ALL-NEW NIRO

PRESS PACK

GENERAL SPECIFICATION

Niro Hybrid

1          THE ALL-NEW KIA NIRO

            Short story 

  • Kia's first dedicated hybrid and first ever hybrid in the UK
  • Delivers low-cost, high-efficiency motoring in a stylish crossover package
  • Built on an all-new platform and featuring an all-new powertrain
  • Fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg with CO2 emissions from 88g/km
  • Available with the latest connectivity and driver assistance features 

Kia's pledge to reduce the average CO2 emissions of its range by 25 per cent before 2020 takes another major step forward with the launch of Niro, the company's first dedicated hybrid model and first hybrid of any description in the UK. Niro, with combined fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg and CO2 emissions starting at just 88g/km, joins the all-electric Soul EV in Kia's green-car line-up and will soon be followed by the Optima plug-in hybrid.   

Niro is not your run-of-the-mill hybrid. It delivers the high efficiency and low running costs of a petrol-electric car with the style, practicality and desirability of a compact crossover. It is based on an all-new platform which will only ever be used for electrified vehicles, and has an all-new powertrain featuring a 1.6-litre, 104bhp internal combustion engine and a 43bhp electric motor driving through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.      

The compact five-door, five-seater Niro was a joint design between Kia's studios at Namyang in Korea and Irvine, California. The sleek crossover profile has a low drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.29, while extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminium in the body construction helps to keep down weight. Both are significant factors in Niro's low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. 

Niro is not a hair-shirt fuel-saving car, however. Its horizontally structured interior exhibits the high-quality fit and finish of other recent Kia introductions like the Sorento, Optima and Sportage, and it is available with the latest connectivity and active safety technologies, including Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom®, wireless smartphone charging, autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control and lane-assist, 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.      

Hybrid sales in the UK and mainland Europe have doubled over the past five years and are expected to reach 700,000 annually by the end of the decade. Niro ensures Kia is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this growing demand. It is offered in the UK in a four-strong model range – designated grades ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ – all featuring a high standard specification. 

Stand-out crossover styling comes to the world of hybrids

Until now, dedicated crossovers have largely been much of a muchness, shaped by aerodynamic considerations above style, practicality and desirability. But Kia does not do elevator music. When embarking on the Niro project it decided to go for a modern, attractive crossover body style with ample room for five people plus their luggage. One remarkable feat is that this has been achieved with a drag coefficient (Cd) of only 0.29, even on versions with roof rails. 

The design features the subtly sculpted surfaces and sharp lines that instantly mark Niro out as a modern Kia, and includes the latest evolution of the brand's 'tiger-nose' grille as well as the familiar broad C-pillar. A wide stance gives pointers to the car's stability and low centre of gravity, while a long bonnet, short overhangs, elevated headlights and a rising shoulder line are other Kia hallmarks. The body tapers towards the rear, where bold wheel arches, a squared-off bumper with a diffuser section and high-mounted C-shaped tail lights emphasise its dynamic stance. Niro's crossover credentials are further highlighted by body cladding beneath the front and rear bumpers, along the sides and around the wheel arches. A subtle roof spoiler aids the car's aerodynamics. 

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 new Sportage SUV in size. Yet with a 2,700mm wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs it provides generous interior space. 

This is reinforced by the styling of the interior, which has a wide dashboard set out on horizontal lines, like the new Optima and Sportage. There is an upper display sector with the instrument panel and infotainment screen at the same height, separated by a cabin-wide trim line from the lower control area, where the heating and ventilation and driver assistance switches are located. 

High-quality, soft-touch materials maintain the ever-improving quality of the latest Kia range, emphasised by the smart black upholstery on grades ‘1’ to ‘3’ (cloth, cloth and leather or all leather), light grey headlining, a 3.5 inch TFT supervision cluster in the ‘1’ grade and a 4.2-inch TFT in all grades above with a high-gloss black inserts in the steering wheel, dashboard and door panels from the ‘2’ grade upwards. All but the entry-level model ‘1’ grades have a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, a 7 or 8-inch touchscreen navigation system and chrome interior door handles 

The range-topping ‘First Edition’ model has stone grey leather upholstery and high-gloss white steering wheel, dashboard and door panel inserts, plus aluminium pedals. 

All-new hybrid powertrain promotes outstanding efficiency   

Niro's powertrain, like its design, marks it out as something different from the norm in dedicated hybrid vehicles. 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 dual-clutch automatic gearbox (6DCT) rather than the more commonly favoured continuously variable transmission (CVT). This gives more direct and immediate response with greater refinement, and incorporates a Manual Sports mode to allow keener drivers to select gears manually.    

The petrol engine is a new version of the 1.6-litre direct-injection unit from the Kappa family, 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 rather than wasting it as heat. 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 (43bhp) electric motor developing 170Nm of torque and powered by a  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 is based on the 7DCT transmission fitted to other Kia models, and has been specially engineered to work with hybrid powertrains. The layout and gear train are light and compact, while new low-friction bearings and low-viscosity oil reduce friction, promoting greater efficiency, lowering reaction times and reducing noise. A new Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED) allows 139bhp 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 spacious interior and luggage area. A slightly raised crossover-style seating position makes getting in and out easier and provides a superior view out. 

The structure is particularly strong and includes 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel, which ensures that rigidity and safety do not compromise weight. This is aided by extensive use of aluminium for the bonnet, tailgate panel, front bumper back beam and several chassis elements, including the front knuckles, front lower arms and brake callipers. Even the parking brake pedal, which is made of fibre-reinforced plastic, contributes to the weight savings. To ensure body integrity and rigidity in critical areas, hot-stamped steel is used to reinforce the A- and B-pillars, roof rails and wheel arches.    

Thanks to the long, 2,700mm wheelbase there is generous space for five people. There is up to 1,059mm of legroom in the front and 950mm in the rear; the class-leading headroom of up to 1,018mm in front and 993mm behind is greater than in many C-segment SUVs; and the 1,805mm wide body provides 1,423mm of shoulder room for the two front occupants and only slightly less, at 1,402mm, in the rear. At the same time there is 427 litres of luggage space (373 litres with luggage undertray), even with all five seats occupied, thanks to the location of the battery pack beneath the rear seat. This expands to 1,425 litres (1,371 with undertray) with the 60:40 split rear seats folded. The 45-litre fuel tank is located alongside the battery pack beneath the rear seat. 

Newly designed front seats save 1.3kg each thanks to their high-strength steel frames, yet they are still able to cushion occupants against bumps and vibrations as a result of high-density cushions, while specially profiled springs and pads provide high levels of thigh, hip and side support. 

No compromise in comfort and refinement

By re-engineering certain existing components, Kia has been able to ensure that Niro has a unique chassis specifically designed for a hybrid while being the equal of the brand's other compact models for ride comfort, handling and refinement

Niro's road behaviour begins with fully independent suspension all round, based on MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement with dual lower arms at the rear. It has been tuned to deliver maximum on-centre steering feel, high-speed stability and immediate response to steering inputs. Because each rear wheel is able to absorb bumps independently, shocks are less likely to be transmitted to the cabin than with a cheaper torsion beam rear axle, while the wide stance and low centre of gravity enhance stability. 

Capitalising on the experience gained through the development of two generations of Optima hybrid (neither sold in the UK) plus the Soul EV, Kia has been able to give Niro consistent and linear deceleration characteristics and feel unusual in an electrified car. Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, which collectively control skids when cornering or accelerating on surfaces with uneven levels of grip from left to right, are standard.

Niro's exceptional refinement proved particularly challenging to perfect because of the hybrid powertrain. Contributing towards this are asymmetric engine mounts to minimise powertrain movements at the attachment points in the subframe, high-density under-bonnet insulation, an acoustic shield with a special support structure to improve the sound of the combustion engine when accelerating in the most commonly used speed ranges, and the adoption of a 6DCT gearbox in place of a CVT.

Road noise is minimised by high-insulation rigid bushes in the front subframe, high-strength steel in the rear wheel arches and additional insulation in the A- and B-pillars. The low drag co-efficient (Cd) of 0.29 contributes towards the suppression of wind noise, aided by laminated windscreen glass, a cowl over the front windscreen wipers, specially profiled door mirror casings and – as an example of the attention to detail of Kia's engineers – covers over the holes in the roof rails, which sit flush on the bodywork. 

The best of connectivity and advanced driver aids

An environmental car does not have to be a fundamental car, and Niro is available with the most advanced connectivity services and active driver aids.

Every version has a Lane Keep Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Cruise Control and a Speed Limiter. Grade ‘2’ adds a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a Reversing Camera and Kia Connected Services featuring 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. Further additions for grade ‘3’ are an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a wireless mobile phone charger and an eight-speaker JBL Premium sound system with a 320-watt external amplifier. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range ‘First Edition’ version also has Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection with a Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control. 

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.   

Every Niro has a DAB radio and is able to support Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and music streaming. 

Niro is also 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. 

Niro in the UK

The four-model line-up in the UK begins with grade ‘1’, but this is far from a no-frills entry-level version introduced solely to allow a headline-grabbing start price. In addition to its advanced safety features it has 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, a DAB radio, USB and AUX ports and a trip computer. 

Upgrading to level ‘2’ 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. 

The step up to grade ‘3’ 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 on both front seats and stainless steel scuff sill plates. This is all in addition to the JBL® upgraded audio system, larger navigation screen and wireless mobile phone charger. 

The ‘First Edition’ model is distinguished by its unique grey leather trim and white interior inserts, but also exclusively provides a smart key and engine start/stop button, heated outer rear seats, ventilated front seats and an electric tilting and sliding sunroof on top of its additional active safety features.              

Market, warranty and after-care

In keeping with every Kia, Niro comes with a unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to wear and tear conditions. The warranty – the best on any hybrid available in Britain – is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached. 

Niro is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia replacement parts and specified oils. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold. 

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 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

74.3

88

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

74.3

88

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

64.2

101

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

64.2

101

 

For further information on Kia please visit www.kiapressoffice.com or contact: 

Stephen Kitson                           Corporate Communications Director
skitson@kia.co.uk – 01932 832075 – 07795 011936

Daniel Sayles                             Press Relations Manager 
dsayles@kia.co.uk – 01932 832073 – 07747 149149

Sara Robinson                            Senior Press Officer
srobinson@kia.co.uk – 01932 832072 – 07919 482332

Carly Escritt                               Senior Press Officer
cescritt@kia.co.uk – 01932 832071 – 07557 268252

Moyosola Fujamade                   Press Fleet Officer
mfujamade@kia.co.uk – 01932 832069 – 07471 216343

Emily Jacklin                              Press Office Assistant
ejacklin@kia.co.uk – 01932 832079 – 07795 011475 


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2          NIRO ON (JUST OVER) A PAGE                                                                      

            A quick résumé for those with a deadline looming 

General

  • Kia's first dedicated hybrid and first hybrid of any description in the UK
  • Slots into a market expected to reach 700,000 a year in Europe by 2020
  • Unique crossover/SUV styling for the compact hybrid segment
  • The practicality and showroom appeal of a crossover with the fuel efficiency of a hybrid
  • Four-model line-up in UK with grades ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’
  • Plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) to be added for 2017 model year 

Body

  • Based on an all-new platform exclusively for electrified cars
  • Five-door, five-seater front-wheel-drive crossover
  • Low drag coefficient of 0.29, even with roof rails fitted
  • At 4,355mm long, slots between the cee'd hatchback and Sportage SUV in size
  • Batteries located under the rear seat for low centre of gravity and ideal packaging
  • Made up of 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel
  • Bonnet, tailgate panel, front bumper back beam and several chassis components in aluminium to save weight
  • Signature design cues like 'tiger-nose' grille ensure Niro is easily recognisable as a Kia 

Interior

  • Long, 2,700mm wheelbase and width of 1,805mm create ample space for five adults
  • New, more shapely front seats save 1.3kg each and offer excellent all-round support
  • Dashboard split into upper display area and lower control area with fewer, simpler switches
  • Horizontal trim line on dashboard emphasises width and space inside
  • Luxurious soft-touch materials and trim details attest to high-quality fit and finish
  • Under-seat battery positioning allows for a capacious 427-litre boot (373 litres with luggage undertray) with uninterrupted rectangular shape and low loading lip 

