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Say hello to Kia’s first dedicated hybrid crossover.
Introduced at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, the Kia Niro is targeting an optimistic 50-mpg fuel economy rating thanks to a hybrid powertrain consisting of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Total system output is pegged at 146 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque and according to the Korean automaker, its lightweight structure, good aerodynamics and a new six-speed dual-clutch transmission will help it achieve its 50-mpg target.
Looking a bit like a compact version of the new Sportage, the 2017 Kia Niro goes out of its way not to look like a hybrid. A plug-in hybrid variant will also join the Niro’s lineup at a later date in its lifecycle.
The new hybrid crossover is expected to arrive later this year and if Kia is successful in hitting 50 mpg, it could change the landscape for hybrid offerings considering those are Toyota Prius figures and we all know how that model sells.
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