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In its first bid at a hybrid vehicle, Kia has produced a car that offers up an intriguing blend of two worlds.

27 Feb 2017

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Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the all new Kia Niro.

The Ni-what?

The Niro. If you have never heard of this model before, we don't blame you. The Niro is Kia's newest offering, an all new hybrid crossover Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) that marks the brand's latest developments in green technologies. 

The Niro is Kia's very first hybrid offering, built from the ground up on a dedicated eco-car platform featuring a new hybrid powertrain

Flip open a Niro brochure and the first words you see are 'The Best of Both Worlds', which is quite the bold statement. And on paper, the Niro has a lot going for it. It officially received a Guinness World Record for the lowest fuel consumption driving across the U.S.A from coast to coast, clocking an incredible 32.6km/L.

Is it any good as a crossover?

The Niro sits at the bottom of Kia's current SUV range, and as a crossover, it's good by most standards. Stylistically, it's modern and sharp-looking, with sculpted surfaces and key design cues like the brand's signature 'tiger-nose' grille. According to Kia, the styling was led by design centres in both U.S.A and Korea, and that shows. Visually, the Niro looks like a collection of great design ideas.

The interior offers up all the practicality and appeal of a crossover. There's generous space for five, and you get 427 litres of boot space, expandable to 1,425 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

As with most of Kia's latest offerings, you get a wealth of features and equipment usually reserved for cars a class above - ventilated front seats, Auto Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, electrically adjusted driver's seat with memory function, even a wireless smartphone charger.

The Niro comes with a wealth of equipment, including a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats

In terms of the car's ride and handling, it's nothing out of the ordinary. The driving position is nice and high, offering good visibility. The suspension, however, is too soft for our liking. While good for long cruises on the highway, take the Niro into a few corners and it will pitch from side to side. That mentioned, this shouldn't be  a priority for buyers of crossovers.

Car Information

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Price

: -

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC D-CVVT GDI

Engine Cap

:

1580cc

Horsepower

:

103kW (138 bhp) / 5700 rpm

Torque

:

265 Nm / 1000 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A) DCT

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

11.5sec

Top Speed

:

162km/h

Fuel consumption

:

26.3 km/L

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