Powertrain and running gear

  • Petrol-electric hybrid with six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (6DCT) in place of more common continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Combustion engine is a new version of 1.6-litre Kappa direct-injection (GDi) unit developing 104bhp and 147Nm of torque
  • Supported by a 32kW (43bhp) electric motor with 170Nm of torque
  • Combined power output 139bhp, with 265Nm of torque in first gear
  • Parallel hybrid drive system with brake energy recovery system: normally the two power units work together, but able to run in all-electric mode for short distances in some circumstances
  • Combined fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg, with emissions as low as 88g/km, depending on wheel and tyre combination
  • Petrol engine uses Atkinson cycle combustion process to make greater use of energy with lower heat losses
  • Cooled exhaust gas recirculation, direct injection, long-stroke engine and exhaust heat recovery to speed warm-up also aid efficiency
  • 6DCT transmission employs new low-friction bearings and low-viscosity oils, and includes Manual Sports driving mode
  • Transmission-Mounted Electric Device ensures 6DCT works more efficiently with hybrid powertrain
  • All-independent suspension and wide stance improve stability, responsiveness, steering feel and ride comfort
  • Low drag coefficient, 6DCT transmission and extensive measures to reduce noise, vibration and harshness ensure impressive refinement in all driving modes 

Technology and safety

  • Wireless phone charger
  • Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom® giving speed camera, weather, traffic and local point of interest information
  • First Kia to feature Android Auto, giving access to Google Maps navigation, Google Play music, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition through smartphone apps
  • Advanced active safety technologies include Autonomous Emergency Braking, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Blind Spot Detection, Lane Keeping Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • DAB radio standard, with a 320-watt JBL sound system on the top two grades 

 

3          DESIGN                                                                                                          

           Not your run-of-the-mill hybrid 

Dedicated hybrid vehicles, as opposed to those developed from a combustion-engined car, have until now involved compromises in design, mainly to achieve the lowest air-drag figure possible. That is why the majority have adopted a tear-drop hatchback profile – practical and efficient, but uninspiring and not what customers demand in a market increasingly attuned to SUVs and crossovers. 

Kia was adamant it could overcome the design limitations of other dedicated hybrids without sacrificing practicality, versatility and aerodynamic efficiency. The result is Niro, a hybrid with a modern, attractive crossover body style and ample room for five people plus their luggage. The remarkable feat is that this has been achieved with a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29, even on versions with roof rails. 

To make this possible, Kia designers’ took a reverse approach during the creation of Niro: design an attractive, sporty, stylish and tough-looking crossover, then fine-tune the aerodynamics to suit the requirements of a hybrid. This novel way of going about things has resulted in a crossover which is appealing in its own right – hence the decision by Kia to offer upper-series models with 18-inch wheels – which also serves as a highly efficient hybrid. 

Exterior styling

From any angle, Niro exudes dynamism and strength. The body line linking the roof, glasshouse and bonnet adds crossover-style volume to the car, while a wide bumper with bold lines and the now-familiar 'tiger-nose' grille, in high-gloss black with a black and chrome surround, add a distinctive Kia family look. Body cladding on the lower edge of the front and rear bumpers, along the sides and around the wheel arches emphasises Niro's crossover credentials, but there are also subtleties which illustrate the attention to detail of the design and engineering teams to make Niro a legitimate hybrid. 

An active air flap in the lower front grille opens and closes according to the cooling requirements of the powertrain at any given time, so that Niro is running in the most efficient aerodynamic configuration in all circumstances, and there are air curtains, like gills, in the front corners of the car. These channel air away from the front wheel arches to reduce turbulence in those areas, again to aid aerodynamic efficiency. A specially shaped roof leading into a rear spoiler also channels air over the car in the most efficient manner. Even the stylish 16-inch alloy wheels on grades ‘1’ and ‘2’ have been designed with aerodynamics in mind. 

The tailgate area is equally clean-looking and sits over a diffuser which aids airflow under the car. The C-shaped rear lamps are mounted immediately beneath the tailgate glass, while the contours of the wide and deep tailgate also emphasise the smooth aerodynamic shape of Niro. Even the location of the rear-vision camera (where fitted) reduces drag: it is housed within the rear wiper mounting so as to impede air exiting the rear of the car as little as possible. The rear corners of the car have been refined in minute detail to reduce drag without worsening visibility. There are specially profiled door mirror casings and – as an example of the attention to detail of Kia's engineers – covered holes in the roof rails, which sit flush on the bodywork. 

The design of Niro was a joint effort between Kia's studios at Namyang in Korea and Irvine, California. It features the subtly sculpted surfaces and sharp lines that are now Kia design hallmarks. A wide stance gives pointers to the car's stability and low centre of gravity, while a long bonnet, short overhangs, elevated headlights and a rising shoulder line are other Kia distinguishing features. The body tapers towards the rear, where bold wheel arches, a squared-off bumper and the high-mounted C-shaped tail light clusters emphasise Niro's crossover stance. 

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 Sportage SUV in size. Yet with a 2,700mm wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs it provides generous interior space. 

Inside information

Aerodynamic considerations posed many challenges for the teams tasked with Niro's packaging. It was determined early on that Niro would be a compact hybrid crossover – shorter than the Sportage SUV, but longer than the cee'd hatchback. There had to be a limit on height to reduce drag, but this was not to be at the expense of a raised seating position. And space, versatility, ease of entrance and visibility were not to suffer in any way. The result is one of Kia's most efficiently packaged cars ever.

Thanks to the long, 2,700mm wheelbase there is generous space for five people. There is up to 1,059mm of legroom in the front and 950mm in the rear; the class-leading headroom of up to 1,018mm in front and 993mm behind is greater than in many C-segment SUVs; and the 1,805mm wide body provides 1,423mm of shoulder room for the two front occupants and only slightly less, at 1,402mm, in the rear. At the same time there is 427 litres of luggage space (373 litres with luggage undertray), even with all five seats occupied, thanks to the location of the battery pack beneath the rear seat. This expands to 1,425 litres (1,371 with undertray) with the 60:40 split rear seats folded. The 45-litre fuel tank is located alongside the battery pack beneath the rear seat. 

The ergonomic fascia and information clusters follow what is becoming a modern theme for Kia, starting with a wide dashboard set out on horizontal lines, as in the new Optima and Sportage. There is an upper display sector with the instrument panel and infotainment screen set at the same height for instant, easier reading, separated by a cabin-wide trim line from the lower control area, where the heating and ventilation and driver assistance switches are located. 

Inside the cabin, every last nook and cranny has been used for storage of personal items, and in grades ‘3’ and the ‘First Edition’ model there is a tray for wireless charging of mobile devices. 

Niro has a foot-operated parking brake to release more space for oddments in the centre console, and is fitted in the UK with a tyre mobility kit rather than a spare wheel to reduce weight and so that the boot can be as large as possible. Space-saving front seats with special foam-backed covers and slim headrests contribute to the exceptional five-seat space of Niro and also save 1.3kg each thanks to their high-strength steel frames, yet they are still able to cushion occupants against bumps and vibrations as a result of high-density cushions and profiled springs and pads. 

There is smart black upholstery on grades ‘1’ to ‘3’ (cloth, cloth and leather or all leather), light grey headlining, a 3.5-inch TFT supervision cluster on the ‘1’ and 4.2- inch TFT supervision cluster on all higher grades, high-gloss black inserts in the steering wheel, dashboard and door panels from the second grade upwards. All but the entry-level model also has a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen navigation system and chrome interior door handles. The range-topping First Edition model has stone grey leather upholstery and high-gloss white steering wheel, dashboard and door panel inserts, plus stainless steel pedals.

 

4          THE TECHNICAL STORY

 Everything's new, from the platform to the powertrain 

The phrase 'clean-sheet-of-paper car' is much over-used, but in the case of Niro it is totally apt. Niro is a dedicated hybrid car, not an adaptation of a combustion-engined model, and while it employs modified chassis components from other models where feasible, to keep down manufacturing and ownership costs, the vast majority of it is all-new. 

That includes the platform on which the car is based and which has been designed purely for electrified vehicles; the combustion engine and the transmission which, unlike those in most other hybrid vehicles, is a dual-clutch automatic (6DCT) rather than a continuously variable transmission (CVT), improving smoothness, efficiency and refinement. 

The new Atkinson Cycle combustion engine

The petrol engine is a new version of the normally aspirated 1.6-litre direct-injection (GDi) unit from the Kappa family, specifically engineered for use in hybrid cars. It is a long-stroke 16-valve unit with an aluminium cylinder head and block and a steel oil pan. The engine's dimensions are unchanged, with a 72mm cylinder bore and a 97mm piston stroke, and it develops an identical 104bhp at 5,700rpm and 147Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, but in Niro it 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 engine was invented by James Atkinson, of Hampstead, at the dawn of the motoring age (he first filed for patents in the mid-1880s), but it is now proving to be an ideal solution for emissions-reducing hybrid cars in the 21st century. 

It works on the principle of completing all four stages of the combustion process (intake, compression, ignition and exhaust) on just one rotation of the crankshaft, rather than the two required in the more common Otto cycle engine. At the same time the compression ratio is reduced and the intake stroke is shorter than the power stroke, therefore requiring less fuel to turn the engine over. 

While this inevitably reduces the amount of power the engine can develop, it is less important in a hybrid car which has the assistance of an electric motor, and which in any case aims to maximise efficiency rather than outright performance. With the benefit of continuously variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust sides of the engine, the new Kappa unit is easily able to achieve the variations in compression ratio and piston stroke required by the Atkinson Cycle. In Niro, efficiency is further aided by an exhaust heat recovery system which speeds the engine warm-up process. 

The new Kappa Atkinson cycle engine features isolated cooling technology which prevents the cylinder head and block from overheating while reducing knocking and friction respectively. Sodium, which has high thermal conductivity, is used in the hollow exhaust valves, and friction losses have been reduced through tapered roller bearings and low viscosity oil. The engine's thermal efficiency of 40 per cent is among the best in the global auto industry.        

The power electronics system

In Niro, the combustion engine is paired with a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor developing 32kW (43bhp) from 1,798 to 2,500rpm, and 170Nm of torque from rest to 1,798rpm. Power to the motor comes from a 240-volt lithium-ion polymer battery capable of storing  of electrical energy. Together, the two power units produce a maximum 139bhp at 5,700rpm, with 265Nm of torque available in first gear from 1,000 to 2,400rpm. The result is extremely brisk acceleration from standstill and in typical urban scenarios, where Niro is most likely to be found, with effortless cruising ability at the speeds permitted in the UK. Acceleration from standstill to 60mph is achieved in 11.1 seconds, and the car has a top speed of 101mph. 

Niro's battery pack is the lightest and most efficient used by Kia so far – the whole hybrid battery system weighs just 33kg – and has up to 50 per cent greater power density and 13 per cent greater energy efficiency than the systems in rival hybrid cars. 

Niro's battery cells have a ceramic coating between the cathode and anode sides, a Voltage Protection Device, a dedicated battery management system and an integrated control system, all to improve safety, fire risk, reliability and ease of maintenance.    

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, with the 16-inch wheels and tyres fitted to grades ‘1’ and ‘2’. The respective figures for grades ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’, which have 18-inch wheels and wider tyres, are 64.2mpg and 101g/km. 

Model

Total power bhp

Total torque Nm

0–60 sec

Max speed mph

Average mpg

C02 g/km

‘1’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

74.3

88

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

74.3

88

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

64.2

101

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

64.2

101

 

A dual-clutch automatic transmission instead of the more common CVT

Niro employs a dual-clutch automatic transmission rather than the continuously variable automatic (CVT) more commonly found in hybrid cars. The in-house 6DCT gearbox is based on the 7DCT transmission fitted to some other Kia models, and uses a dry dual clutch to keep weight to a minimum and reduce the friction losses through viscosity which occur in wet dual-clutch systems. The gearbox has been specially engineered to work with hybrid powertrains. It is smoother, more efficient and quieter than a CVT. 

