Following the launch of the Niro HEV in late 2016 the Plug-in Hybrid version is now available in Irish showrooms at a price of €35,995. This price includes a €2,500 VRT reduction with a further €5,000 reduction available as the Niro PHEV also qualifies for the SEAI grant for environmentally friendly vehicles.
Available in just one trim level the Niro PHEV is generously equipped for both comfort and connectivity including leather upholstery with heated front seats and steering wheel, dual air-con, reversing camera, Sat Nav with Tom Tom services and Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility. The Niro PHEV also comes with a 5 star NCAP rating thanks to standard safety equipment that includes smart cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist and driver attention warning.
The Niro’s new platform has been engineered in isolation from existing Kia models, and is designed to accommodate a specific set of environmentally-conscious technologies and next-generation powertrains. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid pairs an economical 1.6-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine with a 8.9 kWh high-capacity lithium-polymer battery pack. The latest addition to Kia’s hybrid crossover range substantially reduces emissions over the more conventional Niro hybrid – CO2 emissions fall to 29 g/km (combined, New European Driving Cycle) – and the car offers a zero-emissions, pure-electric driving range of 58 kilometres.
James Brooks, Managing Director, Kia Motors Ireland, commented: “As sales of PHEVs continues to grow in Ireland there is also a growing demand for crossover vehicles and Niro happily meets the demand of those consumers who want both the style and practicality of a crossover and the low emissions of an advanced PHEV “
Brooks added: “The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is one of the latest low-emissions cars from Kia which will help the company achieve its global target for 2020 – to improve average fleet fuel efficiency by 25% over 2014 levels.”
Stand-out crossover styling for the hybrid car market
The styling of the Niro was led by Kia’s design centres in California, USA and Namyang, Korea and incorporates the practicality and aesthetic allure of a compact crossover, with a sleek, aerodynamic body and subtly sculptured surfaces.
With its aerodynamic, crossover-inspired silhouette, subtly sculptured surfaces and sharp, modern lines, the Niro is nevertheless instantly recognisable as a Kia. The car bears the latest evolution of Kia’s signature ‘tiger-nose’ grille, as well as the brand’s characteristically wide C-pillar and a series of other signature design cues. Optional new full-LED headlamps, with LED turn signals, are also available.
The Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid is available with a choice of four colours, and rides on 16-inch alloy wheels.
Modern, horizontal dashboard emphasises cabin space
The cabin of the Kia Niro has been designed to give an impression of space and modernity, with a wide dashboard and defined horizontal lines. The Niro follows the most recent Kia models in offering high quality, soft-touch materials throughout the interior.
The interior of the Niro Plug-in Hybrid is upholstered in single-tone grey leather seat trim, finished with blue stitching, and features a two-tone dashboard with a new blue air vent surround.
29 g/km CO2 emissions from advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain
The Niro Plug-in Hybrid offers buyers a convincing alternative to compact crossovers powered by traditional gasoline or diesel internal combustion engines. The car gives owners the opportunity to complete short journeys and daily commutes with zero emissions and lower running costs.
At the heart of the Niro’s new plug-in powertrain is a high-capacity 8.9 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, growing in size from the 1.56 kWh battery pack found in Kia’s hybrid crossover. The new battery pack is paired with a more powerful 44.5 kW electric motor (offering almost 40% more power, up from 32 kW) compared to the Hybrid model.
The battery and electric motor are paired with the Niro’s efficient 1.6-litre ‘Kappa’ four-cylinder GDI engine, which independently produces 105 ps and 147 Nm torque. The total power and torque output for the Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s powertrain is 141 ps and 265 Nm, enabling the new model to accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in 10.8 seconds (0.7 seconds quicker than the standard Niro).
With greater capacity and electric power output, Kia engineers are targeting a pure-electric driving range of 58 kilometres. While the standard Niro hybrid emits just 88 g/km of CO2 in its most efficient configuration, emissions for the Plug-in Hybrid model will drop significantly, to 29 g/km (combined, New European Driving Cycle).
Power is applied to the road through the Niro’s six-speed double-clutch transmission (6DCT), allowing drivers to shift gear for themselves for a more immediate, more entertaining drive than other hybrid models equipped with a traditional electronic continuously-variable transmission (e-CVT). The 6DCT is paired with a Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED), which allows the full output of both the engine and electric motor to be transferred in parallel through the transmission, with a minimal loss of energy. This differs from the power-split systems typical of an e-CVT hybrid, which converts a portion of engine output for delivery through the electric motor, resulting in power losses from energy conversion.
