The Kia Niro lineup is gaining a new family member before the end of the year.
Making its debut at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show, the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid is the Korean automaker’s third plug-in model and has an estimated 26 miles of all-electric range. Total driving range is rated up to an estimated 560 miles, offering plenty of versatility in a crossover package. The model falls under the Kia Motors EcoDynamics sub-brand, as the company focuses on nearly tripling its global lineup of alternative fuel vehicles by 2020. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid joins the existing Niro, Optima Hybrid, Optima PHEV, and Soul EV models.
The plug-in hybrid variant does have a few different features compared to the standard Niro Hybrid. There’s a subtly-modified front grille insert and surround, hybrid blue exterior accents, available LED headlamps, a charge port door, available seven-inch color meter cluster with digital tachometer, and “ECO/Plug-In” badges.
Powering the Niro PHEV is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired to a 60-horsepower electric motor and an 8.9-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack. The powertrain’s combined system output is 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, while returning an MPGe rating of 105. Its EPA-estimated 48-mpg city, 44-mpg highway and 46-mpg combined ratings are similar to the Niro Hybrid. According to Kia, a full charge can be had in approximately 2.5 hours with a 240-volt Level 2 charger, while a standard 120-volt Level 1 charger will take under nine hours.
When it arrives dealerships later this year, the Niro PHEV will be available in three trim levels: LX, EX, and EX Premium. It will be offered with a suite of advanced driver assistance and convenience technologies such as Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, and front and rear parking sensors. Smart Cruise Control, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Warning, and Lane Keep Assist System are all standard.
“The Niro Plug-in is the exciting next step in Kia’s progression toward offering more alternative fuel vehicles by 2020,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, Kia Motors America (KMA). “Consumers who are intrigued by the Niro hybrid’s fantastic versatility and design, but want even more EcoDynamics technology and the ability to drive only using electric power, will find more to love in the Niro Plug-in Hybrid.”
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