Kia Niro looks straight into the future, the crossover becomes hybrid and plug-in

Within a few years the cars diesel will be chased by the hybrid simple or, even better, plug-in in able to ensure the same, if not greater, savings in running costs compared to equivalent models equipped with diesel engines.

Of course the major manufacturers are preparing for the breakthrough and indeed they are guiding because certain changes are better to control them than to undergo them. So Kia, among the pioneers with the first hybrid crossover, called Niro, now goes one step further and launches the first plug-in crossover. The particularity of the Kia Niro Hybrid plug-in is that it can only run in electric mode for at least 50 km and recharges in 3 hours at a column (7 hours at home).

The good news is that, calculating the 50 km traveled in electric the consumption of gasoline drastically falls down until you can travel 77 km with a single liter of fuel (equivalent to an average consumption of 1.3 liters per 100 km). The bad news is that currently in Italy the fast recharge columns are only one per 14,000 inhabitants and therefore if you do not have a receptacle in the box, recharging becomes problematic. The beauty of this car is that it can proceed automatically in the two modes, electric only (EV) or hybrid (HEV), or you can manually choose by pressing a button next to the robotized double-clutch gear lever and 6 ratios, plus reverse gear .

What does this mean? In practice, if we have to go from Bologna to Padua we can take the highway using the petrol engine without consuming, or almost, the batteries; then, once we arrive at our destination, we can only use the electric motor for city transfers with savings of CO2 and euros for fuel. As for the rest, the Niro is a great car, spacious, comfortable, comfortable, which already offers everything you need, starting from the unique warranty of 7 years! And then there are adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, wireless charging of the smartphone, automatic dual-zone climate.

 Kia Niro Hybrid

All for 36,700 euros (excluding metallic paint). A Premium Pack is available for another 2 thousand euros. It offers full LED headlights, leather seats, electric adjustment of the driver's seat, infotainment with an 8-inch screen, stereo, blind-angle sensor and rear cross-trafic alert. Compared to the non-plug-in hybrid version, which came out last year, this Niro weighs 90 kilos more and the boot is a little 'less roomy due to the encumbrance of the new lithium ion polymer batteries 8, 9 kw / h

For the rest the approach and the driving are very friendly the recovery is excellent and the change is smooth and precise. Of course, if you press the accelerator we can forget the electric: in this case both engines work together and the Niro flies from 0 to 100 km / h in 10.8 seconds, up to 172 km / h h of maximum speed. The measures are contained within 4.4 meters, which ensures excellent urban management, including parking lots.

Cesare Paroli

 Kia Niro

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