The World will certainly in the future be greener. Demand for fuel-efficient low emission vehicles grows. Kia saw an opportunity as well as other manufacturers. They unveiled their eco model Niro, a hybrid SUV which has a good chance for high success. Even though its rivals are Mazda CX-3, Nissan Juke, Toyota C-HR, Chevrolet Trax, and others. In December 2016 Niro received a Guinness Book of Records title for lowest fuel consumption by a hybrid. It traveled from Los Angeles to New York City with 76.6 mpg fuel consumption. Just one year after that comes something new, and it’s the 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid.
2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid – Design
The design isn’t anything different from the original hybrid if we don’t count another fuel door cap behind the front left wheel arch for charging the battery pack. It rides on the same platform as Hyundai Ioniq, but Kia didn’t want to trade aerodynamic efficiency for the ability to squeeze as many miles per gallon as possible. It looks like a non-hybrid vehicle.
2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid – Powertrain
Of course, more important is what’s under the hood. 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid uses the same setup as its hybrid counterpart. It means that this SUV has 1.6-liter turbo engine in combination with an electric motor and six-speed automatic transmission. The difference is in the size of the battery pack. Unlike 1.6 kWh battery in a plug-in hybrid, there is an 8.9-kWh battery pack. It is mounted below the rear seats and cargo floor. This is one of the reasons why Kia Niro won’t be available with AWD. FWD is the only option. The company hasn’t released horsepower, torque, and mpg numbers. But in base Niro, the combined output is 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. But the company claims that with this battery pack 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s all-electric range will be up to 34 miles, on a full charge of course.
2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid – Specs
Another thing that is worth mentioning is that Kia offers Eco Driving Assistant system. This particular system will be of use for those who obsessively want to squeeze as much as possible miles per gallon. It uses GPS navigation with road topography and instructs the drivers when to brake or coast. That’s all nice, but we’ll rather just drive the car. Another more common thing is that regenerative braking stores otherwise wasted energy back to the batteries. The infotainment system also shows the drivers the nearest charging station. 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid offers towing package option. This gives the ability for the SUV to pull up to 2866 pounds, but it is unknown whether or not will this package arrive at the U.S. Niro Plug-in Hybrid will come with the 7-inch infotainment system, rear-view camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid – Price
This PHEV arrives in Europe this fall. So we can expect it a little later, probably by the end of current year. Price is not available at this moment but we can take the pricing options of current Niro which is $22.890 and add almost $10.000. At least that the price difference with Optima Hybrid and Optima Plug-in Hybrid.