The 2017 Kia Niro is a compact crossover utility vehicle (CUV) that targets urban dwellers who want great fuel efficiency, space, and comfort in a car. With an average EPA rating of 50mpg which is very high for crossover cars in this class combined with a sporty driving feel; the 2017 Kia Niro is greatly anticipated in the market that is slowly going green. This dedicated hybrid aims at appealing to fans of the Toyota Prius with the Korean automaker showcasing what it described as a ‘Hybrid Crossover’ in the 2016 Chicago Auto show.
2017 Kia Niro – Stylish Design:
The exterior of the 2017 Kia Niro uses high strength steel in the pillar and carbon fiber filling the rest of the chassis thus creating a stable, strong yet very light vehicle. It has the standard KIA chrome grille with smooth lines on the edges and adaptive LED headlights and trapezoidal fog lights flanking the front bumper. The roof is raised in the middle with a gentle slope to both the front and back and there are roof rails and rocker panels that complete the aerodynamic design which reduces the drag coefficient to 0.29. There are four doors opening outwards with sleek chrome handles and the wheel arches are large to hold the 18-inch alloy wheels with a wheelbase spanning 106.3 inches.
The interior is conventional and has two themes; black and white. With space accommodating five adult passengers; luxury, safety and comfort have been emphasized. The 2017 model will have a 7-inch touchscreen that runs on KIA’s UVO3 system. It has up to 8GB music storage, supports both Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The seats are high to increase leg space with dense seat cushion materials used. The battery pack has been set underneath the rear seat to create space for cargo in the rear. Stiff bushings and an acoustic windshield have been installed to reduce drive train noises reaching the cabin. The 2017 Kia Niro has features like automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert and lane departure warning.
2017 Kia Niro – Power Unit:
The Kia Niro has a hybrid drive-train with a 1.6-liter direct injection gasoline engine. This engine will be coupled with a six-speed dual clutch transmission. The engine runs on the Atkinson cycle that improves efficiency with its power output being 103 hp and 5200rpm. For the electric motor; there are a 1.62-kilowatt hour, 240v lithium-ion batteries that power the 43 hp motor. This motor produces 146 hp and 195-pound foot of torque to power this two-wheel drive CUV. There is the talk of an all wheel drive option but this is expected in the next release. The fuel efficiency rating will be amazing 50 mpg. The top speed will be over 150 mph.
2017 Kia Niro – Debut Date and MSRP:
It is expected that the Kia Niro will be in the market by the first half of 2017. The analysts speculate that the manufacturer’s suggested retail price will be around $30,000.