The evolution of Kia Niro
Niro is a hybrid subcompact crossover SUV, manufactured by Kia Motors Corporation. It was put in production in 2016. Its plug-in version was released on the UK market in 2017 and in the US – 2018.
The very first appearance of the Niro was in 2013, during the Frankfurt Auto Show. There, among the brand’s other cars, a conceptual subcompact crossover was displayed. It sported three doors, 1.6 l Gamma (160 hp), 7-speed rotary-shifted DCT transmission and a 45 hp hybrid electric system.
A production-ready version of the Niro was officially unveiled at the 2016 Auto Show in Chicago, with 2017 stated as a model year. The line features two modifications – a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid.
The first one has a combined fuel consumption of 3.9 l/100 km (60.31 US mpg/72.43 UK mpg). As ICE power and torque, Kia states 105 hp and 147 Nm (108.42 lb.-ft.). The engine is positioned front, transversely, and has 4 in-line cylinders.
Its battery capacity is 1.56 kWh. The implemented electric motor has a power of 44 hp and a torque of 170 Nm (125.39 lb.-ft.). The calculated system power is 141 hp.
Fuel tank’s volume is 45 l (11.89 US gal | 9.9 UK gal). This modification of Niro is with a front-wheel-drive and a 6-speed automatic DCT gearbox. As the front and rear brakes, the car has discs. The front suspension used is an independent, Spring McPherson, with a stabilizer; the rear one is a double wishbone.
In term of dimensions, Kia Niro sports a length of 4,355 mm (171.46 in.), a width of 1800 mm (70.87 in.), a height of 1535 mm (60.43 in.) and a wheelbase of 2700 mm (106.3 in.).
The second modification Niro is a plug-in hybrid vehicle with combined fuel consumption of 1.3 l/100 km (180.93 US mpg/217.29 UK mpg), acceleration 0-100 km/h in 10.8 seconds and max.speed of 172 km/h (106.88 mph). While the battery capacity, electric torque motor, and system power are identical to the previous Niro modification, the power of the e-motor is different - 61 hp.
As an official amount of average energy consumption, the manufacturer states -9.8 kWh/100 km.
Engine’s position and a number of cylinders are the same as in the first modification. Here the fuel tank’s displacement is 43 l (11.36 US gal | 9.46 UK gal).
According to the technical specifications, concerning the dimensions, the plug-in shares with the hybrid the same length and wheelbase, while the width and height are a little different: 1805 mm (71.06 in.) and 1545 mm (60.83 in.).
Same 6-speed DCT transmission, front and rear suspensions, front and rear brakes unit, as well as the drive wheel system, match perfectly.
In 2018, Kia launched an electric version, called Niro EV (e-Niro for Europe). The premiere was at the IEVE, in Korea. The fresh addition has a lot in common – battery and powertrain - with another famous electric vehicle Hyundai Kona Electric. Two different battery packs are offered – a 39,2 kWh and a 64 kWh. Equipped with the first battery, e-Niro uses a permanent-magnet electric motor with 134 hp and 395 Nm (291 lb-ft). According to the WLTP, it can travel up to 288 km (179 mi) on a single charge.
When utilizing the second, the 64 kWh battery, Niro EV can go up to 455 km (283 mi). It has a more powerful motor with 201 hp (150 kW).
Niro is related to Kia KX3 and Hyundai IONIQ.