Kia Niro, our first ever dedicated Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV) model, made its global debut last February at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Since then, all eyes have been on the soon-to-be-launched eco-friendly SUV.
The Niro gets its name from the combination of two words, ‘Near Zero,’ to indicate the flawlessness of the vehicle, and ‘Hero’ to signal its heroic emergence in the CUV market segment. To beat the drum of Kia Motors next big eco-friendly leap, Kia BUZZ is sharing the reasons why the Niro HUV is an up-and-coming superstar.
1. Powerful Performance
Exceptionally engineered to house a cutting-edge Kappa 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine, the hybrid platform of the Niro provides powerful yet eco-friendly performance. The engine’s power is transmitted through a newly developed, second-generation six-speed dual-clutch transmission, which boosts efficiency through smooth and quick shifts for stable and confident cruising. This seamless delivery of power to the front wheels makes for an ‘un-hybrid’-like driving experience.
Niro’s state-of-the-art transmission (left) and battery (right)
A compact, lightweight 1.56-kWh Lithium Ion Polymer battery located under the rear seat brings the whole system together. Thanks to this powerful and energy dense high-voltage battery, Niro can further maximize fuel economy and reduce emissions.
2. Progressive Driving Technology
Kia Niro will be fully equipped with Kia’s newest driving assistance technologies. An important feature of note is the Eco-Driver Assistance System (Eco-DAS) feature, which applies Coasting Guide and Predictive Energy Control for the first time in Kia’s vehicles. Both functions aim to optimize overall fuel efficiency, with the Coasting Guide guiding drivers on when to coast and brake and Predictive Energy Control anticipating topographical changes on the road ahead to determine when to recharge the battery and expend stored energy.
While similar systems have been previously introduced by other auto brands, Kia’s system will be the first to monitor and adjust for uphill and downhill driving situations.
3. Pleasurable Aesthetics
Hybrid vehicles are often subject to scrutiny for being unattractive. With the Niro, consumers need not sacrifice style for function as the good-looking HUV brings the best of both worlds.
Kia Niro boasts a sophisticated and sporty profile accentuated by its wide and low proportions and long roofline. Bearing Kia’s signature ‘tiger nose’ grille, the face of the Niro is further highlighted by its broad and bold headlights. Additional styling cues on the hood, wheels, and undercarriage all contribute to the sporty look of the HUV. Niro’s craftily shaped bodywork also allows for impressive aerodynamic performance.
The high-tech, modern interior features and maximized space also increase driving comfort. Addressing inherent noise, vibration & harshness (NVH) issues with hybrids, Kia took measures to incorporate various insulation and sealant padding measures to keep unwanted noise in check.
Much to the excitement of fans, Kia Niro is expected to enter production for European markets this month and for North America later in the year. So stick around until the official retail launch of Niro, our newest hybrid creation, and also stay tuned for more news as Kia fulfills its quest to triple its global lineup of green cars by 2020!
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