Energy-harvesting and predictive driving assistant technologies
The Niro Plug-in Hybrid provides owners with a range of technologies to enhance battery efficiency and improve the car’s range – in zero-emissions electric mode, and when the 1.6-litre engine is in use.
Regenerative braking technology allows the Niro to harvest kinetic energy and recharge the battery pack while coasting or braking, while a new Eco Driving Assistant System (Eco DAS) provides drivers with intelligent guidance on how to drive more efficiently under current conditions. Eco DAS includes Coasting Guide Control (CGC) and Predictive Energy Control (PEC), enabling drivers to maximise fuel mileage by suggesting when to coast or brake.
CGC alerts drivers as to the best time to lift off the accelerator and coast towards a junction, allowing the battery to regenerate under engine deceleration. Operating at certain speeds when a navigation destination is set, it alerts drivers when to coast via a small icon in the instrument cluster as well as an unobtrusive audible warning.
PEC uses the navigation and cruise control systems to anticipate topographical changes – inclines and bends – in the route ahead. It uses this information to determine when best to recharge the battery pack, or to direct stored energy to the wheels and actively manage energy flow accordingly. For example, if it detects an uphill incline coming up, the system may choose to retain more electrical energy to provide greater battery assistance climbing the hill. Conversely, if PEC detects an upcoming opportunity to coast downhill, it may choose to discharge some electrical energy ahead of time, enhancing short-term engine efficiency in the knowledge that it can recharge soon.
High stability and engaging handling from fully-independent suspension
The Kia Niro has been engineered independently to other Kia models, with a significantly re-engineered version of existing Kia platform hardware. This platform has been designed to accommodate the Niro’s specific set of hybrid powertrain technologies, while its global development and evaluation programme ensures it offers buyers the smooth ride, engaging handling and high stability expected of a modern Kia model.
The Kia Niro is equipped with fully-independent MacPherson strut front suspension, tuned to offer maximum on-centre steering feel, immediate reactions to steering inputs and high-speed stability. The Niro also features the latest electronic driver aids, including Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management and Electronic Stability Control, to provide stability, traction and safety in all conditions.
NVH countermeasures ensure refinement in all-electric or hybrid driving modes
A series of measures have been adopted in the new Kia Niro to ensure low levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). A particular challenge for the Niro, Kia engineers sought to ensure the car remained as quiet and refined as possible.
As a hybrid, it is important that the Niro remains as refined as possible when the 1.6-litre GDI engine is running. The car therefore features a range of measures to reduce the penetration of engine noise into the cabin. These include specially-designed asymmetric engine mounts to manage powertrain movements at each point in the front subframe, high density under-bonnet insulation, and a sound-deadening acoustic shield with a special support structure to improve the sound of the engine accelerating across the most used range of engine speeds.
High practicality with crossover platform engineered to accommodate hybrid system
The Niro hybrid crossover is designed to offer high levels of practicality and comfortable interior dimensions despite the compact on-road footprint.
The Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s high-capacity battery pack is located beneath the floor of the 324 litre (VDA) boot and beneath the rear seat bench. This allows the new derivative to offer buyers greater practicality than other C-segment plug-in hybrid hatchback models, while space in the cabin of the Niro remains unaffected. There is a dedicated space beneath the boot floor to store the Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s charging cable when not in use. The fuel tank is located alongside the battery pack beneath the rear bench, with a 43-litre capacity.
The Niro Plug-in Hybrid follows its Hybrid sibling in offering an optional Towing Pack – rare amongst cars in the hybrid class – allowing owners to tow braked loads of up to 1,300 kg.
Infotainment: Kia Connected Services, Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™
At the heart of the dashboard is Kia’s latest Human Machine Interface (HMI) and a large 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with navigation. The HMI supports Bluetooth smartphone and audio connectivity which is available across a number of European markets, and are connected to a six-speaker audio system.
The Niro Plug-in Hybrid also adopts Kia Connected Services, powered by TomTom®. This connectivity package offers drivers a wide range of up-to-date information, including live traffic updates*, speed camera locations and alerts*, local point-of-interest search and weather forecasts. Available in cars equipped with navigation Kia’s Connected Services will be available free of charge for European buyers for seven years after the car’s purchase.
The Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s infotainment system provides owners with maximum smartphone integration, offering Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, designed to work with Android phones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher, and iPhone 5 or newer, respectively. Meeting a trend for ever-increasing smartphone use, the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid is available with a wireless charger for mobile devices, enabling users to charge a mobile device on the move, without the need for a wire connection.
