As hybrid powertrains make their method into every thing from minivans to supercars, their core mission stays the identical: making stops on the fuel station—and related openings of your pockets—fewer and farther between. The Kia Niro is a hybrid constructed to fulfill that finish.
After a year with a 2017 model in our long-term take a look at fleet, we all know the Niro effectively. A 2020 refresh aimed to maintain it a viable various to hybrid heavy hitters just like the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, and its personal platform-mate, the Hyundai Ioniq. How do the Niro’s specs examine to these automobiles? And what else do you have to learn about Kia’s devoted hybrid?
How Fast Is the Kia Niro?
Mixed output from the Niro’s electrical motor and 1.6-liter gasoline I-Four measures 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. That is despatched to the entrance wheels by a six-speed dual-clutch computerized (extra on that later). On the MotorTrend take a look at observe, the Niro posted a 9.2-second 0-60 mph time. That is faster than the 121-hp, 105-lb-ft Prius, which hit 60 mph in 9.Eight seconds. Though the Ioniq equals the Niro’s energy and torque, it did the dash in 8.Four seconds. All are slower than the Perception, which, packing 152 hp and 200 lb-ft, laid down a 7.3-second run.
Round city, the Niro’s electrical motor gives good responsiveness, but it surely’s not effectively built-in with the coarse, hesitant fuel engine. Finally, the 2 energy sources mix to get you transferring ahead, however after they do, the Niro does not really feel fast.
What Transmission Is within the Kia Niro?
If the Niro shares something with sports activities vehicles, it is a dual-clutch computerized transmission. In the right vehicle, these quick-shifting transmissions work wonders. Is the Niro certainly one of them? Not fairly. Like with our long-term Niro, the transmission nonetheless feels clunky at low speeds, minimizing any smoothness afforded by the electrical motor. The Prius and Perception transmissions do not make use of conventional gears, so that you’re by no means conscious of any shifting. Feeling the Niro shift by way of its six gears highlights the disconnect between its fuel and electrical energy sources. It ain’t a sports activities automobile—the Niro can be higher suited by an analogous CVT setup.
How Are the Niro’s Brakes?
In hybrids and EVs, brake mixing—that’s, how effectively the regenerative and friction braking programs work collectively—generally is a problem. When effectively executed, your stops might be clean and seamless. When poorly executed—effectively, simply take a look at the Niro. From pace, urgent its squishy pedal produces delicate deceleration on regen alone. Then, because the speedometer drops towards zero, its friction brakes clamp abruptly. Even after a number of days of driving, the Niro’s poor brake mixing made it unimaginable to cease gently or precisely.
On the take a look at observe, the Niro’s finest 60-Zero mph cease measured 132 toes, trailing the Perception by 10 toes. In contrast to within the Kia, we discovered the Honda’s brake pedal to feel linear and predictable. The Prius stops just one foot shorter than the Niro, and though its brakes have some grabbiness deeper within the pedal stroke, they do not trigger such discomfort. In the meantime, the Ioniq halted in 129 toes. Now, if you would like one-pedal driving, you’ll be able to flip up the Niro’s regen energy to virtually enable it. Doing so places extra juice again into the battery, contributing to the implausible gas financial system—is not that why you are this automobile within the first place?
Which Kia Will get the Greatest Fuel Mileage?
The Niro is essentially the most fuel-efficient fuel-burning Kia, scoring a 52/49/50 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed score from the EPA in its based mostly FE trim. The EX trim we examined charges 51/46/49 mpg. We managed higher with our long-term 2017 Niro, discovering 51.7 mixed in Actual MPG testing. That is good, however not as good as its rivals. Equally geared up Prius fashions get a 52 mpg mixed score (with Eco fashions attaining 56 mpg). Entry-level Perception fashions additionally get 52 mpg, however in range-topping Touring trim, the Perception will get 48 mpg mixed. In the meantime the Ioniq ekes out a formidable 55 mixed miles from a gallon. Nonetheless, the dots in our 2020 take a look at automobile’s gas gauge disappeared extremely slowly in blended city driving, and the vary of over 580 miles offers it critical cruiser potential. However is the Niro a automobile you’d really need to use for the lengthy haul?
Is the Kia Niro a Good Automotive?
Inside, construct high quality feels robust even when there’s an abundance of laborious plastic surfaces. The accessible 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen appears to be like sharp and colourful operating Kia’s user-friendly interface; Apple CarPlay integrates effectively and takes up the width of the show. There’s loads of headroom within the spacious first and second rows, though the hatchback cargo space is a bit small at 22.Four cubic toes; the Ioniq and Prius each provide about 26 cubes behind the again seat.
On the street the suspension principally minimizes harshness, however uneven pavement may cause the Niro to faucet dance round. It is comfy sufficient, particularly when the accessible adaptive cruise management and lane-keep help programs are taking the hassle out of freeway driving.
The Niro stays true to its hybrid mission of offering nice gas financial system and vary. It is easy and easy, carrying inoffensive styling and by no means attempting to be one thing it is not. If solely its clumsy transmission and grabby brakes did not so harsh the mellow. Whether or not measured on efficiency, gas effectivity, or character, extra of it will make the Niro worthy of a more in-depth look.
|2020 Kia Niro Eco Hybrid (EX Premium) Specs|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$34,585|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Entrance-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door hatchback|
|ENGINE||1.6L/104-hp/109-lb-ft Atkinson-cycle DOHC 16-valve I-4, plus 43-hp/125-lb-ft elec motor; 139 hp/195 lb-ft (comb)|
|TRANSMISSION||6-speed twin-clutch auto|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,215 lb (60/40%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||171.5 x 71.1 x 60.Eight in|
|0-60 MPH||9.2 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||17.Zero sec @ 81.7 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-Zero MPH||132 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.80 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.Four sec @ 0.58 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||51/46/49 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||66/73 kWh/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.40 lb/mile|