In normal operation the 6DCT transmission changes gear automatically, with no need for intervention from the driver. One clutch operates the odd-numbered gears (first, third and fifth) and the other clutch is responsible for the even-numbered gears (second, fourth and sixth). The 6DCT is able to work automatically in both Eco and Sport modes, with the latter delaying up changes until the power unit has attained higher revs for greater performance. But there is also a Manual mode, accessed by sliding the lever to the side when in the Drive position. The driver is then able to up- or down change at will by rocking the gear selector forwards or backwards.   

The layout and gear train have been designed for light weight and compact size, while new low-friction bearings and low-viscosity oil reduce friction, promoting greater efficiency, lowering reaction times and reducing noise. A new Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED) 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 spacious interior and luggage area. A slightly raised crossover-style seating position makes getting in and out easier and provides a superior view out. 

The structure is particularly strong and includes 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel, which ensures that rigidity and safety do not compromise weight. This is aided by extensive use of aluminium for the bonnet, tailgate panel, front bumper back beam and several chassis elements, including the front knuckles, front lower arms and brake callipers. The aluminium bonnet and tailgate alone save 11kg when compared with comparable steel components. Even the parking brake pedal, which is made of fibre-reinforced plastic, contributes to the weight savings. Newly designed front seats save 1.3kg each thanks to their high-strength steel frames, yet they are still able to cushion occupants against bumps and vibrations as a result of high-density cushions, while specially profiled springs and pads provide high levels of thigh, hip and side support. 

As a result of all this, Niro's kerbside weight is from 1,500 to 1,587kg, depending on model specification. To ensure body integrity and rigidity in critical areas, hot-stamped steel is used to reinforce the A- and B-pillars, roof rails and wheel arches. 

The battery pack is housed beneath the rear seat, with no intrusion into the boot, as is the 45-litre fuel tank. 

No compromises in safety, comfort and refinement

By re-engineering certain existing components, Kia has been able to ensure that Niro has a unique chassis specifically designed for a hybrid while being the equal of the brand's other compact models for ride comfort, handling and refinement. 

Niro's road behaviour begins with fully independent suspension all round, based on MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement with dual lower arms at the rear. It has been tuned to deliver maximum on-centre steering feel, high-speed stability and immediate response to steering inputs. Because each rear wheel is able to absorb bumps independently, shocks are less likely to be transmitted to the cabin than with a cheaper torsion beam rear axle, while the wide stance and low centre of gravity enhance stability. 

Capitalising on the experience gained through the development of two generations of Optima hybrid (neither sold in the UK) plus the Soul EV, Kia has been able to give Niro consistent and linear deceleration characteristics and feel unusual in an electrified car. 

All-disc brakes are used, ventilated at the front, and there is a foot-operated parking brake. The anti-lock braking system includes Brake Assist, which ensures maximum retardation in an emergency stop, regardless of the force applied to the pedal by the driver. 

Steering is via Kia's proven column-mounted motor-driven power-assisted system (C-MDPS), which gives the car a compact turning circle of 10.6 metres and requires less than 2.7 turns of the wheel between the extremes of lock. The steering gear has been mounted well forward and features an increased gear ratio and a larger electric motor for greater self-centring and responsiveness. Niro's agility is also helped by aluminium front suspension knuckles, lower arms and brake callipers, all of which save weight and counter inertia. 

Niro ‘1’ and ‘2’ have 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/60 R16 tyres, while grades ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ are fitted with 18-inch alloys and 225/45 R 18 tyres. 

Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, which collectively control skids when cornering or accelerating on surfaces with uneven levels of grip from left to right, are standard. 

Passive safety provisions start with the rigidity of the body structure, which is reinforced in critical areas and features crumple zones front and rear and anti-intrusion beams at the sides. There are seven airbags, including one to protect the driver's knees; all-round height-adjustable headrests, height-adjustable front seat belts with an automatic tightening device in the event of emergency braking; ISOFIX child seat top tethers and anchors; and doors which unlock automatically after an impact. 

Niro's exceptional refinement proved particularly challenging to perfect because of the hybrid powertrain. Contributing towards this are asymmetric engine mounts to minimise powertrain movements at the attachment points in the subframe, high-density under-bonnet insulation, an acoustic shield with a special support structure to improve the sound of the combustion engine when accelerating in the most commonly used speed ranges, and the adoption of a 6DCT gearbox in place of a CVT. 

Road noise is minimised by high-insulation rigid bushes in the front subframe, high-strength steel in the rear wheel arches and additional insulation in the A- and B-pillars. The low drag co-efficient (Cd) of 0.29 contributes towards the suppression of wind noise, aided by laminated windscreen glass, a cowl over the front windscreen wipers, specially profiled door mirror casings and – as an example of the attention to detail of Kia's engineers – covers over the holes in the roof rails, which sit flush with the bodywork.

 

5          TECHNOLOGY                                                                                                

            Up-to-the-minute connectivity, convenience and safety      

Niro offers the best of what Kia has to offer in the areas of connectivity and advanced active driver aids.

Every version has a Lane Keep Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Cruise Control and a Speed Limiter. Grade ‘2’ adds a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a Reversing Camera and Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom®. Further additions for grade ‘3’ are an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a wireless mobile phone charger and an eight-speaker JBL Premium sound system with a 320-watt external amplifier. Meanwhile the top-of-the-range ‘First Edition’ version also has Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection with a Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control. A DAB radio able to support Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and music streaming is standard on all grades 

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.

Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection brings the car to a halt if the driver fails to react to a potential accident. It uses short- and long-wave radars to monitor the proximity of vehicles in front of the car. If the sensors detect an imminent collision and the driver does not respond, the brakes are applied automatically. The system is split into three main categories: 

City, which can avoid low-speed urban accidents at up to 13mph. 

Inter-Urban, which operates between 31mph and 50mph.

Pedestrian, which detects pedestrians and other vulnerable road users such as cyclists at up to 44mph. 

Smart Cruise Control maintains the distance to the car ahead, automatically slowing and accelerating Niro in accordance with the flow of traffic. 

Lane Keep Assist uses a camera behind the rear-view mirror to 'film' the lane ahead of the car. It then passes this information on to an electronic control unit which detects the lane and markings. If the control unit recognises that the car has left its lane with no indicator activated, it issues sound and visual alerts to the driver and steers the Niro back into its lane if necessary. 

The Blind Spot Detection system ensures the driver does not stray into the path of an overtaking vehicle, while the Rear Cross Traffic Alert prevents the driver from reversing out of a driveway or parking space when there is a vehicle approaching from the side. It achieves this by using sensors to monitor the sides of the car, using the Blind Spot Detection radar, to alert the driver. 

Making life easier

From grade ‘2’ upwards, Niro owners have access to a 7- or 8-inch navigation touchscreen with European mapping and a Traffic Messaging Channel. These are linked to a reversing camera integrated with the navigation screen. 

They also feature Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom®, accessed through the owner's smartphone. This provides live traffic updates, refreshed once a minute, with suggested alternative routes to avoid congestion; local weather forecasts; local searches under 500 categories, from Kia dealerships and petrol stations to restaurants and supermarkets; and alerts for such things as speed cameras and accident blackspots. Kia Connected Services is free for seven years from the day the car is bought. 

Every Niro is Bluetooth-enabled for hands-free phone calls and music streaming and has a DAB radio with MP3 compatibility, while an eight-speaker JBL® audio system with subwoofer, external amp and front centre speaker is standard from grade ‘3’ upwards. 

Grades ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ also have a wireless mobile phone charger, located to the front of the centre console tray, which uses inductive charging to power-up the batteries of compatible electronic devices. 

Niro is also 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.

 

6          RANGE FINDER                                                                                              

            A four-model range, all with a high standard specification 

With its SUV/crossover design, Niro is not only a hybrid car which aims to offer buyers low-emissions, low-cost ownership, but also a desirable model in its own right. With that in mind, Kia has devised a simple, four-model UK line-up – designated ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ – offering plenty of choice while ensuring a high standard specification for every version.        

All models have an identical powertrain, with a new 1.6-litre direct-injection (GDI) unit from the Kappa family, specifically engineered for use in hybrid cars, paired with a 32kW (43bhp) electric motor and a six-speed dual-clutch (6DCT) automatic transmission driving the front wheels. Together, the two power units produce a maximum 139bhp, with 265Nm of torque available in first gear for rapid acceleration from standstill. 

The major difference in terms of driveline specification is in the choice of wheels and tyres. Grades ‘1’ and ‘2’ have 16-inch alloy wheels which facilitate maximum fuel saving and CO2 emissions reduction, while grades ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ are fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels for buyers who are prepared to accept a slight increase in fuel consumption and emissions in return for a more robust-looking crossover appearance.

Highlights of the range model by model

Every version has a high active and passive safety specification along with connectivity features. A Lane Keep Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Cruise Control and a Speed Limiter are standard on every version, along with Bluetooth for hands-free phone calls and music streaming, and a DAB radio with MP3 compatibility. 

Grade ‘2’ adds a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a reversing camera and Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom®. Kia Connected Services is free for seven years from the time the car is bought. Further additions for grade ‘3’ are an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a wireless mobile phone charger and an eight-speaker JBL® Premium sound system with a 320-watt external amplifier. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range ‘First Edition’ version also has Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection with a Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control. 

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. 

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

Grade ‘2’ adds a 4.2-inch TFT supervision cluster, high-gloss black trim highlights on the steering wheel, dashboard and doors, 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 and electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors with LED indicators. 

The step up to grade ‘3’ 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. This is all in addition to the JBL® upgraded audio system, larger navigation screen and wireless mobile phone charger.

The ‘First Edition’ model is distinguished by unique stone grey leather trim and white steering wheel, dash and door inserts, but also exclusively provides a smart key and engine start/stop button, heated outer rear seats, ventilated front seats and an electric tilting and sliding sunroof on top of its additional active safety features.

 

All-New Niro Specification

Range

'1'

'2'

'3'

'First Edition'

EXTERIOR FEATURES & LIGHTING

16" Alloy Wheels (205/60R16)

-

-

18" Alloy Wheels (225/45R18)

-

 

Matt Black Colour Radiator Grille

S

S

S

S

Body Coloured Door Mirrors

-

-

-

High Gloss Door Mirrors

-

Body Coloured Exterior Door Handles

-

-

-

Chrome Coated Exterior Door Handles

-

Black Side Sill & Wheel Arch Body Mouldings

S

S

S

S

Chrome Beltline Mouldings

S

S

S

S

Roof Rails

-

Rear Spoiler

S

S

S

S

Solar Glass

S

S

S

S

Privacy Glass (Rear Windows & Tailgate)

-

Electric Sunroof

-

-

-

Manual Headlight Levelling Device

S

S

S

S

Automatic Headlight Control

S

S

S

S

Welcome & Follow-me-home Light Functionality

-

Bi-Xenon Headlights

-

-

-

Front Fog Lights

S

S

S

S

LED Daytime Running Lights

S

S

S

S

LED Rear Tail Lights

S

S

S

S

Rain Sensing Front Wipers

-

Electrically Heated and Adjustable Door Mirrors

-

-

-

Electrically Folding, Adjustable & Heated Door Mirrors with LED Indicators

-

Driver's Wide View Door Mirror

S

S

S

S

Solid Paint

-

Metallic Paint

OPT

OPT

OPT

INTERIOR DESIGN & COMFORT

Black Cloth Upholstery

-

-

Black Part Cloth & Leather Upholstery

-

-

-

Black Leather Upholstery*

-

-

-

Stone Grey Leather Upholstery*

-

-

-

Driver's Seat Height Adjuster

-

-

10-way Driver's  Power Adjustable  Seat (Sliding, Reclining, Height Adjustment)

