The Kia Niro Hybrid made its debut at the recent Singapore Motor Show, after it was first introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in February 2016. The B-segment hybrid SUV (Kia’s first-ever dedicated hybrid) is priced at SGD109,999 (RM343,614) with a Certificate of Entitlement (COE), and includes a 10-year battery and engine warranty, along with a five-year/unlimited mileage general warranty.

Powering the Niro is the same hybrid powertrain that you’ll find in the Hyundai Ioniq, which includes a 1.6 litre Kappa GDI four-cylinder Atkinson cycle direct injection engine, which produces 105 PS at 5,700 rpm and 147 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT).

Accompanying the engine is a 32 kW (44 PS) permanent magnet synchronous electric motor that draws current from a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack located under the rear seats. The Niro also features a regenerative braking system to help recharge the battery. All in all, Kia claims a fuel consumption of just 3.8 l/100 km.

Designed by Kia’s design centres in Irvine, California, and Namyang, Korea, the Niro is pretty discreet in its appearance despite its green credentials. Beyond the ‘EcoHybrid’ badge at the rear of the car, there isn’t any blue accents on the exterior that will draw attention to it being a hybrid.

The body style you see here may appear to be larger than the Ioniq, but that’s not the case. In terms of dimensions, the Niro measures 4,355 mm long, 1,805 mm wide, 1,545 mm tall, which makes it smaller than the Ioniq (4,470 mm long, 1,820 mm wide, 1,450 mm tall), although it is taller. Both cars share the same wheelbase of 2,700 mm.

Another thing to note is the difference in drag coefficient – Niro is rated 0.29, Ioniq is 0.24. In other areas, the Niro features plenty of weight-saving aluiminium in its construction, including for the hood, tailgate and several suspension elements including the front lower control arms, front and rear knuckles, as well as the brake calipers.

Exterior highlights on the Singapore-spec car include LED rear combination taillights, 16-inch five-spoke alloy wheels (with low rolling resistance tyres), active air flap, air curtains, automatic projector headlamps and under-body aerodynamic package.

Meanwhile, the equally inconspicuous interior gets items like a 5-inch TFT-LCD touchscreen audio system, dual-zone auto air-conditioning, rear air-con vents, ventilated seats, 4.2-inch TFT-LCD supervision instrument cluster and wireless smartphone charger. The Niro also offers 427 litres of cargo space, which can grow to 1,425 litres with the rear 60:40 split seats folded down.

As for safety and driver assistance, the Niro comes with seven airbags (dual front, side, curtain and driver’s knee), blind spot detection, electronic stability control (ESC), hill-start assist control, ABS with EBD, brake assist, tyre pressure monitoring system and a reverse camera.

Other bits of info? Well, there are nine colours to choose from – Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver, Metal Stream, Platinum Graphite, Aurora Black Pearl, Rich Espresso, Gravity Blue, Deep Cerulean Blue and Temptation Red. What are your thoughts on the Niro Hybrid? Do you think it should be introduced to the Malaysian market?