Kia has launched a plug-in PHEV version of its Niro hybrid SUV, promising even lower emissions and running costs than the existing regular hybrid model.
Claimed fuel economy is 217.3mpg and the Niro PHEV boasts the lowest CO2 emissions figure of any internal-combustion-engined Kia, at 29 g/km. This qualifies the Niro PHEV for 9% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax payments – a boon to company-car drivers.
Compared to the regular hybrid, the Niro PHEV uses a higher-capacity 8.9kWh (kilowatt hour) battery pack, which is claimed to allow a 36-mile all-electric range on a full charge. When a fast charger is used, Kia claims the battery can be taken from fully depleted to a 100% charge in two and a quarter hours.
The PHEV uses the same 104bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine as the regular Niro hybrid, but a more powerful 60bhp electric motor is fitted. When the two work together, 139bhp is produced and the extra pulling power of electric traction allows a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds – around a second faster than the conventional hybrid.
As with the regular Niro hybrid, the PHEV uses six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox while a new ‘Eco Driving Assistant System’ promises to provide pointers on efficient driving, suggesting when the driver should brake or ease off on the accelerator.
Kia Niro PHEV equipment
The PHEV takes top spot in the Niro range and gets a few subtle styling tweaks over its sibling, with a new chrome radiator grille and blue trim details on the front and rear bumpers, as well as 16-inch alloys with aerodynamic plastic covers, privacy glass and LED tail-lights.
Standard equipment builds on the mid-range 3 trim level and includes an infotainment system with DAB radio, USB and aux-in ports, and a reversing camera. Front and rear parking sensors are fitted, as is dual-zone climate control. Black leather adorns the seats, steering wheel and gearshifter. Both seats are heated, while the driver’s gets power adjustment.
To enable the high-capacity battery to be fitted, the PHEV has a smaller petrol tank than the regular hybrid – down from 45 to 43 litres. Boot space is also reduced, from 427 to 324 litres.
Kia Niro PHEV price & on-sale date
The Kia Niro PHEV is available now, priced at £30,495 with buyers qualifying for a government plug-in grant of £2,500.