Kia takes the hybrid road with the Niro

The Kia Niro.
The Kia Niro.

By Gerry Murphy

These days, car makers are weighing up the best way to go to try and reach the demands of the EU in terms of lower emissions into the future. Many are looking at electric, other are talking-up the positives of plug-in hybrids and some are looking at hybrids only. Toyota is the brand that is the biggest winner in the showrooms with the success of the Prius.

Kia have taken note and have decided to follow suit with the introduction of their new Niro, a hybrid compact Crossover/ SUV that they launched in Ireland this week. It is on the way to the dealer network and is a clear statement on where they see the industry going in the immediate future. Prices start at €30,595 or €29,095 on the road when you include the government’s €1,500 VRT reduction.

Designed by their world-famous designer, Peter Schreyer, it is a whole new car, engineered from the ground up as a dedicated hybrid vehicle. As you would expect from the pencil of the master, it is an attractive, modern designed car with a clear target of trying to attract buyer that have been in the market for the flood of SUV’s that we see on our roads today.

The Niro’s new platform has been engineered in isolation from existing Kia models, and is designed to accommodate a specific set of environmentally-conscious technologies and next-generation powertrains. The powertrain is made up of a 1.6-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine, lithium-ion polymer battery pack, 32kW electric motor and six-speed double-clutch transmission. Figures presented by Kia show that it emits just 88 g/km CO2 on a combined cycle, and is capable of using just 3.8 litres of petrol for every 100 km of driving.

Standard equipment on the Irish EXL model includes: Sat Nav with Android Auto, full leather interior with heated front seats, heated steering wheel, Dual Aircon with rain sensor, Lane Keep Assist, LED front and rear lights and privacy glass.

“Niro is the first step by Kia Motors Ireland in to Hybrid Electric Vehicles and we will continue to increase our presence in this market as the Kia Motors launches more, hybrid, plug in hybrid and EVs in the future,” said James Brooks, Managing Director of Kia Motors Ireland.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.