Anton Andres / Brent Co | January 16, 2017 17:36
Kia enters B-Segment crossover market with hybrid power
First debuted during the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, the Kia Niro makes its first appearance in the ASEAN region. Making its regional debut in Singapore, the Niro is Kia's first dedicated hybrid model, as well as the marque's first hybrid crossover.
Despite its green technologies found in the crossover, Kia positions the Niro a notch below the Sportage due to its size. The Niro measures in at 4,355 mm long, 1,805 mm wide and 1,545 mm tall while sitting on a 2,700 mm wheelbase. These dimensions put the Niro in the middle of the B-Segment crossover segment.
For its exterior, Kia describes the Niro as an “un-hybrid design”, saying that they have chosen to give the crossover a more conventional look for added practicality. A wider version of Kia's signature 'Tiger Nose' grill adorns the front end with uniquely designed upswept headlights by the top corners of the fascia. It also comes with active air flaps and air curtains to cut down on drag.
On to its side, it gets an upright roofline that goes downwards towards the rear section of the car. The window line meanwhile sweeps upwards which is complemented by defined shoulder lines. At the rear, it gets an integrated rear spoiler on the tailgate and tail lights that follows the form of Kia's design language. Despite the formal looks, Kia says drag coefficiency is rated at 0.29 cD.
Inside, the Niro features a driver-oriented center console with aluminum effect trim and piano black inserts. More piano black inserts can be seen on the door panels. In addition, it also gets automatic climate control and rear passengers are treated to their own air conditioning vents mounted at the back of the center armrest. As for other equipment, the Niro gets a 5-inch touchscreen infortainment system, ventilated seats, 4.2-inch multi-information display at the instrument cluster and a wireless smartphone charging system.
Powering the Niro is a 1.6-liter GDI inline-four accompanied by an electric motor packing lithium-ion batteries. It is all wheel drive with the gas engine providing traction to the front wheels and the electric motor sending drive to the rear wheels. With the engine and electric motor power combine, the Niro puts out 148 PS along with 264 Nm of torque. It then shifts via a six-speed dual clutch transmission. Kia adds that a plug-in hybrid model is currently under development.