The Kia Niro is a concept that closely relates to the Hyundai Ioniq. It is Kia’s first dedicated hybrid vehicle.
Kia chose a crossover-like body style, ostensibly to distinguish the Niro from competitors like the Toyota Prius. The Niro will be the second hybrid model in Kia’s lineup after the second-generation Optima Hybrid and its plug-in variant.
Under the hood is a 1.6-liter I-4 coupled to an electric motor backed by a 1.56-kWh lithium-ion battery. It boasts a claimed driving range of 239 miles from its 64-kWh battery.
With the this, the Niro is able to garner 146 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Although most hybrids use a CVT as the transmission of choice, the Kia Niro uses a six-speed dual-clutch automatic instead.
The base FE features interior is quite heavy on plastic and cloth. Partial-leather seat trim is standard starting with the EX. Also standard across the lineup is two-zone automatic climate control, with controls for the driver and front-seat passenger.
There’s even a button to turn the passenger’s climate control off if that seat is empty, which could save energy in hot summer months when hybrids traditionally forfeit efficiency due to the increased load from the air conditioner. Kia’s infotainment system has utilized touchscreen features supplemented by hard buttons.
The system is intuitive and simple, and Kia earns significant upper grade by providing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.