The Kia Company has expanded its hybrid and EV lineup with another great vehicle. It is the newest 2018 Kia Niro. This model will be available with a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid powertrains under its hood. The hybrid has already been on sale since the beginning of this year, and now the car maker is planning to introduce a PHEV version. Visually, the new Niro won’t differ much from its forerunner, and it will keep its bold and unique design as earlier. Inside, the Kia Niro will offer comfortable and luxurious cabin with plenty of modern features. Furthermore, Kia will provide excellent fuel efficiency and very good performance.
The Kia Niro will be available in four trim levels: Those are the base FE, LX, EX and the range-topping Touring model. Its main competitors will be Toyota Prius, Toyota RAV4, Kia Soul and Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.
2018 Kia Niro engine and performance
Under the hood of the 2018 Kia Niro will be placed a hybrid engine found in the current model. It is a combination of a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder direct-injected engine and an electric motor of 32 kWh or precisely 43 hp. There is also a lithium-ion battery of 1.6 kWh capacity placed under the rear seat. This unit is able to produce 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. As for the fuel economy, it gets around 50 mpg combined.
However, in the end of this year, the Niro will be also available with a plug-in hybrid engine. The PHEV version will use the same 1.6-liter inline-4 gasoline engine with a stronger electric motor of 44.5 kWh. As well, the battery will have stronger capacity of 8.9 kWh. The total output of this unit will be 140 hp and 195 pound-feet of torque. An all-electric range of this drivetrain will be around 36 miles.
Design of exterior and interior
When it comes to exterior, the 2018 Kia Niro will feature the same design as the current model. The front end is dominated by the well-known wide, tiger nose grille and a pair of large and narrow headlamps. The headlamps give it more aggressive appearance and are equipped with standard LED lighting. The Niro will ride on standard 16-inch alloy wheels while the higher trims will receive larger 18-inch alloys.
Inside, the 2018 Kia Niro offers sufficiently spacious cabin with plenty of room for all the passengers to drive comfortably. The rear seats will be split folding if you need more cargo space. The seats are upholstered in cloth while the top trims will arrive with leather upholstery. The dashboard will feature a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The top trim will be equipped with larger 8.0-inch touchscreen.
As for the equipment, all trim come standard with a rearview camera, USB, dual-zone climate control, 6-way manually adjustable driver seat, seven airbags etc. The EX trim will add heated front seats, blind spot monitors, leather-wrapped steering wheel and so on. And the last one, the Touring will get Harman Kardon premium audio system with 8 speakers, ventilated front seats, HD radio, heated steering wheel etc.
Release date and price
The 2018 Kia Niro is already available on the market while the PHEV version will arrive later this year. The price shouldn’t differ much from the current model which starts at around $23,000.