Crossovers and types of alternative fuel are the future of the automarket. CUVs not only offer safety and capability, but today they also offer convenience, entertainment, and fuel efficiency. With vehicles like the new 2018 Kia Niro, a hybrid that may also be available as a PHEV in the future, it seems that automakers are combining CUVs and alternative fuel technologies to create the perfect vehicle.
Kia has several hybrid and electric vehicles in the lineup – Kia Optima Hybrid, Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), Kia Soul EV, and the all-new Kia Niro. The specs aren’t definite for the Niro PHEV, however it was debuted at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and many were given a glimpse of what it could be capable of. Let’s take a look at the Kia Optima PHEV and see if Kia really made a crossover PHEV that can match a sedan PHEV.
Kia Optima PHEV
The third variation of the Kia Optima, the Optima PHEV is powered by a 2.0-liter GDI engine and an electric motor that is powered by a 9.8 kWh lithium polymer battery. This is known as a full parallel hybrid system, and its combined battery and engine power produce 202 horsepower with an amazing fuel economy – 38 miles in the city, 43 miles on the highway. That’s just the beginning of its capabilities though.’
Able to be plugged in, PHEVs don’t only use regenerative braking to recharge the battery. The vehicle can be recharged two other ways – a level 1 120v outlet for overnight charging at home, or a level 2 240v outlet which charges the vehicle in three hours. The 2017 Kia Optima PHEV can also drive on electricity alone, with up to 29 miles of electric-only range. Also, in Florida and other select states, it’s eligible for an HOV decal to drive in the HOV lane, even when driving solo. Great little perk alongside about $5,000 in federal tax credits. Niiiice.
Kia Niro PHEV
Now let’s see how the crossover matches up. It’s supposed to be powered by a 1.6-liter GDI engine, paired to an 8.9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The specs on power aren’t available, but it should be more powerful than its hybrid counterpart, with only 1.56 kWh of power for the electric motor. It is said, however, to be able to travel anywhere between 25 – 34 miles on electricity alone.
Again, this is a PHEV, so it can fully charge the battery – no word on if it will have two or three ways to plug-in for a recharge. We can’t talk about any tax credits until it passes all tests and is released, but there is one thing to point out that can set the Kia Niro PHEV apart from other crossovers. Although a plug-in hybrid, drivers can still tow up to 2,866 pounds when opting in for the towing-package option – that probably consists of a stronger engine, which means lower fuel economy but more towing power.
It’s a hard call. The Kia Optima PHEV has amazing fuel economy, goes pretty far on electricity-alone, and comes with its own perks. The Kia Niro PHEV may be able to go even further than the Optima PHEV with only the electric motor, but it’s not definite. It may also be able to tow a bit of a haul, but will have to sacrifice its fuel economy to do so. When the Kia Niro PHEV is released we’ll know more. For now, if you’re interested in any of the hybrid or electric vehicles (EV) we mentioned here, be sure to check our inventory or give us a call.
Photo Source/Copyright: Kia.com
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