High-strength steel body combined with range of active safety technologies
The Niro builds on Kia’s legacy of developing some of the safest vehicles on the road, offering high standards for occupant and pedestrian crash safety. Engineered to meet the demands of the toughest and most demanding crash safety tests around the world, the Niro features a strong bodyshell and a wide array of passive safety equipment, as well as the latest active safety and autonomous hazard avoidance technologies.
The Niro is fitted as standard with seven airbags for optimum passive occupant safety, with airbags for driver and front passenger, driver knee, first row side airbags, and first and second row curtain airbags. ISOFIX child-seat tether and anchor points are fitted as standard to the second row of seats, to safely secure children.
Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) system, fitted as standard to the new car, helps ensure stability under braking and cornering by carefully controlling the vehicle’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and electric motor-driven power steering. If the system detects a loss of traction, VSM helps the driver to remain safely in control of the vehicle.
Cutting-edge driver assistance features are also available, with Kia bringing a suite of its DRiVE WISE Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to the Niro Plug-in Hybrid. Standard active hazard-avoidance technologies standard in Ireland: Autonomous Emergency Braking** (Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist), Smart Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, and Driver Attention Warning.
Kia targeting 25% fuel economy improvement by 2020 compared to 2014
The development of the Niro, with an all-new platform and bespoke powertrain, will contribute to Kia’s ambition to becoming a leader in the low emissions car market by 2020. In the next five years, Kia will expand its current green car line-up from the four current models to 11 – including the Niro Plug-in Hybrid and Optima Plug-in Hybrid model line-up – and is targeting a 25% global improvement to average fleet fuel efficiency over 2014 levels.
- Ends -
Notes to editors
*Legal restrictions to these services may apply depending on country usage
**The Autonomous Emergency Braking System (AEBS, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist) is an assistance system and does not relieve the driver from his/her responsibility to safely operate the vehicle at any time. The driver still has to adapt his/her driving behaviour to his/her personal driving capabilities, to the legal requirements and to the overall road and traffic conditions. AEBS is not designed to drive the vehicle autonomously. For further information, please refer to the owner’s manual.
Aidan Doyle, Kia Motors Ireland
Tel: 087 924 0750
Gillian Neely, Kia Motors Ireland
Tel: 087 359 3637
ALL NEW KIA NIRO PLUG-IN HYBRID
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS (EUROPE)
Body and chassis
Five-door, five-seater plug-in hybrid crossover, with steel and aluminium unitary construction bodyshell. Gasoline four-cylinder engines and parallel plug-in hybrid system driving the front wheels via six-speed double-clutch transmission.
1.6-litre / 105 ps GDI
Type DOHC, four cylinder in-line
Bore and stroke 72.0 x 97.0
Compression ratio 13.0:1
Max power 105 ps (77 kW) @ 5,700 rpm
Max torque 147 Nm (108 lb ft) @ 4,000 rpm
Valves 16 (four per cylinder)
Fuel system Gasoline direct injection
Emissions class Euro Stage 6b
Battery and electric motor
Battery type Lithium-ion polymer
Voltage 360 V
Energy 8.9 kWh
Max power (motor) 60.5 ps (44.5 kW)
Max torque 170 Nm (125 lb ft)
Combined hybrid system
Total power 141 ps (104 kW)
Total torque 265 Nm (195 lb ft)
Six-speed double-clutch transmission (DCT)
Final drive 4.438 (gears 1-4)
3.227 (gears 5-6, R)
Suspension and damping
Front Fully-independent by subframe-mounted MacPherson struts, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar
Rear Fully-independent by subframe-mounted double wishbones, coil springs and gas-filled shock absorbers, with anti-roll stabiliser bar
Type Electric motor-driven rack-and-pinion power steering
Steering ratio 13.9:1
Turns, lock-to-lock 2.66
Turning circle 5.3 metres
Front 15-inch ventilated discs
Rear 15-inch solid discs
Parking brake Foot-operated
Wheels and tyres
Standard Alloy 16-inch, 205/60 R16 tyres
Spare Tyre mobility kit
Overall length 4,355 Overall width* 1,805
Overall height 1,535 Wheelbase 2,700
Front overhang 870 Rear overhang 785
Ride height 160
*excluding door mirrors
1st row 2nd row
Head room 1,018 993
Leg room 1,059 950
Shoulder room 1,423 1,402
Hip room 1,364 1,228
Fuel tank 43 litres
Luggage (VDA) 324 litres
Curb weight 1,519
Gross weight 2,000
Tow capacity, braked 1,300*
*Optional Towing Pack
Top speed (kph) 172
0-100 kph (secs) 10.8
Economy (litres / 100 km)
CO2 (g/km) 29