2017 Kia Niro
The 2017 Kia Niro is a brand new hybrid subcompact SUV. While the Niro is slightly higher in price for its class, it is still on the economical side for a hybrid making it stand out from the crowd—an ironic sentiment seeing as it was designed to fit in as Kia describes the SUV.
With an MPG rating of 52/city and 49/highway, this is a hard-to-beat choice for those with long commutes or often take road-trips. It’s got a fun, smooth ride and ample cargo space for luggage or small furniture which overall, with a high-quality interior and simple to use infotainment system.
It seats five people comfortably with head and leg room, something that not all subcompacts can claim and has 54.5 cubic feet with the seats folded.
The engine is its own, meaning it’s not like other hybrids. You’ll barely notice you’re driving a hybrid because of its smooth shifting, quiet hum and the standard six-speed automatic transmission. Although it has enough power for regular driving, if you find you need more of a kick, switch it over to Sport mode for plenty of spunk. The breaks are also their own, not the normal regenerative kind that most hybrids are, which means there’s no needing to get used to them if you’re coming from a standard gasoline powered vehicle.
One of the only drawbacks is no AWD options making all trim options front wheel drive.
With a starting price of $22,890 which is a bit high for the class average, but it comes with a long list of features not included in its rivals.The Niro EX starts at $25,700 and comes with quite a few more options like heated seats and blind spot monitoring, making it the best bang for your buck.
Although there are cheaper options available in the class, when you factor in the money (and time) saved from less trips to the gas station, you can come out ahead if you plan to have the vehicle for more than just a few years which makes the Niro an excellent value for long term owners.
There are five trims available and they all come with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor that make 139 horsepower. The dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. There is no tachometer which means you won\'t be able to base your manual shifts on RPMs. It exhibits smooth transitions from electric to gas making you forget you\'re driving a hybrid.
The base MPG gets 52/city and 49/highway which is quite inviting with the touring trim getting 46/city and 40/highway.
The Niro certainly is a far cry from sporty by any means, but its handling is tight and steering responsive making it a pleasure as a daily-driver or long distance vehicle.
Coming standard is a six-speaker sound system, rearview camera, Bluetooth, a USB port, and the Active Eco System, which works by optimizing the vehicle\'s fuel economy by controlling certain parts of the engine, transmission, and the air conditioning system. The UVO infotainment system is also standard and includes a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio.
Cloth seats come standard but are higher quality than one might imagine, and the upgraded leather also exhibit pleasantly surprisingly superior quality. Its creature comforts extend all the way to the drivers seat with its 10-way power-adjustable and lumbar support. All seating is comfortable and sit high up for increased visibility adding to its safety performance.
The 2017 Kia Niro interior comes in 2 styles. Style availability varies by trim level, but the options are: Light Gray/Black Leather, Black Leather.
The exterior is somewhat rounded and smooth all over, giving it a slight cuteness while not giving in to juvenile features. The Niro appears smaller on the outside than it actually is on the inside which is a nice advantage.
The 2017 Kia Niro exterior comes in 7 color variants. Color availability varies by trim level, but the options are: Crimson Red, Deep Cerulean, Snow White Pearl, Metal Stream, Rich Espresso, Aurora Black Pearl, Silky Silver.
Niro has not yet been evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Niro comes standard with only the back-up camera. Additional features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, front and rear park assist, autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and a forward collision warning system.
J.D. Power and Associates has given the Kia Niro a score of 3 out of 5 for predicted reliability, which is just average.
Kia covers Niro with a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty. It also has a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty for certain hybrid components which is better than the Honda HR-V’s three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The all new for 2017 Kia Niro hybrid is certainly a success with few complaints so far, making it an optimal choice for those seeking the advantages and versatility of an SUV but still want to stay as green as possible with a hybrid.
Although its MPG rating is highly impressive at 52/city and 49/highway, it doesn’t quite reach as high as the Toyota Prius; however, the Niro certainly wins with almost double Prius’s cargo space and overall fun drivability and non-regenerative breaks.
With comfortable, spacious seats and high quality interior with a somewhat cute exterior, this vehicle has definitely burst its way through into the hybrid class with plans to stay.
It’s warranty also extends further than others in its class and even with its slightly high starting base price, we still believe this to be an excellent value, especially when you move up the trim level.