The Kia Niro, which previously made its European debut at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show, is a new low-emissions hybrid crossover, marking the development of Kia’s first dedicated eco-car platform.
The Niro’s new platform has been engineered in isolation from existing Kia models, and is designed to accommodate a specific set of environmentally conscious technologies and next-generation powertrains. The Niro’s hybrid powertrain – made up of a 1.6-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine, lithium-ion polymer battery pack, 32 kW electric motor and six-speed double-clutch transmission – emits just 88 g/km CO2 (combined), and is capable of using just 3.8 litres of gasoline for every 100 km of driving.
Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented, “The Kia Niro offers buyers a compelling blend of crossover practicality with the cool, modern styling for which Kia is famous, and an efficient new hybrid powertrain to keep running costs down. The Niro fills a gap in the market for a crossover with typically low hybrid emissions, and will appeal to a broad range of European buyers.”
Cole added: “Hybrid sales have more than doubled in Europe over the last five years, and are forecast to account for around 700,000 sales in Europe by 2020. The Niro will allow Kia to meet this growing demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles, and help us meet our 2020 global target to improve average fleet fuel efficiency by 25% over 2014 levels.”
A new addition to Kia’s design-led product range, and without precedent in the Kia line-up, the Kia Niro boasts a brand new form. The styling of the Niro was led by Kia’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea and incorporates the practicality and aesthetic allure of a compact crossover, with a sleek, aerodynamic body and subtly sculptured surfaces.
The new model bears the latest evolution of Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille, as well as the brand’s characteristically wide C-pillar and a series of other signature design cues.
Sporting a compact SUV shape, the Niro boasts smooth, sleek proportions, while its relatively wide stance portrays stability and a low centre of gravity. With a relatively long bonnet, short overhangs, elevated headlamps and rising shoulder line, the Niro’s athletic crossover stance represents a shift away from other hybrid cars on the market today. The Niro’s silhouette tapers slightly towards the rear of the vehicle, ending in a subtle rear roof spoiler, elevated tail-lamps and a wide, squared-off rear bumper. Combined with bold wheel arches, the design places greater visual volume over the rear haunches.
The Kia Niro occupies a new space within the brand’s model line-up in terms of its size. The Niro is 4,355 mm in length, 1,805 mm wide and 1,535 mm tall, making it smaller overall than the all-new Kia Sportage, though occupying a larger footprint than the cee’d hatchback. For Europe, the Kia Niro will be available with a choice of 10 colours, and buyers can choose from a selection of 16- or 18-inch alloy wheel designs.
In developing the Kia Niro HEV, engineering teams’ efforts have been principally focused on delivering class-leading fuel economy in the compact crossover segment. The Kia Niro combines its stylish design with low emissions and high fuel economy, with a CO2 emissions rating of just 88 g/km (combined). Equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, the Niro’s fuel economy is rated at 3.8 litres per 100 km (combined and urban, NEDC), while models with 18-inch wheels are capable of using just 4.4 litres per 100 km.
Conceived as a dedicated hybrid model, the Kia Niro HEV achieves its ultra-low emissions levels and impressive fuel economy with a downsized hybrid powertrain. Kia’s 1.6-litre ‘Kappa’ GDI engine – producing 105 ps and 147 Nm torque – is paired with a 32 kW electric motor and a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack. The powertrain’s combined 141 ps power output is applied to the road through a highly-efficient six-speed double-clutch transmission (6DCT), with a maximum 265 Nm (195 lb ft) torque available in first gear for decisive off-the-line acceleration.
The 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack is the lightest and most efficient pack used by Kia to date, with up to 50% higher energy density and 13% greater energy efficiency than the battery packs found in key rivals. Weighing just 33 kg, the Niro’s battery pack – with an advanced power relay – allows the battery to regenerate electrical energy under deceleration.
The Kia Niro has been engineered independently to other Kia models, with a significantly re-engineered version of existing Kia platform hardware. The Kia Niro is equipped with fully-independent MacPherson strut front suspension, tuned to offer maximum on-centre steering feel, immediate reactions to steering inputs and high-speed stability.The Niro also adopts fully-independent multi-link rear suspension with dual lower arms. The result is a comfortable ride under all conditions, with each rear wheel able to absorb bumps and shocks independently, while ensuring high agility and stability with a larger tyre contact patch under cornering than a traditional torsion beam suspension setup, common among many models in the compact crossover and hybrid segments.
The new Kia Niro features a number of on-board technologies to improve comfort and convenience for buyers. At the heart of the dashboard is Kia’s latest Human Machine Interface (HMI) and a large 7.0- or 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with optional navigation. Both systems support Bluetooth smartphone and audio connectivity and DAB digital radio, which is available across a number of European markets, and are connected to a six-speaker audio system. Music lovers can also specify new eight-speaker audio from JBL®, with a powerful 320 watt output, external amplifier.
The new Kia Niro has entered full series production at Kia’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Hwasung, Korea and will go on sale across Europe towards the end of Q3 2016. As with every Kia sold in Europe, the Niro will come with the brand’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty as standard.
Prices in Ireland will start from €30,495 excluding the current the €1500 VRT relief for hybrid vehicles . Standard equipment will include Sat Nav with Android Auto (Apple Play to follow),full leather heated seats , dual aircon ,Lane Keep Assist ,LED front and rear lights,privacy glass and rain sensors