Kia’s newest vehicle, the 2017 Niro, is the lowest-priced, gasoline-electric hybrid SUV on the market and is rated as high as 50 miles per gallon in combined city/highway travel.
The starting MSRP is $23,785 for a front-wheel drive, five-seat Niro FE with four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and lithium ion battery pack to generate a total of 139 horsepower.
The base price includes an automatic transmission, rearview camera, keyless entry, cruise control, seven air bags, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, audio controls on the steering wheel and a 7-inch display screen in the middle of the dashboard.
Even with luxury features added, such as a Harman Kardon premium sound system, leather-trimmed seats, power sunroof, navigation system and heated steering wheel, the Niro still can be priced under $31,000. This pricing undercuts other hybrid SUVs that combine power from an onboard electric motor with a gasoline engine for optimum fuel mileage.
While affordability is the Niro’s most attractive trait, this small SUV also appeals with its comfortable seating positions, pleasant driving traits, decent passenger space and flexible, SUV-like cargo room.
Kia uses a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission in the Niro for more natural-feeling gearing and responsiveness. Regenerative braking and the engine help replenish the battery pack, but a plug-in Niro is due later in 2017.
The top fuel mileage of 52 mpg in city driving and 49 mpg on highways is for the base, Niro FE model, which weighs the least. City mileage is rated higher than highway mileage because the electric power is able to assist more often in city travel.
Back-seat passengers have 37.4 inches of legroom, while there’s nearly 42 inches for front-seat riders. Headroom all around is more than 39 inches.
The luxury features in the Touring model included heated and ventilated front seats, memory driver seat, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, turn signals in the outside mirrors, front and rear park assist, leather, sunroof, 18-inch wheels, and premium audio. Rear seatbacks fold down flat to expand cargo space. The cargo floor sits up at bumper level, so there’s no lifting heavy objects up and out. All-wheel drive is not offered on the Niro, and towing capacity is limited.
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Stay tuned to this space for more info on the Kia Niro as it becomes available. Stop by 66 Automall in the meantime to test drive a new or used Kia or to schedule service with a technician at Sansone Jr.’s 66 Automall.