The Kia Niro plug-in hybrid will be available in US showrooms early in 2018. List price is $28,840 for the LX model, which comes with more features and standard equipment than the entry-level Kia Niro hybrid. That price includes a $940 destination fee. Kia says customers will be able to get a 12,000 mile per year lease for $259 per month for 36 months with $1,999 due at signing. The lease price takes into consideration the $4,543 federal tax credit.
The LX is no strippo, hide-it-out-on-the-back-of-the-lot special. It comes with 16 inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, a power driver’s seat, and a dual zone automatic climate control system. It has a 7 inch infotainment touchscreen with both Android Auto and Apple Carplay installed. Moving up a notch to the EX trim level adds heated front seats and side-view mirrors, a 10 way adjustable driver’s seat, leather inserts on the seats, blind spot detection, lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert. It lists for $31,500.
The range-topping EX Premium lists for $34,500 and includes LED headlights, a 110 volt power inverter, ventilated leather seats, a heated steering wheel, and an 8 speaker Harman Kardon sound system. It also adds front and rear parking sensors and a larger touchscreen with enhanced navigation options.
The Kia Niro PHEV has an all-electric EPA range of 26 miles. That’s half that of the Chevy Volt but still enough to meet the daily driving needs of most drivers. The Volt is somewhat more expensive but is a hatchback while the Niro is a crossover-style vehicle with more interior room. Kia says the Niro PHEV can be fully recharged in 2.5 hours using a Level 2 charger or 9 hours using a Level 1 charger.
The primary advantage of a plug-in hybrid is never having to worry about range anxiety or searching for a public charging station far from home on a dark night. The Kia is a very efficient transportation module with an EPA rating of 105 MPGe. When using its gas engine, it is rated 48 mpg city, 44 mpg highway, and 46 mpg combined. That is some seriously impressive fuel economy. Total combined range is 560 miles.
But frugal only goes so far when you are behind the wheel. The feature that sets the Kia Niro PHEV apart from snoozemobiles like the Prius Prime with its droning CVT is a slick shifting 6 speed transmission with paddle controls that makes driving fun again. Roominess, efficiency, sportiness, and mostly zero emissions — the Kia Niro is the complete package.
Source: Electric Cars Report