Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Kia Niro

As if the crossover dilemma didn't had enough problems for the rest of us, the Koreans that brought us the Sportage and the Sorento gave us a little compact crossover that some say it would be the South Korean equivalent to the Honda Vezel. Enter Niro.

2017 Kia Niro

The Kia Niro, so oddly named, they named after someone from Tinseltown and apart from its odd name, this compact crossover is slotted below the Sportage and if things get any worse for us, the Niro is a hybrid that uses the same tech as the Hyundai IONIQ. Before explaining more about the Niro's hybrid stuff, let's talk about the design.

On keen observation, the Niro looks if its been a mashup between the Soul and the Jeep Cherokee from behind but despite its odd looks, the Niro isn't half bad full stop when you take it outside on the city center or the highway or whatever you come across because from every angle, the Niro blends its peculiarness with futuristic charm.

2017 Kia Niro interior

Step into the Niro's interior and it feels very futuristic indeed thanks to its high-tech intstrumental panel, well-organized center panel, and blue-and-black accents to make it well-tailored for a compact crossover. Although this is a five-seater crossover, the Niro can accomodate up to 1,425 liters of boot space with the rear seats folded, opening up for more possibilities in terms of your next day off or two and. With the rear seats present, the Niro can accomodate just the shopping stuff from the establishments but with the rear seats folded, it's garage-sale capable.

The Niro comes with other conveniences in store to make life easier for the tech-savvy owner such as wireless charger, heated steering wheel, climate control, KRELL premium surround sound system,

2017 Kia Niro

The Kia Niro may look like your average crossover but because it has some Hyundai IONIQ know-how, expect some misery in store and time to meet the cause of the Niro's misery. It's a Kappa 1.6L GDi engine connected to a 32kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery while mated with a 6-speed double clutch gearbox. With this hybrid powertrain, it provides a total output of 141PS of power and 265Nm of torque. Fuel economy is around 19.5km/L, which is nowhere near as good as the hybrid-powered Honda Vezel.

But unlike the Vezel, the Niro behaves like a city car thanks to its clever suspension system and disc brakes, meaning that despite being a Korean-made, it behaves almost like a European compact and it feels okay to be accommodated with. It sure is a fine daily driver's car but some are concerned that the Niro may suffer the same bellyup as what happened to the Honda Vezel with the hybrid powertrain on it. Gets worse, it might suffer some throttle loss but it's too early to tell until you drive one.

2017 Kia Niro

Because the Niro is dubbed as the "Smart SUV", it features some smart tech that lives to its name Smart Cruise Control, Autonomous Emergency Brake, Lane Departure Warning System, and Blind Spot Detection. For safety puposes, the Niro comes with a rigid body and seven airbags.

Should you buy one? The Niro is priced at 23,240,000 Korean Won and it's bizzarely more expensive than the Sportage but despite the pricing, if you are feeling worrysome that the Sportage's diesel powertrain take the rap by the authorities because of diesel scandals, best to consider this hybrid for such reason. The Niro sure is a nice alternative to those diesel powered Kia SUVs but like the Honda Vezel, you really don't hold much hope.

Available Colors: Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver, Metal Stream, Ridge Espresso, Gravity Blue, and Aurora Black Pearl.

Photo: Kia Motors

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