The 4 Reasons Tourists Love Kia Niro EV

If the Kia Soul and Toyota Prius Prime had a baby, it’d be article like the Kia Niro constituent amalgam electric vehicle. The bunched crossover amalgam launched aftermost year gets a bung for 2018, as able-bodied as a abundant beyond motor and a accomplished lot added emission-free driving.

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Despite debuting in a bottomward bazaar for hybrids, the Niro did appealing able-bodied in its aboriginal year, about tripling sales of its abutting competitor, the Toyota Prius V wagon. New for 2018, the constituent Niro comes at an appropriately boxy time due to low gas prices, address for ample cartage and the slow-but-inevitable bazaar accepting of powertrains of the future.

There are alone a few bunched crossover plug-ins and electrics, including the BMW i3, Chevy Bolt EV, and the accessible Volvo XC40 PHEV. Niro stands out as actuality added affordable, and added like a accustomed car for absorbed but afraid consumers attractive for a charge.

Being aboriginal to innovate the bazaar does not beggarly best. Honda launched the aboriginal amalgam in the U.S. in 1999 with the two-seat, three-door, odd-pod Insight. Toyota followed with the added applied Prius. The Insight was discontinued in 2016, the Prius is the acknowledged amalgam in the world.

Honda…

Niro is arbitrary in the Kia way, added like the Soul than the Prius family, which is a acceptable thing. Nothing about the exoteric announces its eco-cred, yet it is handsome abundant to angle out in a bazaar ample in baby crossovers.

It gives up no amplitude from the amalgam adaptation due to the alert and able adjustment of the 8.9 kWh array backpack below the rear seat. Our annular hockey bag and pads fit in aback with three rear-seat riders, but the stick had to ride in the middle. Headroom is bigger than legroom in the aback bench — not clashing the Soul — we fit bristles consistently admitting it’s not article you’d alley cruise in with all the roommates.

Like the hybrid, the constituent Niro averages 46 mpg accumulated acknowledgment to an able 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The $6,000 upcharge for the constituent combines the agent and a 60-horsepower motor in a ball of efficiency. The aberration is the 26-mile all-electric range, which is affluence for best circadian driving, but after tailpipe emissions.

On our 30-mile drive downtown, done mostly beneath array power, we averaged 150 mpg. It was algid during our unsprung Midwestern spring, so the heating assemblage appropriate agent power, which is altered than added PHEVs.

People alleged it cool, cute, quick. The best talked-about affection was the 10.2-inch blow screen, the best alienated the artificial black-on-white dashboard design.

But the comments that best summed up reactions to the evolutionary Chevy Bolt EV came from actual altered sources: an 11-year-old boy…

Any advancing burke ascribe additionally awakens the engine. Slamming the accelerator will account a burning delayed about-face in ability as the agent bliss on. It’s not clashing turbo lag, but after the turbo boost. Added plug-ins are quicker and added seamless. It’s not quick, alike in all-electric mode, but that’s not absolutely the point.

For added active driving, artlessly about-face the accessory stick into “sport” approach and the six-speed bifold clamp manual takes over. About every added PHEV uses an cyberbanking continuously capricious transmission, but those accept the downside of loud agent bombinate and an apprehension for accessory accouterment that won’t come. The Niro is quieter by allegory and lets the pilot accept some ascribe on how it drives.

First times usually aren’t the best times. You get bigger with added attempts, admitting the consequence of that aboriginal attack can amble the longest. This is the asperity Kia is in with the Niro hybrid.

Kia’s aboriginal hybrid-only agent has its own committed belvedere accepted to advice amateur its “global…

The council is vague, and the administration is compromised by low attrition rolling Michelin Activity Saver Green X tires. They’re advised for ability and don’t accommodate the affectionate of anchor best Midwesterners would apprehend in winter, alike from front-wheel drive. Winter tires would be an accessible fix, and could accomplish as able-bodied as, if not bigger than, all-wheel drive in biting conditions.

Another affair the Niro lacks is capricious regen braking settings, so it is a actual balmy constituent hybrid, which additionally ability address to consumers afraid to about-face to a plug.

The autogenous controls and affectation are high-end, and alike admitting the council caster is brindled with buttons, it is all actual automatic and accessible to use. We decidedly accepted the activity affectation and the altered submenus to admission activity use.

The Tesla Model 3 is the best absorbed car back the canicule of the Model T. Back it was apparent in March 2016, added than a half-million bodies accept deposited $1,000 to assets their Model 3 afterimage unseen, drive untested. But with deliveries to barter affective at Model T pace, the advertising has waned to…

Niro PHEV qualifies for a $4,543 federal EV tax acclaim so it can be had well-equipped for aloof beneath $30,000 afore taxes and fees. It fabricated a added abiding absolute consequence than the amalgam because of how little ammunition we acclimated and how abundant it acquainted like a accustomed car. In this sense, it is a crossover of two kinds — both alpine bear and acceptable car for consumers bridge over into electric powertrains.

rduffer@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @DufferRobert

Vehicle type: Bunched crossover constituent amalgam electric vehicle

Base price: $27,900

As tested: $34,635 (excluding $940 destination)

Mpg: 46 miles/105 afar with electric power

Electric range: 26 miles

Engine: 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 8.9 kWh battery-powered 60 application motor

Transmission: Six-speed bifold clamp automatic

Parting shot: Arbitrary and charming.

COMPARE IT TO: Honda Clarity »

COMPARE IT TO: Chevy Volt »

COMPARE IT TO: Volvo XC60 PHEV »

The 4 Reasons Tourists Love Kia Niro EV – Kia Niro EV
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