Kia Niro - The Korean Prius

Kia brings a hybrid SUV with the Niro

It's getting a bit annoying with all the hype about consumption, consumption fakes and everything. It somehow makes sense that cars don't run on air or water and need energy. But first, it has become chic in some shifts to drive a green-painted eco-vehicle, and secondly, it is quite necessary for the manufacturers to have one or preferably as many fuel savers as possible in their portfolios in order to take account of the increasingly stringent CO2 limit legislation to wear. So, Kia, Pants down, how much should your new hybrid model Niro consume? There is a nominal 88 grams of CO2 in the averaged NEDC, which makes 3,8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. The system output is 104 kW / 141 hp, and the manufacturer says nothing about pricing - yet. Kia wants to announce officially shortly before the market launch in September, well, you will have to expect 25.000 euros. Nice that the first exits are already possible.

As a drive, the Niro uses a connection of 1,6-liter petrol (77 kW / 105 PS) with a 32 kW / 44 PS electric machine
As a drive, the Niro uses a connection of 1,6-liter petrol (77 kW / 105 PS) with a 32 kW / 44 PS electric machine

And it is striking that the compact is a very spacious car. At the front there is reason to complain about the fewest current vehicles, but the situation is different in the rear. Just looking back reveals a lot of space between the front seat back and the rear seat. The reason is probably the wheelbase. A whopping 2,70 meters are already an announcement with an outer length of less than 4,36 meters. Accordingly, even two tall people can go into the rear compartment for a long time without inhibitions, without reaching physical limits. Also interesting, of course: the perspective at the front left. The system performance results from the connection of the 1,6-liter direct injector (77 kW / 105 PS) known to the group with four cylinders and an electric motor with 32 kW / 44 PS. It was arguably discussed internally whether the turbo would have made sense instead of the vacuum, but then decided on the better solution with a view to the global market situation, knows product specialist Matthias Troge. Well, the vacuum cleaner has to straighten it out.

The processing in the cockpit is convincing
The processing in the cockpit is convincing

Of course, it is trimmed correctly for economical and little for performance. He also masters the Atkinson cycle, in which the piston expansion stroke is longer than the suction stroke, which should optimize efficiency. In general, a conventional full hybrid is an optimization of the drive with a combustion engine and definitely not a revolution. You should be aware of this before buying. Only that energy that would be lost without a recuperation function can be saved - exactly this power can now be supplied to the electric motor, which in turn supports starting or boosting and leaps into the breach when the combustion engine is inefficient. The balance is thrown a little bit again, because the whole construct creates an additional weight. With the Korean's 1,5 tons of empty mass, the engine duo manages wonderfully well. The Niro even does short intermediate sprints using kickdowns, which can contribute to survival in critical overtaking maneuvers, with a certain vehemence, without you now talking about a fast-paced car.

Well solved by Kia: A conventional six-speed double clutch was installed for the split, and the Stromer is housed in the transmission. This prevents the rubber band effect so hated in this country for e-CVT editions. And certain start-up tremors due to the action of the multi-plate clutch in ordinary DCT cars are simply not necessary here, because the 170 Nm electric unit, which is quite powerful, already initiates the creeping activity. As a battery option, Kia plans to use a lithium-ion polymer that, at 1,56 kWh, is quite high in the haze of non-plug-ins. Yong-Seok Kim, the engineer responsible for economical drives in the group, is confident about the durability of the battery. Of course, it is included in the seven-year guarantee. Korea even has a lifetime guarantee, the technician explains. The EV mode (purely electric driving) of this compact, which is located somewhere between the SUV and station wagon, has a correspondingly long breath, optically but almost closer to the station wagon, not least because of its flat silhouette.

Safety options à la autonomous emergency braking or comfort items such as active cruise control have long been on the options list
Safety options à la autonomous emergency braking or comfort items such as active cruise control have long been on the options list

How does the driver know which machine is operating when? There is also a display on the left of the scale plus the energy flow monitor in the TFT field of the instrument cluster. So much infotainment has to be, because changing modes is really smooth. In addition, the system recognizes whether the route (using the navigation) contains slopes or inclines in order to adapt the operating strategy accordingly. The customer does not have to do without safety features à la autonomous emergency braking or comfort things like active cruise control. And there is really no need to talk about good material processing at Kia anymore, the Koreans are now in a really good mood.

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