-

-

Driver Power Memory Seat Function

-

-

-

Heated Front Seats

-

-

Heated Outer Rear Seats

-

-

-

Ventilated Front Seats

-

-

-

Driver's Seat Power Lumbar Support

-

-

Tilt & Telescopic Steering Wheel Adjustment

S

S

S

S

Leather Trimmed Steering Wheel

-

Leather Trimmed Gearshift

-

Heated Steering Wheel

-

-

High Gloss Black Steering Wheel Trim

-

-

High Gloss Black Lower Console Trim

-

-

High Gloss Black Door Insert Trim

-

-

High Gloss White Steering Wheel Trim

-

-

-

High Gloss White Lower Console Trim

-

-

-

High Gloss White Door Insert Trim

-

-

-

Metallic Finish Centre Fascia Trim

-

-

-

High Gloss Black Centre Fascia Trim

-

Leather Trimmed Door Armrests*

-

Front & Rear Centre Armrests

S

S

S

S

Metallic Finish Interior Door Handles

-

-

-

Chrome Coated Interior Door Handles

-

Stainless Steel Door Scuff Plates

-

-

Light Grey Headlining

S

S

S

S

Foot Parking Brake

S

S

S

S

Dual Automatic Air Conditioning with Ioniser

Steering Wheel Mounted Controls

S

S

S

S

All-round Electric Windows with Driver's Auto Up/Down Function

-

-

All-round Electric Windows with Driver and Front Passenger Auto Up/Down Function

-

-

Cruise Control & Speed Limiter

-

Adaptive Smart Cruise Control Function (SCC)****

OPT

OPT

OPT

Auto-dimming Rear-view Mirror

-

Sunvisors with Vanity Mirror Illumination (Driver & Front Passenger)

S

S

S

S

Remote Central Door Locking with Fold-away Key

-

Engine Start/Stop Button with Smart Entry System

-

-

-

Aluminium Pedals

-

-

-

STORAGE, VERSATILITY & INTERIOR LIGHTING

60:40 Split Folding 2nd Row Seats

S

S

S

S

3 x Passenger Assist Grips

S

S

S

S

12v Power Socket (Rear Centre Console)

S

S

S

S

Cupholders in Rear Armrest

S

S

S

S

Rear Ventilation Duct

S

S

S

S

Seatback Pocket (Driver)

S

S

S

S

Seatback Pocket (Front Passenger)

-

-

Front & Rear Door Storage

S

S

S

S

Centre Console Storage Box

S

S

S

S

Ignition Keyhole Illumination

-

Centre Cabin Light

S

S

S

S

Map Lamp with Sunglasses case

S

S

S

S

Tyre Mobility Kit (TMK)

S

S

S

S

Luggage Area Light

S

S

S

S

Luggage Area Load Cover

S

S

S

S

Luggage Net Hooks

S

S

S

S

AUDIO, COMMUNICATION & INFORMATION

6-speaker System

-

-

8-speaker JBL® Premium Sound System with Subwoofer, External Amp & Front Centre Speaker

-

-

DAB Radio with MP3 Compatibility

S

S

S

S

Shark Fin Antenna

S

S

S

S

USB & AUX Ports for Connection of an Audio Media Device (iPod / Memory Stick)

S

S

S

S

USB port in centre console

-

Bluetooth® with Voice Recognition & Music Streaming **

S

S

S

S

Wireless Mobile Phone Charger**

-

-

7" Touchscreen Satellite Navigation with European Mapping & Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC)

-

-

-

8" Touchscreen Satellite Navigation with European Mapping & Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC)

-

-

Android Auto Connectivity**

-

Kia Connected Services Featuring TomTom® (Traffic, Speed Cameras, Local Search & Weather Updates)**

-

Reversing Camera System (Integrated into Satellite Navigation Screen)

-

Rear Parking Sensors***

-

Front Parking Sensors***

-

-

3.5" Supervision Cluster with LCD TFT Colour Display

-

-

-

4.2" Supervision Cluster with LCD TFT Colour Display

-

Trip Computer - Distance, Fuel Consumption, Average Speed

S

S

S

S

Digital Clock

S

S

S

S

ACTIVE SAFETY & DRIVING DYNAMICS

Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

S

S

S

S

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

S

S

S

S

Emergency Stop Signalling (ESS)

S

S

S

S

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)****

OPT

OPT

OPT

Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS)

S

S

S

S

Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear-Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

-

-

-

Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)

S

S

S

S

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

S

S

S

S

Drive Mode Select

S

S

S

S

Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS)

S

S

S

S

PASSIVE SAFETY

Twin Front Airbags

S

S

S

S

Front Passenger Airbag Cut-off Switch

S

S

S

S

Twin Side Airbags (Front)

S

S

S

S

Twin Curtain Airbags with Roll-over Sensor

S

S

S

S

Knee Airbag (Driver)

S

S

S

S

All-round Height Adjustable Head Rests

S

S

S

S

ISOFIX Child Seat Top Tethers & Anchor Fixings

S

S

S

S

Front Seatbelts Height Adjusters

S

S

S

S

All-round 3-point Seatbelts

S

S

S

S

Impact Sensing Auto Door Unlocking

S

S

S

S

Grab-type Exterior Door Handles

S

S

S

S

SECURITY

Advanced Anti-Theft System including Immobiliser & Alarm

S

S

S

S

Locking Wheel Nuts

S

S

S

S

Visible Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

S

S

S

S

Door Deadlocks

S

S

S

S

Interior Door Lock/Unlock Function

S

S

S

S

Speed Sensing Auto Door Locking (Dealer-Activated Feature)

S

S

S

S

- = unavailable on grade   = available on grade   S = standard across range

 

7          THE BUSINESS CASE

 How Kia's hybrid crossover will lower running costs

Kia's ultimate goal is to decarbonise road transport completely, and the company is actively working on – and planning to market – all forms of alternative powertrain, including a hydrogen fuel cell car, before the end of the decade. But at present hybrids and plug-in hybrids offer the best alternative to purely combustion-engined vehicles because they are least dependent on expensive investment in new infrastructure to support them. 

With CO2 emissions of only 88g/km with 16-inch wheels and tyres, Niro will play a significant role in helping Kia achieve a 25 per cent reduction in fleet emissions by 2020, based on 2014 levels. It will also bring significant cost savings for both private and business motorists: there is no Vehicle Excise Duty to pay in either the first or second years with grades ‘1’ and ‘2’, while grades ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ with 18-inch wheels and tyres are zero-rated in the first year and attract only a £20 charge thereafter. The respective Benefit-in-Kind taxation scales for business users are 15 and 17 per cent.      

As with every Kia, reparability has been engineered in from the start of the design stage to keep insurance costs to a minimum, and the extensive catalogue of advanced active safety features on Niro also help to lower insurance groupings. Servicing intervals mean that most owners will need to visit a dealer only once a year. And every Niro is covered by Kia's unique seven-year or 100,000-mile transferable warranty. 

Fuel consumption (mpg) and CO2 (g/km) 

 

Urban

Ex urban

Combined

CO2

 ‘1’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

74.3

72.4

74.3

88

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

74.3

72.4

74.3

88

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

64.2

62.8

64.2

101

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

64.2

62.8

64.2

101

 

Benefit-in-kind taxation rates and VED bands (2016-17) 

 

Tax rate

VED years 1/2

‘1’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

15%

£0/£0

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

15%

£0/£0

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

17%

£0/£20

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

17%

£0/£20

 

Insurance  

 

Group

‘1’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

12

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

12

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

14

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

12

 

Servicing

Servicing is required every 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes soonest. Niro is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for the first three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia replacement parts and specified oils. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold.  If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold on the next owner may upgrade to the five-year service package.  

The magnificent seven-year warranty

Kia set a new benchmark in 2007 when it launched the cee'd with an industry-best seven-year warranty.  That demonstration of faith in the quality and reliability of Kia products has subsequently been extended to cover every model, including Niro.

A major benefit is that it is transferable to subsequent owners at no charge as long as the seven-year time limit has not been reached and the mileage is below 100,000.  If the car is sold when less than 18 months old or with less than 18,000 miles on the clock, the warranty is topped up to match that of a new model. 

The mechanical warranty is supported by a 12-year anti-perforation warranty and a five-year paint warranty.

 

 

8          MANUFACTURING AND THE ENVIRONMENT                                                           

Built at Hwasung, Kia's largest factory 

The Niro is built alongside European versions of the Optima saloon and Sportswagon at Kia's Hwasung plant in Asan Bay, Korea. 

Hwasung is Kia's largest factory, with a production capacity of 600,000 cars a year. It opened in 1989 and manufacturing began in 1991. Hwasung is also home to a 200-acre proving ground with 16 driving courses, opened in 1993, and it houses an employee sports centre, giving the 12,000 workers and their families access to gymnasiums, swimming pools, squash courts and weight-training and community facilities. 

In recent years Hwasung has undergone major changes to improve the quality of production processes and the cars leaving the factory gates. The improved quality has been recognised by the American publication, Consumer Reports.

Constant efforts are also being made to minimise the plant's effect on the environment. There have been major initiatives to increase recycling, reduce the amount of pollutants and waste in the production process, lower greenhouse gas emissions and cut air pollution through more eco-friendly production systems. Energy-saving measures have also been introduced, and Hwasung has sent no waste to landfill since 2008. 

Improved paint facilities have been installed and every aspect of vehicle production has been scrutinised to ensure the plant uses less energy. Water and power consumption, dust, CO2, contaminants and the amount of waste per vehicle have all been reduced. 

Waste reduction

Kia has made reducing the amount of raw materials being fed into the production process a major priority in each of its production facilities. The last few years have seen significant progress in reducing waste, increasing recycling and developing cleaner production processes. 

The overall waste generated by Hwasung is under constant review and a number of programmes have seen dramatic improvements.  Recycling has increased and now stands at well over 90 per cent. Exhaust pollutants from Hwasung – dust, NOx and SO2 – have also decreased dramatically. 

New technology is playing a significant part in environmental improvement. Typical cast melting furnaces produce large amounts of dust, and contained within this is a high proportion of zinc. The captured dust is treated and the zinc extracted before being re-used within the production process. 

Pump invertors have been fitted to coolant and collectant pumps to control the rpm according to load. This has led to energy savings and a reduction in CO2 equivalent to around 4,000 tons per year. 

Another simple energy-saving process has been implemented within Hwasung’s huge and complex air conditioning systems. A fixed amount of heat was supplied to some areas of the plant, regardless of the outside temperature. Using smart control units, the fans now run to supply heat only where and when needed. 

More technology is being employed in the machining shops where gearboxes are produced. Compressed air is used as a coolant when machining intricate gearbox internals, rather than cutting oil, helping to reduce oil use to less than half of one per cent. 

And at the end of a car's life…

Hwasung is also instrumental in the development of end-of-life treatment technologies to reduce the environmental and social impact of Kia’s. It is home to Kia's major Automobile Resource Regeneration centre, which not only dismantles cars once they are no longer serviceable, but is also helping to devise new ways in which Kia’s are designed and assembled, as well as with the choice of materials used in manufacturing. 

Modern cars contain explosive materials to trigger their airbags in an accident and large quantities of environmentally hostile solids and liquids, which must all be recycled or disposed of safely. Metal components such as the car body, engine and gearbox are relatively easy to recycle, as is the battery and exhaust catalyst, but plastics and rubbers present a greater challenge. Now only 5 per cent of a scrapped car is incinerated without energy recovery. 

Kia has developed an eight-stage dismantling process at Hwasung's ARR centre to recoup as many materials as possible for re-use while ensuring the few components which cannot be recycled are disposed of with the minimum environmental impact. Once the car to be scrapped has been registered it is taken into an explosives chamber where its airbags are triggered in a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. The car is then pre-treated for scrappage before all fluids are removed. The exterior, interior and powertrain components are systematically removed in sequence and finally the remnants of the car are crushed in a press. 

The ARR centre works on a conveyor system, just like when cars are being made, so that large numbers can be dismantled and recycled in a short time span. 

