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2017 KIA Niro

The 2017 Kia Niro might look like any other crossover in the market today. Its facade gives the compact crossover impression but it is actually a hybrid.

Design wise, it has managed to combine a sleek look with a strong and confident feel of a conventional wagon and a genuine compact SUV. It also has the signature Kia grille etched in smooth rounded lines.


Intuitive and Space-maximized Design

The interior is spacious so there's plenty of room for anyone. The seating is elevated so the entry and exit is quite easy. The roofline is high and there's plenty of headroom for someone tall. Likewise, one can easily adjust the seating and steering wheel giving it a comfortable position to adjust to.

Niro boasts of a clean and simple interior design. The buttons inside the cabin are easy to see and use. It tells you exactly the purpose they serve.

Similarly, the touchscreen infotainment system is easy to use. It runs Kia's UVO interface considered to be one of the most intuitive to use in the market. So you can access maps and other apps without much hassle.

One can also benefit from gauge cluster's bright display including efficiency-related info and estimated remaining driving range.


Driving and Fuel Economy

Niro gives you a noiseless engine as you drive. The body is well insulated to suppress and isolate engine noise. Engine noise only kicks in when you push its engine hard.

When running, do not expect a race car performance. It does not provide much flex and the brakes feel heavy. It is also a bit sluggish compared to its contemporaries.

Though a positive highlight for Niro is its fuel efficiency and economy. It beats all other models under the Kia range with a combined 50 mpg rating when it comes to fuel economy. Niro's powertrain is a big factor in achieving this.

The 1.6-liter 4-cylinder gas engine combined with a small electric motor attached to a rear-mounted battery pack adds electrons to the drive. It runs on an ultra-efficient Atkinson cycle together with the six speed dual clutch automatic transmission which transfers more power to the pavement.

Niro's 32-kilowatt electric motor contributes its own torque. The electric motor recaptures some of the wasted energy from the engine and from braking to charge its battery. The battery gives this energy back to the motor to power Niro. Niro can run on its own electricity under certain conditions i.e. cruising on steady speed or running at slow speeds in traffic.

Safety Features

Although the safety rating has not come out yet from federal testers, like other Kia models, the Kia Niro offers most of the latest active-safety features. There are options that you can choose from including autonomous emergency brakes, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change assist, and lane-departure warning.


The Pros and Cons

The cons include sluggish performance, no safety rating at this time and do not offer all-wheel drive.

The pros include comfortable interior, good engine noise suppression, sleek, small SUV type design and good power transition.


2017 KIA Niro Bio:
MSRPFrom $22,890
MPGUp to 52 city / 49 highway
Horsepower139 hp
Battery1.56 kWh 240 V lithium polymer
Engine1.6 L 4-cylinder

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