2017 Kia Niro Overview Reveals Surprising Hybrid Power

Presentation of the new carA sneak peek, granted by Kia to automotive reviewers and other media personnel, gives a preliminary look at Kia’s first dedicated hybrid model: the 2017 Kia Niro. An overview of this vehicle, which Kia has dubbed a “hybrid utility vehicle,” indicates a smoother, more powerful driving experience than one might expect at first glance.

Niro Experience

Featuring a 1.6L direct-injected Kappa gas engine paired with a 6-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission, the Niro engine logs 103 hp and 108 lb-ft of torque. The overall output of the vehicle’s hybrid system and complete specs have not yet been released by Kia.

The electrically aided 1.6L engine enables a smoother ride than one might suppose, with good get-up-and-go as well as notable passing power on the road.

The Niro is a very low-noise cruising vehicle. Its powertrain deftly tackles the shift from electric to hybrid, with the electric motor working well in concert with the transmission.

Drivers may be pleasantly surprised by the soft yet sporty handling of the Niro. An array of eco technologies helps the powertrain attain greater efficiency, including an active air flap that is hidden in the grille opening. When traveling at highway speeds, the flap closes, which aids in facilitating smooth aerodynamics.

Early Look at Tech Features

Production on the Niro is slated to begin in 2016, and an impressive technology lineup is planned for the vehicle, including:

  • ECO-DAS driver aid software with predictive energy control
  • GPS and navigation systems
  • Available wireless charging tray for smartphones
  • Android Auto
  • UVO navigation, digital media, and connectivity suite
  • AC power outlet for rear passengers
  • Rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning system
  • Autonomous emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane-departure warning system

In the Works

Many details are still being finalized for the 2017 Kia Niro, which is slated for public release in late 2016.

The 2017 Niro’s launch is part of a five-year strategy to unveil multiple green vehicles, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid Optima sedan models and a fuel cell vehicle launch scheduled to occur by the year 2020. Kia is also reportedly developing a plug-in hybrid version of the Niro, which will feature a lighting upgrade and some style changes.

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