Eco-friendly recognition

The green landscape around Kia facilities is an important part of each plant make-up. One ongoing programme is based on a number of ecology gardens which are filled with trees and plants resistant and also sensitive to environmental changes in air pollution. This has the added benefits of providing a more comfortable environment for the staff and local population and offsetting some of the CO2 output from the facility. 

These gardens are continually monitored since they act as real-world indicators of air quality. Each site is broadening the green patches in and around its compound and constantly monitors air pollution in neighbouring communities. A monthly task for each facility is a stream clean-up programme, where Kia cleans and maintains local, natural water courses. This is not only to monitor cleanliness but also to keep them maintained for local communities to enjoy. 

The overall effect of the many green initiatives has resulted in Hwasung being officially recognised as an eco-friendly work site by the Korean Ministry of the Environment.

 

 

9          FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

             We've anticipated what you're likely to ask 

  1. Why introduce a hybrid to the UK now?
  2. A. The first reason is that the hybrid market is growing and we want a share of it. But as you know, all manufacturers have to lower average CO2 emissions to 95g/km or less in Europe by 2020-21, and electric and electrified vehicles will be essential to achieve this. We also have our own internal targets of a 25 per cent reduction in average corporate CO2 emissions, based on 2014 levels, by 2020.

 

  1. Why a dedicated hybrid rather than one based on an existing model?
  2. A. It makes a statement of our intent to be a leading manufacturer in the production of low- or zero-emissions cars. Dedicated hybrids also avoid the compromises found in some hybrids based on existing models, such as loss of boot space and a reduced payload. The important thing was that our dedicated hybrid had to have the showroom appeal of any other Kia and reflect market tastes, hence our decision to create a crossover-style kind of car. We will have a hybrid based on an existing model later in the year when the Optima plug-in hybrid (PHEV) goes on sale.

 

  1. Will there be a battery-electric Niro?
  2. A. We are very happy with the sales performance of our Soul EV, but the market and infrastructure are not advanced enough to support two all-electric models in our line-up at this stage, and we believe that advances in battery technology to further increase the range of all-electric cars will be needed before we can expect a widespread switch to them. But there will be a plug-in hybrid Niro for the 2017 model year.

 

  1. What level of sales of Niro do you expect in the UK, and will it be mostly a fleet or a retail car?
  2. A. We are expecting 1,600 sales in the remainder of 2016, and 2,500 in 2017 when the plug-in version has been added to the range. Around 60 per cent of sales will be to fleets. Our research suggests that buyers will primarily be shopping for a compact crossover with style, practicality and high technology content, but they will also be fully aware of and very interested in the benefits of hybrids.  

  

  1. Will there ever be a pure combustion-engined Niro?
  2. A. The platform was designed to package the components for electric or electrified cars.

 

  1. Will Niro be on sale at every Kia dealership, and will all dealers be able to service it because of the extra safety demands when working with electric components?
  2. A. Every Kia dealer will have at least one technician plus a Kia Master Technician trained in handling the high-voltage systems associated with electrified cars, so Niro will be sold at and can be serviced at any Kia dealership. Model-specific training is also provided at two-day courses to coincide with the launch of each Kia electric and hybrid vehicle.

    To locate a local dealer or for more information please visit www.kia.co.uk

    Stephen Kitson
    Director of Corporate Communications

    E: skitson@kia.co.uk   
    T: 01932 832075 M: 07795 011 936
    Daniel Sayles
    Press Relations Manager

    E: dsayles@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832073 M: 07747 149 149
    Sara Robinson     
    Senior Press Officer

    E: srobinson@kia.co.uk
    T: 01932 832072 M: 07919 482 332
    Carly Escritt       
    Senior Press Officer

    E: cescritt@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832071 M: 07557 268 252
    Moyosola Fujamade
    Press Officer (press fleet)

    E: mfujamade@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832069 M: 07471 216 343
    Emily Jacklin
    Press Office Assistant
    E: ejacklin@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832079 M: 07795 011 475

    Follow Kia on twitter @KiaUKPR
    Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk
    Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk

Niro Hybrid

10        TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

1.6 GDi engine

 No. of cylinders/valves

 

 4/16

 Displacement

 cc

 1,580

 Bore/stroke

 mm

 72 x 97

 Power output

 bhp @ rpm

 104 @ 5,700

 Torque output

 Nm @ rpm

 147 @ 4,000

 Compression ratio

 

 13.0:1

 Engine details

 

 Normally aspirated direct fuel injection;

 200 bar injection pressure;

 aluminium block and head with steel sump;

 CVVT on intake and exhaust valves

 Emissions

 

 Euro 6

 

Battery and electric motor

 Battery type

 

 Lithium-ion polymer

 Battery voltage

 V

 240

 Energy storage

 kWh

 1.56

 Motor power output

 bhp (kW)

 43.5 (32) @ 1,798-2,500

 Torque output

 Nm

 170 @ 0-1,798

 Combined power (GDi + motor)

 bhp

 139 @ 5,700

 Combined torque (GDi + motor)

 Nm

 265 in first gear @ 1,000-2,400

 

Transmission

 Transmission type

 

 6-speed DCT

 Gear ratios

 1st gear

 2nd gear

 3rd gear

 4th gear

 5th gear

 6th gear

 Reverse

 Final Gear

 3.867

 2.217

 1.371

 0.930

 0.956

 0.767

 5.351

 4.438 (1st to 4th),

 3.227 (5th, 6th, Rev)

 

 

Suspension, steering and braking

 Front axle

 MacPherson struts, coil springs, gas-filled dampers,

 anti-roll bar

 Rear axle

 Multi-link with double wishbones, coil springs, gas-filled

 dampers, anti-roll bar

 Braking system

 Ventilated front discs, solid rear discs

 Steering

 Column-mounted MDPS, 2.66 turns lock-lock

 Wheels (alloy)

 6.5J x 16 or 7.5J x 18

 Tyres

 205/60 R16 or 225/45 R18

 Spare wheel

 Tyre repair kit

 

Dimensions and weights

 Wheelbase

 mm

 2,700

 Length/width/height

 mm

 4,355/1,805/1,545   

 Boot volume VDA (seats up/down)

 litres

 421/1,425 (373/1,371

with underfloor tray)

 Kerb weight (min/max)

 kg

 1,500/1,587

 Max roof weight

 kg

 100

 Min Turning circle (diameter)

 metres

 5.3

 Drag coefficient

 Cd

 0.29

 Fuel tank

 litres

 45

 

Performance and fuel consumption                                        

 Acceleration (0-60 mph)

 seconds

 11.1

 Maximum speed

 mph

 101

 Fuel consumption – urb/ex.urb/com

 

mpg 16" wheels

mpg 18" wheels

74.3/72.4/74.3

 

64.2/62.8/64.2

 CO2

 

 

g/km 16" wheels

g/km 18" wheels

88

 

101

 

GENERAL

Niro Hybrid

1          THE ALL-NEW KIA NIRO

            Short story 

  • Kia's first dedicated hybrid and first ever hybrid in the UK
  • Delivers low-cost, high-efficiency motoring in a stylish crossover package
  • Built on an all-new platform and featuring an all-new powertrain
  • Fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg with CO2 emissions from 88g/km
  • Available with the latest connectivity and driver assistance features 

Kia's pledge to reduce the average CO2 emissions of its range by 25 per cent before 2020 takes another major step forward with the launch of Niro, the company's first dedicated hybrid model and first hybrid of any description in the UK. Niro, with combined fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg and CO2 emissions starting at just 88g/km, joins the all-electric Soul EV in Kia's green-car line-up and will soon be followed by the Optima plug-in hybrid.   

Niro is not your run-of-the-mill hybrid. It delivers the high efficiency and low running costs of a petrol-electric car with the style, practicality and desirability of a compact crossover. It is based on an all-new platform which will only ever be used for electrified vehicles, and has an all-new powertrain featuring a 1.6-litre, 104bhp internal combustion engine and a 43bhp electric motor driving through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.      

The compact five-door, five-seater Niro was a joint design between Kia's studios at Namyang in Korea and Irvine, California. The sleek crossover profile has a low drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.29, while extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminium in the body construction helps to keep down weight. Both are significant factors in Niro's low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. 

Niro is not a hair-shirt fuel-saving car, however. Its horizontally structured interior exhibits the high-quality fit and finish of other recent Kia introductions like the Sorento, Optima and Sportage, and it is available with the latest connectivity and active safety technologies, including Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom®, wireless smartphone charging, autonomous emergency braking, smart cruise control and lane-assist, 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.      

Hybrid sales in the UK and mainland Europe have doubled over the past five years and are expected to reach 700,000 annually by the end of the decade. Niro ensures Kia is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this growing demand. It is offered in the UK in a four-strong model range – designated grades ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ – all featuring a high standard specification. 

Stand-out crossover styling comes to the world of hybrids

Until now, dedicated crossovers have largely been much of a muchness, shaped by aerodynamic considerations above style, practicality and desirability. But Kia does not do elevator music. When embarking on the Niro project it decided to go for a modern, attractive crossover body style with ample room for five people plus their luggage. One remarkable feat is that this has been achieved with a drag coefficient (Cd) of only 0.29, even on versions with roof rails. 

The design features the subtly sculpted surfaces and sharp lines that instantly mark Niro out as a modern Kia, and includes the latest evolution of the brand's 'tiger-nose' grille as well as the familiar broad C-pillar. A wide stance gives pointers to the car's stability and low centre of gravity, while a long bonnet, short overhangs, elevated headlights and a rising shoulder line are other Kia hallmarks. The body tapers towards the rear, where bold wheel arches, a squared-off bumper with a diffuser section and high-mounted C-shaped tail lights emphasise its dynamic stance. Niro's crossover credentials are further highlighted by body cladding beneath the front and rear bumpers, along the sides and around the wheel arches. A subtle roof spoiler aids the car's aerodynamics. 

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 new Sportage SUV in size. Yet with a 2,700mm wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs it provides generous interior space. 

This is reinforced by the styling of the interior, which has a wide dashboard set out on horizontal lines, like the new Optima and Sportage. There is an upper display sector with the instrument panel and infotainment screen at the same height, separated by a cabin-wide trim line from the lower control area, where the heating and ventilation and driver assistance switches are located. 

High-quality, soft-touch materials maintain the ever-improving quality of the latest Kia range, emphasised by the smart black upholstery on grades ‘1’ to ‘3’ (cloth, cloth and leather or all leather), light grey headlining, a 3.5 inch TFT supervision cluster in the ‘1’ grade and a 4.2-inch TFT in all grades above with a high-gloss black inserts in the steering wheel, dashboard and door panels from the ‘2’ grade upwards. All but the entry-level model ‘1’ grades have a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, a 7 or 8-inch touchscreen navigation system and chrome interior door handles 

The range-topping ‘First Edition’ model has stone grey leather upholstery and high-gloss white steering wheel, dashboard and door panel inserts, plus aluminium pedals. 

All-new hybrid powertrain promotes outstanding efficiency   

Niro's powertrain, like its design, marks it out as something different from the norm in dedicated hybrid vehicles. 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 dual-clutch automatic gearbox (6DCT) rather than the more commonly favoured continuously variable transmission (CVT). This gives more direct and immediate response with greater refinement, and incorporates a Manual Sports mode to allow keener drivers to select gears manually.    

The petrol engine is a new version of the 1.6-litre direct-injection unit from the Kappa family, 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 rather than wasting it as heat. 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 (43bhp) electric motor developing 170Nm of torque and powered by a  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 is based on the 7DCT transmission fitted to other Kia models, and has been specially engineered to work with hybrid powertrains. The layout and gear train are light and compact, while new low-friction bearings and low-viscosity oil reduce friction, promoting greater efficiency, lowering reaction times and reducing noise. A new Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED) allows 139bhp 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 spacious interior and luggage area. A slightly raised crossover-style seating position makes getting in and out easier and provides a superior view out. 

The structure is particularly strong and includes 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel, which ensures that rigidity and safety do not compromise weight. This is aided by extensive use of aluminium for the bonnet, tailgate panel, front bumper back beam and several chassis elements, including the front knuckles, front lower arms and brake callipers. Even the parking brake pedal, which is made of fibre-reinforced plastic, contributes to the weight savings. To ensure body integrity and rigidity in critical areas, hot-stamped steel is used to reinforce the A- and B-pillars, roof rails and wheel arches.    

