Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid Coming To America By End Of 2017


Regular readers know I am a big fan of the Kia Niro. Yes, Kia did fly me down to San Antonio last year to spend a weekend driving the Niro through the Texas hill country outside San Antonio but I am a true journalist and cannot be bought with such things as sumptuous meals, free drinks, and courtside seats to a Spurs game.

Kia Niro PHEV

The truth is, I was impressed with the Kia Niro. It is stylish, comfortable, and best of all, it’s an SUV that gets an honest EPA rating of 51 miles per gallon in its base configuration. It’s best feature is the six speed DSG transmission that makes it feel like a car with true sporting pretensions when the driver fells like playing.

Is it as quick as a Tesla P100D? No, not even close. But it costs one fifth as much. It’s a car even I could afford. And it has a rear seat real people can get in and out of, something that detracts from the overall goodness of the Chevy Volt. There are rumors the Niro PHEV will have a towing capacity of 2,000 lbs or so. No other PHEV offers that.

The Niro, like its corporate sibling, the Hyundai Ioniq, will come with either a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric powertrain. The hybrid is on sale now. The electric car is expected this summer. And the plug-in hybrid will be in US showrooms before Christmas.

With an 8.9 kWh battery, the Niro PHEV will have an EPA electric only range of about 25 miles. For those who think that’s too low, keep in mind the BMW 330e has a paltry 14 miles of range and costs twice as much. The Niro PHEV falls short of the Chevy Volt’s 53 miles of range but then again its battery is half the size and it will likely retail for $7,000 less. 25 miles doesn’t seem too bad when you’re saving 7 grand.

Source: Cleantechnica

About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when Rob Walker and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. Today, I use my trusty Miata for TSD rallies and occasional track days at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen. If it moves on wheels, I'm interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.
  • Kevin

    @Steve Hanley – Headline:Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid Coming To America By End Of 201.
    Was that AD201, 2017, 2018, or 2019? – LOL

    • Steve Hanley

      Ummmm…..would you believe BC? ; – )

      That’s what happens when you write stories while relaxing at a Club Med on an 85 degree day. One’s focus tends to wander……

  • Marc P

    Only thing I say is they should offer it with AWD. If not, it’s a no go for me !

  • Epicurus

    Can we believe that?

    The plug-in Sonata hybrid was introduced, what, 2 years ago, and no Hyundai dealer in N. Texas has one now. I didn’t realize this until a friend told me yesterday she has been trying to buy one. Was the PHEV Sonata a compliance car?

    • Matt PSU

      I asked about the Sonata plugin at two local dealerships, and they looked at me like I was out of my mind. The dealerships and corporate only carry these things to meet government regulations, it is pretty obvious.

      • Epicurus

        Right. The people at the local dealerships I talked to never even heard of them.

        My friend finally found a dealership in Houston (260 miles away) which had 8 plug-in Sonatas, and she bought one. Asked how they had them, she was told with a smile, “We snuck them in.”

        • Matt PSU

          I did the math, and even with the government rebates and gas savings, it does not pay off vs. the 2.4 ICE Sonata. It came out within a few hundred bucks total cost over a 5 year period for either car, all costs considered.

          • Epicurus

            She got a healthy discount off the sticker price, but I guess it’s still difficult to compete against cars that get a free ride on their pollution and CO2 emissions.

  • DLink

    The Niro is not the only PHEV with towing capabilities.The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron has a 3500 pound towing capacity (I own a Westfalia towbar made specifically for the e-tron). Also, the Volvo XC90 T8 can tow 5000 pounds. There are several others, but these two are definitely available in the USA and can tow.

    I also highly doubt the pure EV range on an 8.9kWh pack, especially since my Audi e-tron has an 8.8kWh pack and routinely handles 16-19 miles. The Toyota Prime claims 25 miles with its 8.8kWh pack, also questionable.

  • larry

    Buy your KIA quick,before Trump gets South Korea annihilated by North Korea.