2017 Kia Niro Hybrid Set to Take on Toyota Prius, RAV4

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Set to make its debut early next year, the Kia Niro will take on the hybrid establishment by being something unique unto itself. Not quite a car, not quite a crossover/SUV, Kia hopes you’ll call the Niro a “hybrid utility vehicle” (HUV), and that you’ll see it as a vehicle that delivers the practicality of a Kia Soul or Nissan Juke that also offers superior fuel economy.

Whatever they call it, the Kia Niro’s obvious competitor is the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which is decidedly more conventional in its packaging and styling, if these aggressive concept sketches- released by Kia- are to be believed. Granted, you should never believe a concept sketch, but Kia has been building some great cars in both concept and production guises recently, so … maybe?

Sources in Europe are claiming the car will launch with a 105 HP gas engine coupled to a 50 HP electric motor, and will be the first of up to 22 hybrid and electric models Hyundai and Kia are planning on launching by 2020. If they hit that number, they’ll set themselves up as serious battery-buying rivals to Renault-Nissan in Europe and, maybe, even Tesla in the US.

We’ll have to wait until the car’s official launch, though, to find out. In the meantime, check out these sketches then let us know what you think of the Kia Niro’s odds of success in the comments section, below.

 

2017 Kia Niro Hybrid


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Source | Images: Kia, via Motorpasion.

 

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.