Thanks to the long, 2,700mm wheelbase there is generous space for five people. There is up to 1,059mm of legroom in the front and 950mm in the rear; the class-leading headroom of up to 1,018mm in front and 993mm behind is greater than in many C-segment SUVs; and the 1,805mm wide body provides 1,423mm of shoulder room for the two front occupants and only slightly less, at 1,402mm, in the rear. At the same time there is 427 litres of luggage space (373 litres with luggage undertray), even with all five seats occupied, thanks to the location of the battery pack beneath the rear seat. This expands to 1,425 litres (1,371 with undertray) with the 60:40 split rear seats folded. The 45-litre fuel tank is located alongside the battery pack beneath the rear seat. 

Newly designed front seats save 1.3kg each thanks to their high-strength steel frames, yet they are still able to cushion occupants against bumps and vibrations as a result of high-density cushions, while specially profiled springs and pads provide high levels of thigh, hip and side support. 

No compromise in comfort and refinement

By re-engineering certain existing components, Kia has been able to ensure that Niro has a unique chassis specifically designed for a hybrid while being the equal of the brand's other compact models for ride comfort, handling and refinement

Niro's road behaviour begins with fully independent suspension all round, based on MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement with dual lower arms at the rear. It has been tuned to deliver maximum on-centre steering feel, high-speed stability and immediate response to steering inputs. Because each rear wheel is able to absorb bumps independently, shocks are less likely to be transmitted to the cabin than with a cheaper torsion beam rear axle, while the wide stance and low centre of gravity enhance stability. 

Capitalising on the experience gained through the development of two generations of Optima hybrid (neither sold in the UK) plus the Soul EV, Kia has been able to give Niro consistent and linear deceleration characteristics and feel unusual in an electrified car. Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, which collectively control skids when cornering or accelerating on surfaces with uneven levels of grip from left to right, are standard.

Niro's exceptional refinement proved particularly challenging to perfect because of the hybrid powertrain. Contributing towards this are asymmetric engine mounts to minimise powertrain movements at the attachment points in the subframe, high-density under-bonnet insulation, an acoustic shield with a special support structure to improve the sound of the combustion engine when accelerating in the most commonly used speed ranges, and the adoption of a 6DCT gearbox in place of a CVT.

Road noise is minimised by high-insulation rigid bushes in the front subframe, high-strength steel in the rear wheel arches and additional insulation in the A- and B-pillars. The low drag co-efficient (Cd) of 0.29 contributes towards the suppression of wind noise, aided by laminated windscreen glass, a cowl over the front windscreen wipers, specially profiled door mirror casings and – as an example of the attention to detail of Kia's engineers – covers over the holes in the roof rails, which sit flush on the bodywork. 

The best of connectivity and advanced driver aids

An environmental car does not have to be a fundamental car, and Niro is available with the most advanced connectivity services and active driver aids.

Every version has a Lane Keep Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Cruise Control and a Speed Limiter. Grade ‘2’ adds a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a Reversing Camera and Kia Connected Services featuring 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. Further additions for grade ‘3’ are an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a wireless mobile phone charger and an eight-speaker JBL Premium sound system with a 320-watt external amplifier. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range ‘First Edition’ version also has Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection with a Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control. 

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.   

Every Niro has a DAB radio and is able to support Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and music streaming. 

Niro is also 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. 

Niro in the UK

The four-model line-up in the UK begins with grade ‘1’, but this is far from a no-frills entry-level version introduced solely to allow a headline-grabbing start price. In addition to its advanced safety features it has 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, a DAB radio, USB and AUX ports and a trip computer. 

Upgrading to level ‘2’ 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. 

The step up to grade ‘3’ 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 on both front seats and stainless steel scuff sill plates. This is all in addition to the JBL® upgraded audio system, larger navigation screen and wireless mobile phone charger. 

The ‘First Edition’ model is distinguished by its unique grey leather trim and white interior inserts, but also exclusively provides a smart key and engine start/stop button, heated outer rear seats, ventilated front seats and an electric tilting and sliding sunroof on top of its additional active safety features.              

Market, warranty and after-care

In keeping with every Kia, Niro comes with a unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to wear and tear conditions. The warranty – the best on any hybrid available in Britain – is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached. 

Niro is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia replacement parts and specified oils. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold. 

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 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

74.3

88

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

74.3

88

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

64.2

101

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

64.2

101

 

For further information on Kia please visit www.kiapressoffice.com or contact: 

Stephen Kitson                           Corporate Communications Director
skitson@kia.co.uk – 01932 832075 – 07795 011936

Daniel Sayles                             Press Relations Manager 
dsayles@kia.co.uk – 01932 832073 – 07747 149149

Sara Robinson                            Senior Press Officer
srobinson@kia.co.uk – 01932 832072 – 07919 482332

Carly Escritt                               Senior Press Officer
cescritt@kia.co.uk – 01932 832071 – 07557 268252

Moyosola Fujamade                   Press Fleet Officer
mfujamade@kia.co.uk – 01932 832069 – 07471 216343

Emily Jacklin                              Press Office Assistant
ejacklin@kia.co.uk – 01932 832079 – 07795 011475 


Follow Kia on twitter @KiaUKPR
Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk
Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk

Follow Sportage at http://all-newsportageuklaunch.co.uk/en/
Follow Niro at http://all-newnirouklaunch.co.uk

 

2          NIRO ON (JUST OVER) A PAGE                                                                      

            A quick résumé for those with a deadline looming 

General

  • Kia's first dedicated hybrid and first hybrid of any description in the UK
  • Slots into a market expected to reach 700,000 a year in Europe by 2020
  • Unique crossover/SUV styling for the compact hybrid segment
  • The practicality and showroom appeal of a crossover with the fuel efficiency of a hybrid
  • Four-model line-up in UK with grades ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’
  • Plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) to be added for 2017 model year 

Body

  • Based on an all-new platform exclusively for electrified cars
  • Five-door, five-seater front-wheel-drive crossover
  • Low drag coefficient of 0.29, even with roof rails fitted
  • At 4,355mm long, slots between the cee'd hatchback and Sportage SUV in size
  • Batteries located under the rear seat for low centre of gravity and ideal packaging
  • Made up of 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel
  • Bonnet, tailgate panel, front bumper back beam and several chassis components in aluminium to save weight
  • Signature design cues like 'tiger-nose' grille ensure Niro is easily recognisable as a Kia 

Interior

  • Long, 2,700mm wheelbase and width of 1,805mm create ample space for five adults
  • New, more shapely front seats save 1.3kg each and offer excellent all-round support
  • Dashboard split into upper display area and lower control area with fewer, simpler switches
  • Horizontal trim line on dashboard emphasises width and space inside
  • Luxurious soft-touch materials and trim details attest to high-quality fit and finish
  • Under-seat battery positioning allows for a capacious 427-litre boot (373 litres with luggage undertray) with uninterrupted rectangular shape and low loading lip 

Powertrain and running gear

  • Petrol-electric hybrid with six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (6DCT) in place of more common continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Combustion engine is a new version of 1.6-litre Kappa direct-injection (GDi) unit developing 104bhp and 147Nm of torque
  • Supported by a 32kW (43bhp) electric motor with 170Nm of torque
  • Combined power output 139bhp, with 265Nm of torque in first gear
  • Parallel hybrid drive system with brake energy recovery system: normally the two power units work together, but able to run in all-electric mode for short distances in some circumstances
  • Combined fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg, with emissions as low as 88g/km, depending on wheel and tyre combination
  • Petrol engine uses Atkinson cycle combustion process to make greater use of energy with lower heat losses
  • Cooled exhaust gas recirculation, direct injection, long-stroke engine and exhaust heat recovery to speed warm-up also aid efficiency
  • 6DCT transmission employs new low-friction bearings and low-viscosity oils, and includes Manual Sports driving mode
  • Transmission-Mounted Electric Device ensures 6DCT works more efficiently with hybrid powertrain
  • All-independent suspension and wide stance improve stability, responsiveness, steering feel and ride comfort
  • Low drag coefficient, 6DCT transmission and extensive measures to reduce noise, vibration and harshness ensure impressive refinement in all driving modes 

Technology and safety

  • Wireless phone charger
  • Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom® giving speed camera, weather, traffic and local point of interest information
  • First Kia to feature Android Auto, giving access to Google Maps navigation, Google Play music, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition through smartphone apps
  • Advanced active safety technologies include Autonomous Emergency Braking, Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Blind Spot Detection, Lane Keeping Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • DAB radio standard, with a 320-watt JBL sound system on the top two grades 

 

3          DESIGN                                                                                                          

           Not your run-of-the-mill hybrid 

Dedicated hybrid vehicles, as opposed to those developed from a combustion-engined car, have until now involved compromises in design, mainly to achieve the lowest air-drag figure possible. That is why the majority have adopted a tear-drop hatchback profile – practical and efficient, but uninspiring and not what customers demand in a market increasingly attuned to SUVs and crossovers. 

Kia was adamant it could overcome the design limitations of other dedicated hybrids without sacrificing practicality, versatility and aerodynamic efficiency. The result is Niro, a hybrid with a modern, attractive crossover body style and ample room for five people plus their luggage. The remarkable feat is that this has been achieved with a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29, even on versions with roof rails. 

To make this possible, Kia designers’ took a reverse approach during the creation of Niro: design an attractive, sporty, stylish and tough-looking crossover, then fine-tune the aerodynamics to suit the requirements of a hybrid. This novel way of going about things has resulted in a crossover which is appealing in its own right – hence the decision by Kia to offer upper-series models with 18-inch wheels – which also serves as a highly efficient hybrid. 

Exterior styling

From any angle, Niro exudes dynamism and strength. The body line linking the roof, glasshouse and bonnet adds crossover-style volume to the car, while a wide bumper with bold lines and the now-familiar 'tiger-nose' grille, in high-gloss black with a black and chrome surround, add a distinctive Kia family look. Body cladding on the lower edge of the front and rear bumpers, along the sides and around the wheel arches emphasises Niro's crossover credentials, but there are also subtleties which illustrate the attention to detail of the design and engineering teams to make Niro a legitimate hybrid. 

An active air flap in the lower front grille opens and closes according to the cooling requirements of the powertrain at any given time, so that Niro is running in the most efficient aerodynamic configuration in all circumstances, and there are air curtains, like gills, in the front corners of the car. These channel air away from the front wheel arches to reduce turbulence in those areas, again to aid aerodynamic efficiency. A specially shaped roof leading into a rear spoiler also channels air over the car in the most efficient manner. Even the stylish 16-inch alloy wheels on grades ‘1’ and ‘2’ have been designed with aerodynamics in mind. 

The tailgate area is equally clean-looking and sits over a diffuser which aids airflow under the car. The C-shaped rear lamps are mounted immediately beneath the tailgate glass, while the contours of the wide and deep tailgate also emphasise the smooth aerodynamic shape of Niro. Even the location of the rear-vision camera (where fitted) reduces drag: it is housed within the rear wiper mounting so as to impede air exiting the rear of the car as little as possible. The rear corners of the car have been refined in minute detail to reduce drag without worsening visibility. There are specially profiled door mirror casings and – as an example of the attention to detail of Kia's engineers – covered holes in the roof rails, which sit flush on the bodywork. 

The design of Niro was a joint effort between Kia's studios at Namyang in Korea and Irvine, California. It features the subtly sculpted surfaces and sharp lines that are now Kia design hallmarks. A wide stance gives pointers to the car's stability and low centre of gravity, while a long bonnet, short overhangs, elevated headlights and a rising shoulder line are other Kia distinguishing features. The body tapers towards the rear, where bold wheel arches, a squared-off bumper and the high-mounted C-shaped tail light clusters emphasise Niro's crossover stance. 

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 Sportage SUV in size. Yet with a 2,700mm wheelbase and short front and rear overhangs it provides generous interior space. 

