Test Kia Niro, a hybrid with style

this is Not another crossover more that comes to take advantage of the insatiable appetite for SUVS. The Kia Niro is a showcase of the most eco-friendly of the hyundai brand which tries to meet the growing demand for alternative propulsion vehicles. Although Kia has already had and has in its catalog other cars with versions electrified, the Niro is the first model developed from the outset to be a hybrid.

Its european version was presented at the Geneva motor show 2016, and is manufactured in the factory in Hwasung (South Korea) to the entire world. Compared to other SUV hybrids in the market, the Niro is proposed as a model is more compact and more economic. Size is smaller than a Kia Sportage, although that does not make it less versatile.

The platform of the Niro is completely new and is not shared by any other model from Kia, although it is the same as that of the Hyundai Ioniq. It has been conceived as a basis for hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids and electric and will give a lot of play because it is to be used for a range of green vehicles of this brand have the that the Niro is the first exponent.

discrete Design

Your style has been defined in the design centers of Kia in California (USA) and Namyang (South Korea). The dimensions of the Kia Niro are 4.355 mm long, 1.805 mm wide and 1.535 mm high. Despite the innovative technology that hides, the exterior design is quite discreet, especially if we compare it with models of lines more bold as the new Sportage or Soul, especially in the front. The rear does show a more personal aspect.

Their shapes are soft and well proportioned, with a hood, relatively long, short overhangs, optical groups high waist and upward. On the design table, the asian manufacturer has set main objective is to achieve a high aerodynamic efficiency, and the result has been an SUV with a good coefficient of 0,29. In addition, it employs active aerodynamic as the grill of the front bumper only opens when it needs cooling.

53% of The frame is made of steel reinforced high voltage. To lighten weight is used aluminum for the manufacturing of the hood and the tailgate, measures have saved 11 pounds. It is also used this material in components such as the beam interior after the front bumper, bushings and brake parts or suspension.


The range of the Niro is composed of three finishes

The interior is also sober distilling strokes are fairly classical, with a clear inspiration from the interior of the Kia Optima. Its horizontal lines emphasise the width to give a greater feeling of interior space and the materials are refined and have a nice feel to it, highlighting the huge leap in quality that the brand has given on this point in recent years.

habitability is remarkable thanks to a wide wheelbase for its size. The space for the legs and the head is big both in front and behind so that four people will travel to their heart’s content on this crossover. The central square at the back is less cozy, designed for occasional use, as is usual in this segment.

The benefits of having been created as a hybrid is noticeable that from the beginning has been reserved hole to the batteries, there has not been that site. The structure has already been designed for your convenient accommodation under the rear seats and in this way you do not lose cargo space. In fact, it is one of the SUV’s of this size with greater trunk. The volume ranges between 401 liters if equipped with spare wheel, 427 litres with repair kit puncture, and the 1.399 litres with the backrest of the rear seats reclined.


Good finish and very complete equipment

hybrid System’s 141-HP

The Kia Niro employs a propulsion system is shared with the Hyundai Ioniq. Its range will be expanded in the future with a hybrid variant plug-and rule out the presence of any versions that use exclusively combustion engines. The propulsion is always to the front wheels.

The hybrid system employs a gasoline engine of direct injection 1.6 GDI 105 CV that works in the Atkinson cycle. This is combined with a electric motor of 32 kW (43,5 CV) that receives its energy from a lithium-ion polymer battery with an energy of 1.56 kWh and 6.5 Ah capacity. The hybrid is managed automatically, by choosing the operation of both motors according to the needs.

The combined power is of 141 HP and is delivered in a linear way. The maximum torque of 265 Nm arrives almost instantly, only 1,000 rpm and constant up to 2,400 rpm. The touch driving of the Niro is enjoyable in general terms and is not much like other hybrid models. In fact, almost have the same feeling of driving a car with heat engine conventional.


The propulsion system is shared with the Hyundai Ioniq

Good part of [theguilt is the employment of a gearbox DCT dual-clutch and six-speed transmission, developed from the DCT of seven gears that already have some models of the brand. thanks bet for this transmission instead of the tedious CVT who are bent on using other manufacturers. That implies that we don’t have a loud noise and droning of the engine in phases of strong acceleration. The box of double clutch also allows for handling sequential whose selection activates a more dynamic way that affects the transmission, steering and throttle response. No version account with cams on the steering wheel.

The Niro is very quiet and comfortable at all times

Another important element that makes us forget that we are driving a hybrid is the magnificent touch of the address, which has a assistance that is accurate and a good guided. Goodbye to those addresses too assisted and insensitive that they do not transmit any feedback. It is not so got the brake because when braking you have to apply enough intensity on the pedal, possibly due to the fact that in a first time acts as the energy recovery system. This is not to slow it down a little-has a braking capacity is normal – but you need to get used to the touch. Surprisingly the parking brake is foot instead of employing one electric -from Kia have been assured that their intention is to implement it in the future.

The different phases in which turns on and turns off the gasoline engine does not produce any type of vibration in steering wheel or pedals. Yes that is noticeable to the ear, although the noise of the engine heat is very mild. It doesn’t reach the interior much rolling noise or aerodynamic. It is clear that the hyundai brand has worked intensively in the isolation of the cabin and the result is very good.


The box DCT conditions (for good) the experience of driving

alloy wheels can be 16 or 18 inches, according to the finish chosen. Your choice is not a mere question of aesthetics: depending on the size of the tires, the adjustment of the suspension varies. In all cases, the rear suspension is multi-link. In circulation for fast roads the stability of the linear is high and a sense of security to the driver. The body shows rocking obvious when it is in strong support of but it is something quite logical for a car with this height and weight -is around 1.4 tons, and the batteries are only added 33,0 kg of weight – that you do not look for a touch, especially in sports.

The ground clearance of this crossover is of 160 mm, which allows us to go down roads not paved, low difficulty, without damaging the low. There will be a Niro awd to maintain a greater differentiation with the Sportage -the margin of the engine, of course-.

The benefits are modest but not lacking in more power. The figures approved by Kia show that it is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.5 seconds and reaching a top speed of only 162 km/h. It is more than enough if you practice riding at a moderate pace, which is the most optimal to get good consumption.


The beautiful box of instruments shows a very complete information

In fact, the efficiency seems to be one of its strong points. The consumption approved is 3.8 l/100 km and the CO2 emissions are estimated at 88 g/km, values that are obtained with wheels of 16 inches. If you opt for wheels 18 inches, you gain in aesthetics but the consumption goes up to 4.4 l/100 km and emissions of 101 g/km, Although in the framework of a presentation does not have opportunity to roll in all the possible scenarios, the feeling is that reit is possible to be below 5 l/100 km, if we move with calm.

Soon the Niro will include a innovative assistance system predictive driving -was not yet available in the units of the presentation. This interesting technology for supporting the efficient driving named Eco-DAS (Eco-Driving Assistant System) uses the information from the browser to anticipate the pending on the road and determine when is the best time to recharge the battery. It also warns the driver of the best time to stop stepping on the accelerator and move by inertia up to an intersection and so save energy.

The idea is very thought-provoking. An SUV hybrid is compact in size with an attractive price-equipment you can find public between those who until now believed that hybrid cars were boring. A hybrid that sometimes does not seem to hybrid. The new Kia Niro will be on sale in Spain from September onwards, although you will be able to make bookings from August onwards. As is usual in the hyundai brand will have a warranty of 7 years or 150.000 km