Each time we get to drive among the Kia Niro household, it looks like we fall in love. At the start of 2017, our UK spin-off evaluated the routine Niro hybrid (and its Hyundai Ioniq cousin) and came away with the impression that Nissan, Toyota, and the rest of the competitors need to fret. Later on that year, I got somewhat lost on the coasts of the Chesapeake in a Niro, a pleasurable experience that was reproduced in 2018 when I invested a week with one on the streets of Washington, DC. Quickly, it will be time to check out the battery electrical variation– uncomplicatedly called the Niro EV– when it gets here on these coasts. However today, it’s the turn of the middle kid: the Kia Niro PHEV plug-in hybrid.

It’s mainly the like the one we currently evaluated

The Niro PHEV shares a dreadful lot with its not-pluggable hybrid brother or sister. It looks essentially similar, conserve for some badges and a battery charger port behind the left front wheel. It’s precisely the exact same length (1715 inches/4,356 mm), height (608 inches/1,544 mm), width (711 inches/1,805 mm), and wheelbase (1063 inches/2,700 mm), and all the interior measurements equal, too, so you do not compromise any legroom, headroom, or freight capability. It has precisely the exact same suspension set-up– MacPherson struts in advance, independent multilink at the back. The transmission is the exact same six-speed double clutch transmission. It even utilizes a similar aluminum 1.6 L, four-cylinder, 16 valve direct-injection fuel engine, which supplies 104 hp (78 kW) and 109 lb-ft (148 Nm) by means of the Atkinson cycle. (If these information leave you desiring more info, please describe the.
previously mentioned prior.
protection on the Niro.).


Where things vary remains in the hybrid system. Certainly. The motor is still an Air Conditioning concurrent irreversible magnet affair, however it runs at 360 V, not 240 V. Peak power from the electrical motor is now 60 hp/45 kW (vs 43 hp/32 kW for the not-PHEV Niro), although in both circumstances it provides 125 lb-ft (170 Nm) of torque. The lithium-ion battery pack is certainly bigger– 8.9 kWh versus 1.56 kWh– and it weighs more (258 pounds/117 kg) compared to 85 pounds/39 kg). However when the internal combustion and electrical motor-generator system are collaborating, both Niro PHEV and not-PHEV Niro bring the exact same 139 hp (104 kW) and 195 lb-ft (264 Nm) to the celebration.

The included PHEV gubbins does indicate the Niro PHEV pointers the scales about 8 percent much heavier than the non-plug-in Niro, with a curb weight of 3,450 pounds (1,565 kg) versus 3,199 pounds (1,451 kg) (both weights are for the EX Premium trim). With the exact same quantity of power and torque under your ideal foot (and a number of hundred additional pounds to bring), that indicates the Niro PHEV will be the somewhat slower of the 2 when it pertains to velocity. Kia notes a 0.1 miles per hour (0.16 km/h) distinction in leading speeds.

Those 8.9 kWh offer the Niro PHEV a 26- mile (42 km) variety on battery power alone, according to the EPA. Charging takes about 2.5 hours with a level 2 battery charger, or about 9 hours on a plain-old 110 v socket. With a complete battery and a complete tank of gas, that need to offer the little PHEV a variety of 560 miles (901 km), which is definitely more miles than I like to cover in a single go without a break to extend my legs. The company ranked the Niro PHEV at 105 mpge or 46 mpg on gas alone.

You understand, the speed limitation in DC is 25 miles per hour

The majority of my week with the Niro PHEV included brief metropolitan errands, and in this the automobile definitely stood out. In reality, it wasn’t up until day 4 that the internal combustion engine even stimulated into life. For these sort of journeys, the Niro PHEV is a lot more of a happiness than the one I evaluated in 2015, because you can take a trip in silence. I constantly discover this a relaxing experience, even in stop-go traffic, and the Niro PHEV’s seats are more than comfy. It likewise offered a chance to evaluate out the “driver-only” a/c, which conserves some energy by not blowing air towards the empty traveler seat.

The soothing result was reinforced by the rather glacial velocity of the Niro PHEV. After 3 days, I understood this might be ameliorated by changing the transmission from Typical to Sport. This keeps the internal combustion engine turning over all the time, and the automobile ends up being peppier. However it likewise seems like it beats the point of an abstemious fuel-sipping, errand-running conveyance. So I left it in Typical and circumnavigated the District at or listed below the 25 miles per hour speed limitation with a pleased smile and little sense of seriousness.

I even rather like Kia’s UVO infotainment system. The UI is cleaner and more responsive than you ‘d discover in lots of a rival automobile, for something. Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay are consisted of as basic, with a 7-inch touchscreen for the LX and EX trims and an 8-inch touchscreen for the EX Premium automobiles.

If I had any grievances, they would be that the black interior of this specific Niro PHEV had less of a relaxing aura than the white interior of the Niro I drove formerly which the brake feel isn’t the world’s finest. It certainly seems like you can inform when the braking system changes from regenerative to friction braking, however because this isn’t a race automobile, that truly is a really small thing to keep in mind.

The Niro PHEV begins at $28,200 for the LX trim, that includes things like adaptive cruise control, automated emergency situation braking, and lane-keeping help as basic. If you desire a couple of more bells and whistles, the EX trim starts at $31,800, and the top of the line EX Premium Niro PHEV has an MSRP of $34,900 All 3 are qualified for a $ 4,543 Internal Revenue Service tax credit(which is based upon battery size).

I question if I’ll like the Niro EV as much …

Noting image by Jonathan Gitlin