Inside information

Aerodynamic considerations posed many challenges for the teams tasked with Niro's packaging. It was determined early on that Niro would be a compact hybrid crossover – shorter than the Sportage SUV, but longer than the cee'd hatchback. There had to be a limit on height to reduce drag, but this was not to be at the expense of a raised seating position. And space, versatility, ease of entrance and visibility were not to suffer in any way. The result is one of Kia's most efficiently packaged cars ever.

Thanks to the long, 2,700mm wheelbase there is generous space for five people. There is up to 1,059mm of legroom in the front and 950mm in the rear; the class-leading headroom of up to 1,018mm in front and 993mm behind is greater than in many C-segment SUVs; and the 1,805mm wide body provides 1,423mm of shoulder room for the two front occupants and only slightly less, at 1,402mm, in the rear. At the same time there is 427 litres of luggage space (373 litres with luggage undertray), even with all five seats occupied, thanks to the location of the battery pack beneath the rear seat. This expands to 1,425 litres (1,371 with undertray) with the 60:40 split rear seats folded. The 45-litre fuel tank is located alongside the battery pack beneath the rear seat. 

The ergonomic fascia and information clusters follow what is becoming a modern theme for Kia, starting with a wide dashboard set out on horizontal lines, as in the new Optima and Sportage. There is an upper display sector with the instrument panel and infotainment screen set at the same height for instant, easier reading, separated by a cabin-wide trim line from the lower control area, where the heating and ventilation and driver assistance switches are located. 

Inside the cabin, every last nook and cranny has been used for storage of personal items, and in grades ‘3’ and the ‘First Edition’ model there is a tray for wireless charging of mobile devices. 

Niro has a foot-operated parking brake to release more space for oddments in the centre console, and is fitted in the UK with a tyre mobility kit rather than a spare wheel to reduce weight and so that the boot can be as large as possible. Space-saving front seats with special foam-backed covers and slim headrests contribute to the exceptional five-seat space of Niro and also save 1.3kg each thanks to their high-strength steel frames, yet they are still able to cushion occupants against bumps and vibrations as a result of high-density cushions and profiled springs and pads. 

There is smart black upholstery on grades ‘1’ to ‘3’ (cloth, cloth and leather or all leather), light grey headlining, a 3.5-inch TFT supervision cluster on the ‘1’ and 4.2- inch TFT supervision cluster on all higher grades, high-gloss black inserts in the steering wheel, dashboard and door panels from the second grade upwards. All but the entry-level model also has a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen navigation system and chrome interior door handles. The range-topping First Edition model has stone grey leather upholstery and high-gloss white steering wheel, dashboard and door panel inserts, plus stainless steel pedals.

 

4          THE TECHNICAL STORY

 Everything's new, from the platform to the powertrain 

The phrase 'clean-sheet-of-paper car' is much over-used, but in the case of Niro it is totally apt. Niro is a dedicated hybrid car, not an adaptation of a combustion-engined model, and while it employs modified chassis components from other models where feasible, to keep down manufacturing and ownership costs, the vast majority of it is all-new. 

That includes the platform on which the car is based and which has been designed purely for electrified vehicles; the combustion engine and the transmission which, unlike those in most other hybrid vehicles, is a dual-clutch automatic (6DCT) rather than a continuously variable transmission (CVT), improving smoothness, efficiency and refinement. 

The new Atkinson Cycle combustion engine

The petrol engine is a new version of the normally aspirated 1.6-litre direct-injection (GDi) unit from the Kappa family, specifically engineered for use in hybrid cars. It is a long-stroke 16-valve unit with an aluminium cylinder head and block and a steel oil pan. The engine's dimensions are unchanged, with a 72mm cylinder bore and a 97mm piston stroke, and it develops an identical 104bhp at 5,700rpm and 147Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, but in Niro it 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 engine was invented by James Atkinson, of Hampstead, at the dawn of the motoring age (he first filed for patents in the mid-1880s), but it is now proving to be an ideal solution for emissions-reducing hybrid cars in the 21st century. 

It works on the principle of completing all four stages of the combustion process (intake, compression, ignition and exhaust) on just one rotation of the crankshaft, rather than the two required in the more common Otto cycle engine. At the same time the compression ratio is reduced and the intake stroke is shorter than the power stroke, therefore requiring less fuel to turn the engine over. 

While this inevitably reduces the amount of power the engine can develop, it is less important in a hybrid car which has the assistance of an electric motor, and which in any case aims to maximise efficiency rather than outright performance. With the benefit of continuously variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust sides of the engine, the new Kappa unit is easily able to achieve the variations in compression ratio and piston stroke required by the Atkinson Cycle. In Niro, efficiency is further aided by an exhaust heat recovery system which speeds the engine warm-up process. 

The new Kappa Atkinson cycle engine features isolated cooling technology which prevents the cylinder head and block from overheating while reducing knocking and friction respectively. Sodium, which has high thermal conductivity, is used in the hollow exhaust valves, and friction losses have been reduced through tapered roller bearings and low viscosity oil. The engine's thermal efficiency of 40 per cent is among the best in the global auto industry.        

The power electronics system

In Niro, the combustion engine is paired with a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor developing 32kW (43bhp) from 1,798 to 2,500rpm, and 170Nm of torque from rest to 1,798rpm. Power to the motor comes from a 240-volt lithium-ion polymer battery capable of storing  of electrical energy. Together, the two power units produce a maximum 139bhp at 5,700rpm, with 265Nm of torque available in first gear from 1,000 to 2,400rpm. The result is extremely brisk acceleration from standstill and in typical urban scenarios, where Niro is most likely to be found, with effortless cruising ability at the speeds permitted in the UK. Acceleration from standstill to 60mph is achieved in 11.1 seconds, and the car has a top speed of 101mph. 

Niro's battery pack is the lightest and most efficient used by Kia so far – the whole hybrid battery system weighs just 33kg – and has up to 50 per cent greater power density and 13 per cent greater energy efficiency than the systems in rival hybrid cars. 

Niro's battery cells have a ceramic coating between the cathode and anode sides, a Voltage Protection Device, a dedicated battery management system and an integrated control system, all to improve safety, fire risk, reliability and ease of maintenance.    

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, with the 16-inch wheels and tyres fitted to grades ‘1’ and ‘2’. The respective figures for grades ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’, which have 18-inch wheels and wider tyres, are 64.2mpg and 101g/km. 

Model

Total power bhp

Total torque Nm

0–60 sec

Max speed mph

Average mpg

C02 g/km

‘1’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

74.3

88

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

74.3

88

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

64.2

101

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

139

265

11.1

101

64.2

101

 

A dual-clutch automatic transmission instead of the more common CVT

Niro employs a dual-clutch automatic transmission rather than the continuously variable automatic (CVT) more commonly found in hybrid cars. The in-house 6DCT gearbox is based on the 7DCT transmission fitted to some other Kia models, and uses a dry dual clutch to keep weight to a minimum and reduce the friction losses through viscosity which occur in wet dual-clutch systems. The gearbox has been specially engineered to work with hybrid powertrains. It is smoother, more efficient and quieter than a CVT. 

In normal operation the 6DCT transmission changes gear automatically, with no need for intervention from the driver. One clutch operates the odd-numbered gears (first, third and fifth) and the other clutch is responsible for the even-numbered gears (second, fourth and sixth). The 6DCT is able to work automatically in both Eco and Sport modes, with the latter delaying up changes until the power unit has attained higher revs for greater performance. But there is also a Manual mode, accessed by sliding the lever to the side when in the Drive position. The driver is then able to up- or down change at will by rocking the gear selector forwards or backwards.   

The layout and gear train have been designed for light weight and compact size, while new low-friction bearings and low-viscosity oil reduce friction, promoting greater efficiency, lowering reaction times and reducing noise. A new Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED) 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 spacious interior and luggage area. A slightly raised crossover-style seating position makes getting in and out easier and provides a superior view out. 

The structure is particularly strong and includes 53 per cent advanced high-strength steel, which ensures that rigidity and safety do not compromise weight. This is aided by extensive use of aluminium for the bonnet, tailgate panel, front bumper back beam and several chassis elements, including the front knuckles, front lower arms and brake callipers. The aluminium bonnet and tailgate alone save 11kg when compared with comparable steel components. Even the parking brake pedal, which is made of fibre-reinforced plastic, contributes to the weight savings. Newly designed front seats save 1.3kg each thanks to their high-strength steel frames, yet they are still able to cushion occupants against bumps and vibrations as a result of high-density cushions, while specially profiled springs and pads provide high levels of thigh, hip and side support. 

As a result of all this, Niro's kerbside weight is from 1,500 to 1,587kg, depending on model specification. To ensure body integrity and rigidity in critical areas, hot-stamped steel is used to reinforce the A- and B-pillars, roof rails and wheel arches. 

The battery pack is housed beneath the rear seat, with no intrusion into the boot, as is the 45-litre fuel tank. 

No compromises in safety, comfort and refinement

By re-engineering certain existing components, Kia has been able to ensure that Niro has a unique chassis specifically designed for a hybrid while being the equal of the brand's other compact models for ride comfort, handling and refinement. 

Niro's road behaviour begins with fully independent suspension all round, based on MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link arrangement with dual lower arms at the rear. It has been tuned to deliver maximum on-centre steering feel, high-speed stability and immediate response to steering inputs. Because each rear wheel is able to absorb bumps independently, shocks are less likely to be transmitted to the cabin than with a cheaper torsion beam rear axle, while the wide stance and low centre of gravity enhance stability. 

Capitalising on the experience gained through the development of two generations of Optima hybrid (neither sold in the UK) plus the Soul EV, Kia has been able to give Niro consistent and linear deceleration characteristics and feel unusual in an electrified car. 

All-disc brakes are used, ventilated at the front, and there is a foot-operated parking brake. The anti-lock braking system includes Brake Assist, which ensures maximum retardation in an emergency stop, regardless of the force applied to the pedal by the driver. 

Steering is via Kia's proven column-mounted motor-driven power-assisted system (C-MDPS), which gives the car a compact turning circle of 10.6 metres and requires less than 2.7 turns of the wheel between the extremes of lock. The steering gear has been mounted well forward and features an increased gear ratio and a larger electric motor for greater self-centring and responsiveness. Niro's agility is also helped by aluminium front suspension knuckles, lower arms and brake callipers, all of which save weight and counter inertia. 

Niro ‘1’ and ‘2’ have 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/60 R16 tyres, while grades ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ are fitted with 18-inch alloys and 225/45 R 18 tyres. 

Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management, which collectively control skids when cornering or accelerating on surfaces with uneven levels of grip from left to right, are standard. 

Passive safety provisions start with the rigidity of the body structure, which is reinforced in critical areas and features crumple zones front and rear and anti-intrusion beams at the sides. There are seven airbags, including one to protect the driver's knees; all-round height-adjustable headrests, height-adjustable front seat belts with an automatic tightening device in the event of emergency braking; ISOFIX child seat top tethers and anchors; and doors which unlock automatically after an impact. 

Niro's exceptional refinement proved particularly challenging to perfect because of the hybrid powertrain. Contributing towards this are asymmetric engine mounts to minimise powertrain movements at the attachment points in the subframe, high-density under-bonnet insulation, an acoustic shield with a special support structure to improve the sound of the combustion engine when accelerating in the most commonly used speed ranges, and the adoption of a 6DCT gearbox in place of a CVT. 

Road noise is minimised by high-insulation rigid bushes in the front subframe, high-strength steel in the rear wheel arches and additional insulation in the A- and B-pillars. The low drag co-efficient (Cd) of 0.29 contributes towards the suppression of wind noise, aided by laminated windscreen glass, a cowl over the front windscreen wipers, specially profiled door mirror casings and – as an example of the attention to detail of Kia's engineers – covers over the holes in the roof rails, which sit flush with the bodywork.

 

5          TECHNOLOGY                                                                                                

            Up-to-the-minute connectivity, convenience and safety      

Niro offers the best of what Kia has to offer in the areas of connectivity and advanced active driver aids.

