The New 2017 Kia Niro: A Hybrid Crossover Utility Vehicle

Jan 26, 2017 12:34 PM EST | Carl Anthony Teves

Kia stopped by Motor Trend Headquarters just this week to reveal its new baby, the 2017 Niro, a hybrid crossover that will compete against the Toyota Prius. The car is Kia's first dedicated hybrid and is said to be a sister car to the Hyundai Ioniq. The car will go on sale early next year just right after the Optima hybrid and plug-in hybrid comes to market.

The car will be powered by a new hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.6 liter l-4 coupled to an electric motor for an output of 146 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. In addition, designers at Kia designed the car with a more utilitarian approach and developed what the automakers calls a hybrid utility vehicle, a family-friendly hybrid with outstanding levels of practicality.

The majority of the hybrids today comes with a CVT, however, Kia, like its sister brand Hyundai, is against the idea of belt-type transmissions. Instead of using a torque converter automatic for the car, Kia equipped the 2017 Niro with a six-speed dual clutch unit to help assure that it doesn't drive like the typical hybrid. The car also rides on the similar platform that Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte are using. But because the car is a dedicated hybrid, the platform itself only shares 10 percent of its parts with the chassis sitting under the two compacts.

Meanwhile, a few months after the standard the car will go on sale early next year, the plug-in hybrid version will soon be revealed to the public. Expect it to have an EV mode range of 25 miles or more, which should make it easier to the wallet of the customers.

The 2017 Kia Niro crossover hybrid will start at a selling price of $23,785, including destination, when it goes on sale early next year. It will be offered in 5 different trims: FE, LX, EX, Launch Edition and Touring. The most expensive model will be starting at $30,545. The limited run edition is only available in snow white pearl or aurora black pearl paint with gray 18-inch alloy wheels, touchscreen navigation, 10-way power driver's seat, and premium audio.


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