Kia has brought its highly anticipated 2018 Niro Plug-in Hybrid to North America with the official arrival of the vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week. The Nira PHEV sports an impressive 26 miles of all-electric range.
Starting in fully electric drive mode, the Niro PHEV is able to achieve an impressive 560 miles on a full charge + tank. What’s exciting to me about the Niro PHEV is that beyond what it gets on a full tank, the ability to recharge every night makes the first 25 or so miles of every trip fully electric miles with no tailpipe emissions.
“The Niro Plug-in is the exciting next step in Kia’s progression toward offering more alternative fuel vehicles by 2020,” said Orth Hedrick, Vice President of Product Planning for Kia Motors America. “Consumers who are intrigued by the Niro hybrid’s fantastic versatility and design, but want even more EcoDynamics technology and the ability to drive only using electric power, will find more to love in the Niro Plug-in Hybrid.”
Under the Hood
The Niro PHEV pairs a 44.5kW electric motor with its 4-cylinder 1.6-liter direct injection gasoline engine for an MPGe rating of 105. On gasoline alone, the Niro reverts to typical hybrid mode of operation, where it comes out at an EPA-estimated 48 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway for an average of 46 mpg combined.
Compared to the non-plug-in hybrid version of the Niro, the battery in the Kia Niro PHEV is 7.3 kWh larger, which enables the respectable 26 miles of all-electric range. The larger battery is built into the vehicle under the cargo floor and under the rear seat, ensuring maximum interior storage space and functionality.
The Kia Niro PHEV can be spotted by the charging port, which is blended into the driver’s side front fender for easy access and convenient charging access. On a Level 2, 240-volt charger, the Niro is fully charged after 2.5 hours, whereas it takes around 9 hours on a Level 1, 120-volt charger, making Level 1 an effective solution for overnight charging at home.
The Niro Plug-in Hybrid was originally unveiled in March of 2017 as the popular mark’s third plug-in model, and it got people excited right away since it hits right at the center of the yet to be tapped plug-in crossover category. With the introduction of the Niro PHEV, Kia complements its existing Optima PHEV and the Soul EV plug-in vehicles.
Many plug-in vehicle buyers are looking for vehicles with more utility and space than the typical compact plug-in vehicle offers. The Niro PHEV represents a solid entry into that market by Kia.
Stay tuned for an in-depth review of the Kia Niro PHEV, as we will spend more time with it in 2 weeks at a Kia event in Southern California followed shortly by a full review from a week-long loaner.
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