The 2016 Chicago Auto Show saw Kia reveal the all-new Niro Hybrid Utility crossover. Touted as the company's B-segment crossover fighter, the Niro blends distinct styling and hybrid propulsion in a relatively small package.
Now, the company has released another version of the Niro only this time it's a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV). Making its world debut at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show is the 2018 Niro PHEV. According to Kia, the all-new PHEV has a maximum range of 901 km and features subtle design revisions that makes it different from the standard hybrid.
For starters, the tiger-nose grill trim and surround have been slightly modified while the headlights now come with LED lighting. Moreover, 'Hybrid Blue' accents can be seen throughout the crossover which makes it distinct. But perhaps the most telltale sign that this particular Niro is a PHEV is the charging port located on the left front fender.
Like the standard Niro, the PHEV version features a lightweight yet rigid frame that is comprised of 50-percent Advance High Strength Steel (AHSS). To further keep the weight down on the Niro PHEV, Kia also extensively used aluminum in making the crossover's hood, tailgate, suspension components like the front lower control arms and rear knuckles, and the brake calipers.
Inside, the Niro PHEV gets a minor nip-and-tuck as well. Hybrid Blue trim accents can be seen on the dashboard, aircon vents, as well as on the door handle trim. Meanwhile, the instrument panel now has a 7-inch colored meter cluster with a digital tachometer. Other standard amenities that are carried over from the standard Niro include automatic climate control, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and an engine start/stop button.
Driving the 2018 Niro PHEV is a 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that has a combined system output of 141 PS and 264 Nm of torque. Power is then routed through a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. According to Kia, the Niro PHEV is capable of averaging 20.4 km/l in the city and nearly 18.8 km/ in the highway. It has a total cruising range of 901 km and a 41 km electric-only range.
Apart from the high-tech hybrid system that powers the Niro PHEV, the crossover also comes with a suite of safety systems like: blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency lane braking, forward collision warning and lane keep assist.
The 2018 Kia Niro PHEV will go on sale in the US beginning in 2018.