The 2018 Niro PHEV offers an estimated 26 miles of all-electric range
“The Niro Plug-in is the exciting next step in Kia’s progression toward offering more alternative fuel vehicles by 2020,” Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning, Kia Motors America (KMA) said last week, commenting on the launch of the company’s latest hybrid vehicle.
The Niro PHEV pairs an all-aluminum, efficient 1.6-liter GDI (gasoline direct injection) four-cylinder engine with an 8.9 kWh (59 kW) lithium-polymer battery pack and a powerful 60-HP (44.5 kW) electric motor. Battery-assisted, it offers a driving range rated at up to an estimated 560 miles.
The new Niro Plug-in Hybrid offers a few PHEV-exclusive touches, such as a subtly-modified front grille insert and surround, hybrid blue exterior accents, available LED headlamps, a charge port door (on left front fender), available 7-inch color meter cluster with digital tachometer and “ECO/Plug-In” badges.
Increased high-voltage battery capacity (+7.34 kWh more than Niro hybrid) and output/power have helped make the Niro Plug-in Hybrid an efficient, low emissions crossover with a 105 MPGe rating. The Niro PHEV’s compact, high voltage battery is neatly tucked under the cargo floor and under the rear seat and maintains the same spacious cargo capacity as the Niro hybrid. A single charging port is located in the driver’s side front fender. A full charge can be achieved in approximately 2.5 hours via a 240V (Level 2) charger7, and under 9 hours via a 120V (Level 1) charger.
The Niro PHEV employs the same six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) as the Niro. Drivers can choose from several driving modes, including EV mode, Hybrid mode, (default) Eco mode, or Sport mode for quicker transmission response that takes advantage of the powertrain’s combined output of 139 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.
The use of hot-stamped steel components and industrial joint adhesive increase torsional rigidity and improve structural integrity. Engineers were also able to reduce overall weight by using aluminum for the hood, tailgate and several suspension elements including the front lower control arms, front and rear knuckles, and in the brake calipers.
The Niro PHEV will be offered in three trim levels—LX, EX and EX Premium. It is offered with a suite of advanced driver assistance and convenience technologies, including Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Lane Change Assist (LCA), and front and rear parking sensors.
The Niro Plug-in Hybrid also includes UVO eco , which enables drivers to remotely monitor and charge their vehicle’s high-voltage battery; setup charging schedules to take advantage of off-peak utility rates; preset the vehicle’s cabin temperature, turn on window defrosters, and heat the steering wheel, lock or unlock doors, and find their vehicle from their smartphone or web enabled device.
Source: Kia Motors America