Quietly introduced at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale in the U.S. before the end of this year.
Geneva is most well known for supercar and hypercar debuts, so it’s easy to forget a more pedestrian model like a plug-in hybrid crossover. The model will go on sale in Europe during the third quarter, joining the current Niro Hybrid. Rumor has it that the Korean automaker will likely add an all-electric variant to the lineup as well.
The Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid pairs a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with an 8.9-kWh battery, which is significantly larger than the 1.56-kWh battery used in the standard Niro Hybrid. Total system output from the powertrain sits at 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. On the generous NEDC, its electric-driving range is 34 miles, though we expect that to be around 25 miles based on the U.S. cycle.
Zero-to-62 mph (0-100 km/h) comes in at 10.8 seconds, which is 0.7 seconds faster than the Niro Hybrid. On the outside, the plug-in hybrid variant has a few differences, including a new satin chrome grille surround, special chrome brightwork with a blue-metallic finish, thin “blades” in the front and rear bumpers, unique 16-inch wheels designed to reduce wind resistance, full LED headlights and “Eco Plug-in” badging.
The blue theme continues into the cabin, which offers either single-tone black leather upholstery or two-tone light grey and black leather contrasted by blue stitching and blue surround on the air vents. There’s a new seven-inch full-TFT driver instrument cluster and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
The Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid comes with vehicle stability management, electronic stability control, autonomous emergency braking with forward collision-avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, smart cruise control, blind spot warning and rear-cross traffic alert.
Expect pricing to be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch later this year.
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