2017 Niro

The Kia Niro Hybrid has made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show. The B-segment SUV – which was previewed by the Niro Concept in Frankfurt last September – was designed by Kia’s design centres in Irvine, California, and Namyang, Korea.

The Niro’s hybrid powertrain consists of a 105 PS/147 Nm Kappa 1.6 litre GDI direct-injected petrol engine paired with a 32 kW (43 hp) electric motor, with a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery – mounted under the rear seat – providing the necessary power to the tractive motor.

A six-speed dual-clutch transmission drives the front wheels, with combined system output being 148 PS and 264 Nm. The petrol-electric hybrid system found on the Niro is also found on the Hyundai Ioniq hybrid.

Plenty of weight-saving aluminium to be found, the material being used for the hood, tailgate and several suspension elements including the front lower control arms, front and rear knuckles, as well as the brake calipers. The traditional 12 volt battery has also been ditched to reduce weight, with the necessary juice being taken from the high-voltage lithium-ion polymer battery.

The automaker says that the Niro boasts a spacious and comfortable cabin, one that’s quiet as well – much attention has been paid to insulation in the Niro’s front structure and body sealing aspects, with expanding foam being used inside the A- and B-pillars to minimise road and tyre noise seepage.

Other NVH measures include a special embossed foam in the floor (under the carpet), and a dense insulating pad underneath the hood also help to keep unwanted noise to a minimum.

2017 Niro

Driver assistance and convenience technologies found on the Niro include Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking. The crossover also features an Eco-DAS1 (Driver Assistance System), and is the first Kia offering to feature the application of Coasting Guide and Predictive Energy Control.

The Niro also features the seven-inch touchscreen, UVO3 infotainment system, complete with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and UVO eServices featuring 14 telematics services. Kit includes up to 8GB of music storage as well as access to Pandora and Soundhound.