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Published on September 5th, 2017 | by James Ayre


Kia Niro PHEV & Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV Launch In The UK

September 5th, 2017 by  

Kia has now launched plug-in hybrid versions of the popular Niro crossover and the Optima Sportswagon in the UK.

These releases follow the earlier release of a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Optima — meaning that Kia now sells 3 different PHEV models in the UK.

Pricing for the new offerings seems fairly competitive, though perhaps a bit higher than most consumers would like. Pricing for the Niro PHEV effectively begins at £27,995 (after the UK’s plug-in car grant of £2,500 is taken into account), and effective pricing for the Optima Sportswagon PHEV begins at £32,645 (also after the grant is taken into account).

Kia Niro PHEV

The Kia Niro PHEV features a 44.5kW (60bhp) electric motor, paired with a 1.6-liter direct-injection petrol engine. Combined system output is 139 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The top speed is 107 mph, and the 0–60 mph acceleration time is 10.4 seconds.

The lithium-ion polymer battery pack totals 8.9 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in capacity — providing for around 36 miles of travel on electricity only, according to the press release. The charge time is reportedly 2.5 hours, from fully depleted to full.

Kia notes: “With potential fuel economy of well over 200mpg and CO2 emissions of just 29g/km, the Niro PHEV is easily the Korean company’s most efficient car to feature a combustion engine ever. It will be a cornerstone of Kia’s drive to reduce the average CO2 emissions of its range by 25 per cent, based on 2014 figures, by 2020.”

Notably, “Autonomous Emergency Braking with Smart Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, Hill-start Assist Control’ and a Speed Limiter” all come standard.

Kia Optima Sportswagon PHEV

Kia also provides further details on the PHEV version of the Optima Sportswagon: “Thanks to increased storage capacity in its lithium-ion polymer batteries, the Optima Sportswagon PHEV has a longer all-electric range, lower CO2 emissions and better fuel economy than the plug-in hybrid saloon. The increased storage capacity of 11.26 kWh (saloon 9.8 kWh) takes into account that the Sportswagon is likely to carry heavier loads than the saloon.

“The Sportswagon PHEV can travel up to 38 miles in all-electric mode (saloon 33 miles), so it is able to complete many regular urban commuter runs with no tailpipe emissions. Its CO2 figure of just 33g/km (saloon 37g/km) means company car users pay just 9% benefit-in-kind taxation in 2017-18, the same as with the saloon. The Sportswagon’s combined fuel economy figure is 201.8mpg (saloon 176.6mpg).”

Combines system output is 202 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque — achieved through the combination of a 50 kW (67 bhp) electric motor and a 2.0-liter direct-injection petrol engine.

Overall, these are probably a pretty good deal for those unwilling to go fully electric (despite the ability for many people to now comfortably do so in the UK, following the launch of the refreshed Nissan LEAF).


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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