fuel economy as the EX, with 46 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
Kia Niro PHEV
Referred to as the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid on the manufacturer site, some also call this version of the Niro a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), since it can run on both gasoline and electricity, or each independently of the other. Made up of three trims (LX, EX, and EX Premium), each trim is powered by the same powertrain as the Niro, but the 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery has been replaced with an 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Combined, the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid has an output of 165 horsepower and 234 lb-ft of torque.
All three trims are paired to the same transmission as the Niro hybrid, and all three have the same fuel economy. Being a PHEV, the Niro Plug-in has a fuel economy of 48/44 mpg city/highway and a miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) of 110/99 MPGe city/highway. Able to drive solely on electricity, the Niro PHEV has an all-electric driving range of 26 miles. If using both energy sources, the Niro Plug-in Hybrid can be driven as much as 560 miles on a full tank and fully charged battery.
Kia Niro EV
A lot is being changed for the Kia Niro with its electric variant. As we await its addition to the lineup, here’s what we know so far. Most electric vehicles come with one powertrain, but the Niro EV actually offers two options. Having no gasoline engine, consumers can choose the standard 64 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack for a total driving range of 280 miles, tailpipe-emissions free. If only planning to drive around town, consumers can get the less powerful option, an optional 39.2 kWh battery system capable of 150 miles.
All sounds pretty neat right? Come to Miami Lakes Automall to try out the Kia Niro or Kia Niro PHEV.
Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Ad Planner
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