Kia has had a brilliant idea. The trademark south Korean wanted a dedicated hybrid, that is to say, a product that only you will be able to acquire with a mechanical hybrid, which has been developed specifically for such an undertaking, and that later will have a version that in addition to hybrid will be a plug-in. Against this background, Kia had to evaluate different options, the most obvious, perhaps, is to bet on a body compact of two or three bodies, make a direct attack on the Toyota Prius, as it will be his brother, the Hyundai IONIQ. But in its place have found a solution much more interesting, to create a crossover hybrid, the Kia Niro, which interestingly enough is not a hybrid version of the Kia Sportage, which would have seemed an obvious move and reasonable. We already we have tested. And these are our first impressions of the first test of the Kia Niro, and 5 reasons why it has become one of our hybrid preferred.
1. The Kia Niro is a crossover, although most tourism that SUV.
behold him carefully. The Kia Niro enjoys proportions, and appearance, worthy of an SUV. In any case, the Kia Niro is not a hybrid version of the Kia Sportage. The Kia Niro uses a completely new platform that should only be used in hybrid applications, the same as that used by the new Hyundai IONIQ, which we have also been testing these days. Although his character of crossover stands out above all for aesthetic details, such as the design of the fenders, roof bars, chrome or protections of black plastic on bumpers and wheel arches.
In practice, the Kia Niro is not a drive too high. On board, the feeling is closer to driving a Kia cee’d a Kia Sportage, with a driving position closer to the asphalt. Even its dynamic looks too much like that of an SUV, with a chassis that contains very well the inertia and whose conduct reminds us more of a compact the use. That we like. Because dynamically it is a car more than acceptable and aesthetically, while complying with the current fashion, has the appearance of an SUV.
2. A mechanical hybrid that has convinced us.
Kia has resorted to a mechanical hybrid that does not follow the pattern established by the manufacturer hybrid by excellence, Toyota. The Kia Niro has a gasoline engine 1.6 GDI 105 BHP of power, and an electric motor of 32 kW of solidarity to the gearbox, for deliver in mode combined 141 HP of power. We liked that their services are acceptable, and we do not find ourselves with that feeling, that yes we have had on other hybrids, not to get the impression that really delivers 141 BHP of power. As a reference, I will tell you that this Kia Niro accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.5 seconds, which is not a figure excellent, but yes the same as a Kia Sportage 1.4 CRDi 136 ps of power.
The Kia Niro is very simple in its operation. Not enjoying driving modes to use, although it modifies some parameters (such as address), when you move the change of your automatic mode, the sequential mode. You do not have modes that modify the engine’s retention, nor is there a mode for pure electric, though at a low speed, booting up, or when coming to a stop, it moves only thanks to its electric motor.
Kia has placed its batteries just below, and behind, in the rear seats. While the fuel tank, 45-gallons, is located right under the trunk. This decision, this idea of placing the components in available sandwich-type, has ensured that its rear seats are quite spacious, and the very low centre of gravity.
3. The key to the Kia Niro is to be found in your change of double clutch.
The Kia Niro is a car designed to offer a greater enjoyment, and free, in the driving other hybrids, like the Toyota.
unlike hybrids from Toyota, continue to use solutions of continuously variable transmission, the Kia Niro has opted for a change of double clutch. It may not be a solution as thrifty as a CVT, but it is a solution that is more intuitive and grateful with the driver. The Kia Niro has six gears real, and a very fast and efficient. In automatic mode, the gears go up and down without barely you become aware of it. Although we have to say that its logic of operation, although extraordinarily efficient, we liked the pie at a higher rate, in both their search for the highest gear all the time can get to incomodarnos. For example, when faced with certain slopes upward, or out of a curve, the normal thing is that the change, in their search for the highest gear, required to go down several gears (kickdown) at the time pisemos the throttle with insistence, with a delay that is important.
In sequential mode it changes everything. The driver takes control of the gearbox, although to do so you have to use the lever on the central console, and there are no cams on the steering wheel (these could arrive in later iterations of the Kia Niro if Kia acknowledges that it is an interesting solution to their customers). To take control of the change, we noticed that the engine response is immediate, and with sufficient forcefulness. In an excess could tell you that I find it comparable to that of a gasoline engine of four cylinders around 120 BHP of power.
In terms of the driving pleasure of the Kia Niro we are convinced that this car is, by far, much more enjoyable and entertaining than the hybrid Toyota, which on the other hand are the most comfortable and smooth in city driving.
Without aspiration sport, the Kia Niro meets in sections revirados.
Without being a sports car, nor intending it, we have fun with him negotiating curves in the roads surrounding Montserrat, in Catalonia. The only flaw I found in these conditions was that the change, even in manual mode, sequential, change to the next gear too soon. We do not know what regime of revolutions, in both the Kia Niro lacks a rev counter. But we know that the fact of not reaching a diet high the heat engine is precisely due to which the speed up to the background we also have the support of the electric motor.
As I said before, the Kia Niro is not equipped with driving modes to use. That has its pros and cons. With the selector change in automatic, the Kia Niro works in the brand, referred to as ECO mode. A way that seeks to maximize consumption, but as I already said is far from show us the real performance of this car. In this way, in addition, the department has a tare very soft, excessively soft.
When placing the selector of the change in sequential mode the Kia Niro works in Sport mode. A mode in which the address is hard, and that we did meet up with an address that provides enough confidence to tackle hairpin turns at a higher pace, marking with a line drawing and the trajectory that will follow the car.
4. A mechanical hybrid truly economical and efficient.
A priori it seems a car very thrifty, especially in urban tours where you normally get the lower intakes on this car.
If Toyota is still using an Atkinson cycle engine and a drive controller is continuous for a very simple reason: Toyota wants to get the lowest consumption possible. That is why other manufacturers find it difficult for their cars to reach figures comparable to those of a Toyota Prius or a Toyota Auris Hybrid.
Sincerely, a test as limited as this, it is difficult to talk about consumption. Yes we can disclose that on the road, and in conditions more similar to those of the urban environment, in traffic jams on the road, we get closer to the 4.0-liter/100 km. A figure is excellent, and not so far from that we can offer the hybrid Toyota. As a curiosity, the surprise that we take with us to accommodate us in the driver’s seat and find that the on-board computer considers autonomy superior to the 700 and 800 kilometers with the full tank. Figures, to be achieved, or to stay close, in real conditions, would be excellent for this hybrid with a heat engine of gasoline and a tank of 45 liter capacity.
To achieve these goals, Kia has done a lot of aerodynamics and light-weighting of the Kia Niro. In addition to the use of high-strength steels, some outer panels have been assembled in aluminum, like the hood, or the tailgate, which can even be seen when you open the tailgate.
5. The Kia Niro is a hybrid with a fair price and tempting.
we Already know that the Kia Niro, with a equipment more than acceptable, it will boot 25.400€, with promotions and financing would be in 19.985€. In these moments, a Toyota Auris hybrid starts at 18.750€, also with promotion and funding. A Kia Sportage diesel 1.7 CRDi 115 CV, with finished Drive, it boots in 20.935€ with promotions and funding. Thus, we believe that this Kia Niro enjoys a price more than acceptable for a compact, with the appearance of crossover, mechanical, hybrid, and automatic.