Fleet News

Kia launches its first hybrid in the UK

9

Built on an all-new platform and featuring an all-new powertrain, Kia today launches its first ever hybrid in the UK.

With fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg with CO2 emissions from 88g/km, the Niro boasts the latest connectivity and driver assistance features and is available from £21,295.

Niro is not based on any other Kia but is a dedicated hybrid model with on an all-new platform which will only ever be used for electrified vehicles. It also has an all-new powertrain featuring a 1.6-litre, 104bhp internal combustion engine and a 43.5bhp electric motor driving through a six-speed double-clutch automatic transmission.

It includes the latest connectivity and active safety technologies, including Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom, wireless smartphone charging, autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control and lane-keeping, blind spot and rear cross traffic warning systems.

In a first for Kia, it also offers Android Auto, which links Android smartphones to Google Maps navigation, Google Play music, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition via pre-downloaded apps.    

Niro comes to the UK in a four-model line-up badged ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’. All are equipped with comfort, luxury, connectivity and driver assistance features. Every version has a Lane Keep Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Cruise Control and a Speed Limiter. Every Niro also has a DAB radio and is able to support Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and music streaming.

Niro is the first Kia with Android Auto, which works with Android smartphones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher. Android Auto connects the user's smartphone to the car's infotainment system and, through pre-downloaded apps, gives access to a variety of services such as Google Maps navigation, Google Play music, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition.

In addition to its connectivity and driver assistance systems, grade ‘1’ comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, a high-gloss black radiator grille with a black and chrome surround, dual automatic air conditioning, an automatic windscreen de-fogging system, LED daytime running lights and tail lights, a 3.5-inch TFT supervision cluster, all-round electric windows and electric exterior mirror adjustment, USB and AUX ports and a trip computer.

Grade ‘2’ adds a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a Reversing Camera and Kia Connected Services linked to TomTom. This provides up-to-the-minute information on traffic hold-ups, weather, speed camera locations and local points of interest.

Kia Connected Services is free for seven years from the time the car is bought. Grade ‘2’'s extensive standard specification also introduces high-gloss black trim highlights and a leather-covered steering wheel and gearshifter, black cloth and leather upholstery, roof rails, privacy glass on the rear windows and tailgate, chrome interior and exterior door handles, reversing sensors, an under-floor tray, rain-sensing wipers, a ventilation duct in the rear of the cabin and electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors with LED indicators.

Further additions for grade ‘3’ are an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a wireless mobile phone charger and an eight-speaker Premium sound system with an external amplifier.

The step up to grade ‘3’ also brings 18-inch alloy wheels, black leather upholstery, front parking sensors, heated front seats and steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver's seat plus powered lumbar adjustment and stainless steel scuff sill plates.

Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range ‘First Edition’ version adds Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection with a Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control. This model is also distinguished by unique grey leather trim, white interior trim inserts, a smart key and engine start/stop button, heated outer rear seats, ventilated front seats and an electric tilting and sliding sunroof.

Autonomous Emergency Braking and Smart Cruise Control are optionally available on grades ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’ in an ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) package. With these features fitted, Niro has been awarded a five-star crash-test rating by Euro NCAP.

At 4,355mm long, 1,805mm wide and 1,535mm tall (1,545 with roof rails), the compact Niro sits between the cee'd hatchback and the all-new Sportage SUV in size. Yet with a 2,700mm wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs it provides generous interior space.

All-new hybrid powertrain promotes outstanding efficiency  

While it pairs a petrol engine with an electric motor like the majority of hybrids, drive to the front wheels is through a six-speed double-clutch automatic gearbox (6DCT) rather than the more commonly favoured continuously variable transmission (CVT). This gives more direct and immediate response with greater refinement, says Kia, and incorporates a Manual Sports mode to allow keener drivers to select gears manually.

The petrol engine is a new 1.6-litre direct-injection (GDI) unit, specifically engineered for use in hybrid cars. It develops 104bhp and 147Nm of torque, and conforms to Kia's policy of adopting high-efficiency downsized power units for all new models.

The engine marks the first combination of an Atkinson combustion cycle, cooled exhaust gas recirculation, direct petrol injection and a long-stroke specification for maximum efficiency.

The Atkinson cycle holds the intake valve open longer than in a normal Otto cycle engine and also reduces the compression ratio to extract a greater proportion of energy from the combustion process. Efficiency is further aided by an exhaust heat recovery system which speeds the engine warm-up process.   

The combustion engine is paired with a 32kW (43.5bhp) electric motor developing 170Nm of torque and powered by a 1.56kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Together, the two power units produce 139bhp, with 265Nm of torque available in first gear for rapid acceleration from standstill.

Niro is a parallel hybrid, which means that most of the time the petrol and electric power units work together. However, it can operate in all-electric mode for short distances when setting off, under gentle acceleration and when descending slopes or braking.

A brake energy recovery system recoups energy normally dissipated as heat and stores it in the batteries for use later. The switch between all-electric, hybrid or petrol engine-only modes is seamless and varies according to the load being placed on the powertrain at any given time. This advanced powertrain ensures Niro is capable of up to 74.3mpg, with CO2 emissions from only 88g/km.

The in-house 6DCT gearbox incorporates a new Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED) which allows the full output of both power units to be transferred in parallel to the drive wheels, with minimal energy losses. This differs from the power-split system typical of CVT transmissions, which convert a portion of engine output for delivery through the electric motor, resulting in a loss of energy. TMED allows the hybrid system to access battery power directly at higher speeds for swifter response.

An all-new platform exclusively for electrified vehicles

There will be no combustion engine-only version of Niro. Its all-new platform has been engineered exclusively for electrified vehicles, and a plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) will be introduced for the 2017 model year. 

The platform has been designed to accommodate present and future electrical components within a compact vehicle footprint without intrusion into the interior and luggage area.

UK Niro line-up

Model

Total power bhp

Total torque Nm

0–60 sec

Max speed mph

Average mpg

C02 g/km

‘1’ 1.6 GDi 1.57kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

74.3

88

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.57kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

74.3

88

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.57kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

64.2

101

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.57kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

64.2

101

 

UK Niro pricing

Model

Insurance

Price

‘1’ 1.6 GDi 1.57kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

12

£21,295

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.57kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

12

£22,795

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.57kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

14

£24,695

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.57kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

12

£26,995

 



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Comments

  • bob the engineer - 19/07/2016 17:15

    Don't worry yourself about the PHEV Kia, PHEV is dead... RIP, killed off by Ecotricity.

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