Full specs and details of the 2017 Kia Niro hybrid SUV

Full specifications for the Kia Niro hybrid, which takes on the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq family cars

The 2017 Kia Niro hybrid SUV is the brand’s first-ever hybrid and goes up against the Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq and Honda Insight.

Built on an all-new platform, the Niro from being designed as a hybrid from the ground up, and it will form the basis for upcoming plug-in and pure-electric models.

“The Niro fills a gap in the market for a crossover with typically low hybrid emissions and will appeal to a broad range of European buyers,” said Kia’s European chief operating officer, Michael Cole.

“The Niro will allow Kia to meet this growing demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles and help us meet our 2020 global target to improve average fleet efficiency by 25% over 2014 levels.”

Starting from £21,295 with the 1 trim level, and ranging up to £26,995 for the well-equipped First Edition version, the Niro undercuts the Prius, which starts from around £24,000.

2017 Kia Niro styling

Kia has styled the Niro very differently to rivals like the Prius and Hyundai Ioniq, which have a wedge shape dictated by a mission to improve aerodynamics. Instead, Kia has created a small crossover that shares design cues with the Kia Sportage SUV, including its ‘Tiger Nose’ grille, headlights pushed to the extremities of the nose to accentuate its width and large wheelarches.

Despite the car’s upright shape, designers working in California as well as Korea have managed to get the Niro’s aerodynamic drag coefficient down to an impressive 0.29 – a similar figure to a sleek saloon car.

Judged purely on its size, the Niro finds itself between the Kia Cee’d family hatchback and aforementioned Sportage SUV, so it’s a practical proposition. While it’s not as customisable as something like a Nissan Juke, a choice of seven colours and alloy wheels from 16 to 18 inches in size give some scope for personalisation.

Thanks to the clean-sheet design, the Niro’s batteries and electric motor have no effect on cabin space or luggage room, so there’s plenty of legroom for front and rear passengers. The boot measures 421 litres and there’s even room for a spare wheel, which is rare for a hybrid.

Despite the Niro being its first hybrid, Kia has resisted the temptation to give it a quirky interior, instead imbuing it with a similar design to the latest Sportage and Kia Sorento SUVs, with black and grey cloth or leather upholstery.

Equipment & options

Four trim levels are available – 1, 2, 3 and First Edition – all of which come with DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and Android Auto.

The entry-level 1 model starts at £21,295 and features 16-inch alloy wheels, gloss-black and chrome exterior trim, dual-zone climate control, LED daytime running lights, an automatic windscreen de-fogging system as well as a 3.5-inch TFT screen in the instrument cluster.

Next up is the £22,795 2 trim level, which adds a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with European sat nav and a reversing camera. It also comes with Kia’s Connected Services, which provide real-time traffic updates, weather forecasts, nearby points of interest and speed camera locations. All Niros come with seven years’ subscription to this service.

Alongside all this, the 2 comes with a leather steering wheel and gearstick, gloss-black interior trim, part-leather upholstery, rear privacy glass, chrome interior and exterior door handles and reversing sensors. There are also automatic wipers, heated power-folding door mirrors and LED indicators.

Next up, the 3 trim adds an eight-inch touchscreen, wireless phone charging and an eight-speaker premium stereo. You also get 18-inch alloys, full leather upholstery, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as front parking sensors and stainless-steel scuff plates. Go for one of these and you also get a power-adjustable driver’s seat with powered lumbar adjustment.

Lastly, cars in top-spec First Edition trim – which start at £26,995 – get a whole host of extra safety kit as standard. This includes autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. This model also comes with grey leather upholstery, white interior trim, heated outer rear seats, keyless entry and go, ventilated front seats and an electric sunroof.

In terms of options, you can add autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control to the first three trim levels as part of the £350 Advanced Driver Assistance Pack. With these fitted, the Niro gets the full five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating. You can also add metallic paint for £545 extra.

Hybrid engine

Under the bonnet, there’s a 1.6-litre petrol engine that produces 102bhp, combined with a 42bhp electric motor for a total output of 139bhp. The 1 and 2 versions have CO2 emissions of 88g/km and fuel economy of 74.3mpg and sit in the 15% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) company-car tax band.

Higher-spec 3 and First Edition models cost more to run, due to CO2 emissions of 101g/km and fuel economy of 64.2mpg. This means business users are liable for 17% BiK payments.

These figures aren’t as impressive as the Toyota Prius, but it’s worth remembering the Niro is a slightly larger, heavier and less aerodynamic car than the Toyota, as well as being about £3,000 cheaper.

It uses a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox instead of the CVT gearbox common in other hybrids, while fuel-saving systems such as regenerative braking also contribute to the car’s low running costs.

There’s also sophisticated suspension designed to offer better grip and stability than other hybrid models, which feature more traditional setups. Kia says the Niro’s brakes provide a more positive feel through the pedal, allowing more consistent braking.

Engine and road noise and vibration are reduced through the use of high-performance sound-deadening and engine mounts, along with vibration-reducing suspension components.

The Niro also offers the option of a tow bar and the ability to tow a braked trailer weighing up to 1,300kg. The ability to tow is rare among hybrids.

Price and on-sale date

Prices for the Niro start at £21,295 for an entry-level 1 model, rising to £26,995 for the top-of-the-range car, while mid-range 2 and 3 versions start at £22,795 and £24,695 respectively. The Niro has been on sale since early August 2016.

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