Every version has a Lane Keep Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Cruise Control and a Speed Limiter. Grade ‘2’ adds a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a Reversing Camera and Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom®. Further additions for grade ‘3’ are an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a wireless mobile phone charger and an eight-speaker JBL Premium sound system with a 320-watt external amplifier. Meanwhile the top-of-the-range ‘First Edition’ version also has Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection with a Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control. A DAB radio able to support Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and music streaming is standard on all grades 

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.

Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection brings the car to a halt if the driver fails to react to a potential accident. It uses short- and long-wave radars to monitor the proximity of vehicles in front of the car. If the sensors detect an imminent collision and the driver does not respond, the brakes are applied automatically. The system is split into three main categories: 

City, which can avoid low-speed urban accidents at up to 13mph. 

Inter-Urban, which operates between 31mph and 50mph.

Pedestrian, which detects pedestrians and other vulnerable road users such as cyclists at up to 44mph. 

Smart Cruise Control maintains the distance to the car ahead, automatically slowing and accelerating Niro in accordance with the flow of traffic. 

Lane Keep Assist uses a camera behind the rear-view mirror to 'film' the lane ahead of the car. It then passes this information on to an electronic control unit which detects the lane and markings. If the control unit recognises that the car has left its lane with no indicator activated, it issues sound and visual alerts to the driver and steers the Niro back into its lane if necessary. 

The Blind Spot Detection system ensures the driver does not stray into the path of an overtaking vehicle, while the Rear Cross Traffic Alert prevents the driver from reversing out of a driveway or parking space when there is a vehicle approaching from the side. It achieves this by using sensors to monitor the sides of the car, using the Blind Spot Detection radar, to alert the driver. 

Making life easier

From grade ‘2’ upwards, Niro owners have access to a 7- or 8-inch navigation touchscreen with European mapping and a Traffic Messaging Channel. These are linked to a reversing camera integrated with the navigation screen. 

They also feature Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom®, accessed through the owner's smartphone. This provides live traffic updates, refreshed once a minute, with suggested alternative routes to avoid congestion; local weather forecasts; local searches under 500 categories, from Kia dealerships and petrol stations to restaurants and supermarkets; and alerts for such things as speed cameras and accident blackspots. Kia Connected Services is free for seven years from the day the car is bought. 

Every Niro is Bluetooth-enabled for hands-free phone calls and music streaming and has a DAB radio with MP3 compatibility, while an eight-speaker JBL® audio system with subwoofer, external amp and front centre speaker is standard from grade ‘3’ upwards. 

Grades ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ also have a wireless mobile phone charger, located to the front of the centre console tray, which uses inductive charging to power-up the batteries of compatible electronic devices. 

Niro is also 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.

 

6          RANGE FINDER                                                                                              

            A four-model range, all with a high standard specification 

With its SUV/crossover design, Niro is not only a hybrid car which aims to offer buyers low-emissions, low-cost ownership, but also a desirable model in its own right. With that in mind, Kia has devised a simple, four-model UK line-up – designated ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ – offering plenty of choice while ensuring a high standard specification for every version.        

All models have an identical powertrain, with a new 1.6-litre direct-injection (GDI) unit from the Kappa family, specifically engineered for use in hybrid cars, paired with a 32kW (43bhp) electric motor and a six-speed dual-clutch (6DCT) automatic transmission driving the front wheels. Together, the two power units produce a maximum 139bhp, with 265Nm of torque available in first gear for rapid acceleration from standstill. 

The major difference in terms of driveline specification is in the choice of wheels and tyres. Grades ‘1’ and ‘2’ have 16-inch alloy wheels which facilitate maximum fuel saving and CO2 emissions reduction, while grades ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ are fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels for buyers who are prepared to accept a slight increase in fuel consumption and emissions in return for a more robust-looking crossover appearance.

Highlights of the range model by model

Every version has a high active and passive safety specification along with connectivity features. A Lane Keep Assist System, Hill-start Assist Control, Cruise Control and a Speed Limiter are standard on every version, along with Bluetooth for hands-free phone calls and music streaming, and a DAB radio with MP3 compatibility. 

Grade ‘2’ adds a 7-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a reversing camera and Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom®. Kia Connected Services is free for seven years from the time the car is bought. Further additions for grade ‘3’ are an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping, a wireless mobile phone charger and an eight-speaker JBL® Premium sound system with a 320-watt external amplifier. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-range ‘First Edition’ version also has Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection with a Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Smart Cruise Control. 

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. 

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

Grade ‘2’ adds a 4.2-inch TFT supervision cluster, high-gloss black trim highlights on the steering wheel, dashboard and doors, 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 and electrically adjustable, heated and folding door mirrors with LED indicators. 

The step up to grade ‘3’ 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. This is all in addition to the JBL® upgraded audio system, larger navigation screen and wireless mobile phone charger.

The ‘First Edition’ model is distinguished by unique stone grey leather trim and white steering wheel, dash and door inserts, but also exclusively provides a smart key and engine start/stop button, heated outer rear seats, ventilated front seats and an electric tilting and sliding sunroof on top of its additional active safety features.

 

All-New Niro Specification

Range

'1'

'2'

'3'

'First Edition'

EXTERIOR FEATURES & LIGHTING

16" Alloy Wheels (205/60R16)

-

-

18" Alloy Wheels (225/45R18)

-

 

Matt Black Colour Radiator Grille

S

S

S

S

Body Coloured Door Mirrors

-

-

-

High Gloss Door Mirrors

-

Body Coloured Exterior Door Handles

-

-

-

Chrome Coated Exterior Door Handles

-

Black Side Sill & Wheel Arch Body Mouldings

S

S

S

S

Chrome Beltline Mouldings

S

S

S

S

Roof Rails

-

Rear Spoiler

S

S

S

S

Solar Glass

S

S

S

S

Privacy Glass (Rear Windows & Tailgate)

-

Electric Sunroof

-

-

-

Manual Headlight Levelling Device

S

S

S

S

Automatic Headlight Control

S

S

S

S

Welcome & Follow-me-home Light Functionality

-

Bi-Xenon Headlights

-

-

-

Front Fog Lights

S

S

S

S

LED Daytime Running Lights

S

S

S

S

LED Rear Tail Lights

S

S

S

S

Rain Sensing Front Wipers

-

Electrically Heated and Adjustable Door Mirrors

-

-

-

Electrically Folding, Adjustable & Heated Door Mirrors with LED Indicators

-

Driver's Wide View Door Mirror

S

S

S

S

Solid Paint

-

Metallic Paint

OPT

OPT

OPT

INTERIOR DESIGN & COMFORT

Black Cloth Upholstery

-

-

Black Part Cloth & Leather Upholstery

-

-

-

Black Leather Upholstery*

-

-

-

Stone Grey Leather Upholstery*

-

-

-

Driver's Seat Height Adjuster

-

-

10-way Driver's  Power Adjustable  Seat (Sliding, Reclining, Height Adjustment)

-

-

Driver Power Memory Seat Function

-

-

-

Heated Front Seats

-

-

Heated Outer Rear Seats

-

-

-

Ventilated Front Seats

-

-

-

Driver's Seat Power Lumbar Support

-

-

Tilt & Telescopic Steering Wheel Adjustment

S

S

S

S

Leather Trimmed Steering Wheel

-

Leather Trimmed Gearshift

-

Heated Steering Wheel

-

-

High Gloss Black Steering Wheel Trim

-

-

High Gloss Black Lower Console Trim

-

-

High Gloss Black Door Insert Trim

-

-

High Gloss White Steering Wheel Trim

-

-

-

High Gloss White Lower Console Trim

-

-

-

High Gloss White Door Insert Trim

-

-

-

Metallic Finish Centre Fascia Trim

-

-

-

High Gloss Black Centre Fascia Trim

-

Leather Trimmed Door Armrests*

-

Front & Rear Centre Armrests

S

S

S

S

Metallic Finish Interior Door Handles

-

-

-

Chrome Coated Interior Door Handles

-

Stainless Steel Door Scuff Plates

-

-

Light Grey Headlining

S

S

S

S

Foot Parking Brake

S

S

S

S

Dual Automatic Air Conditioning with Ioniser

Steering Wheel Mounted Controls

S

S

S

S

All-round Electric Windows with Driver's Auto Up/Down Function

-

-

All-round Electric Windows with Driver and Front Passenger Auto Up/Down Function

-

-

Cruise Control & Speed Limiter

-

Adaptive Smart Cruise Control Function (SCC)****

OPT

OPT

OPT

Auto-dimming Rear-view Mirror

-

Sunvisors with Vanity Mirror Illumination (Driver & Front Passenger)

S

S

S

S

Remote Central Door Locking with Fold-away Key

-

Engine Start/Stop Button with Smart Entry System

-

-

-

Aluminium Pedals

-

-

-

STORAGE, VERSATILITY & INTERIOR LIGHTING

60:40 Split Folding 2nd Row Seats

S

S

S

S

3 x Passenger Assist Grips

S

S

S

S

12v Power Socket (Rear Centre Console)

S

S

S

S

Cupholders in Rear Armrest

S

S

S

S

Rear Ventilation Duct

S

S

S

S

Seatback Pocket (Driver)

S

S

S

S

Seatback Pocket (Front Passenger)

-

-

Front & Rear Door Storage

S

S

S

S

Centre Console Storage Box

S

S

S

S

Ignition Keyhole Illumination

-

Centre Cabin Light

S

S

S

S

Map Lamp with Sunglasses case

S

S

S

S

Tyre Mobility Kit (TMK)

S

S

S

S

Luggage Area Light

S

S

S

S

Luggage Area Load Cover

S

S

S

S

Luggage Net Hooks

S

S

S

S

AUDIO, COMMUNICATION & INFORMATION

6-speaker System

-

-

8-speaker JBL® Premium Sound System with Subwoofer, External Amp & Front Centre Speaker

-

-

DAB Radio with MP3 Compatibility

S

S

S

S

Shark Fin Antenna

S

S

S

S

USB & AUX Ports for Connection of an Audio Media Device (iPod / Memory Stick)

S

S

S

S

USB port in centre console

-

Bluetooth® with Voice Recognition & Music Streaming **

S

S

S

S

Wireless Mobile Phone Charger**

-

-

7" Touchscreen Satellite Navigation with European Mapping & Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC)

-

-

-

8" Touchscreen Satellite Navigation with European Mapping & Traffic Messaging Channel (TMC)

-

-

Android Auto Connectivity**

-

Kia Connected Services Featuring TomTom® (Traffic, Speed Cameras, Local Search & Weather Updates)**

-

Reversing Camera System (Integrated into Satellite Navigation Screen)

-

Rear Parking Sensors***

-

Front Parking Sensors***

-

-

3.5" Supervision Cluster with LCD TFT Colour Display

-

-

-

4.2" Supervision Cluster with LCD TFT Colour Display

-

Trip Computer - Distance, Fuel Consumption, Average Speed

S

S

S

S

Digital Clock

S

S

S

S

ACTIVE SAFETY & DRIVING DYNAMICS

Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

S

S

S

S

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

S

S

S

S

Emergency Stop Signalling (ESS)

S

S

S

S

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)****

OPT

OPT

OPT

Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS)

S

S

S

S

Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear-Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)

-

-

-

Hill-start Assist Control (HAC)

S

S

S

S

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

S

S

S

S

Drive Mode Select

S

S

S

S

Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS)

S

S

S

S

PASSIVE SAFETY

Twin Front Airbags

S

S

S

S

Front Passenger Airbag Cut-off Switch

S

S

S

S

Twin Side Airbags (Front)

S

S

S

S

Twin Curtain Airbags with Roll-over Sensor

S

S

S

S

Knee Airbag (Driver)

S

S

S

S

All-round Height Adjustable Head Rests

S

S

S

S

ISOFIX Child Seat Top Tethers & Anchor Fixings

S

S

S

S

Front Seatbelts Height Adjusters

S

S

S

S

All-round 3-point Seatbelts

S

S

S

S

Impact Sensing Auto Door Unlocking

S

S

S

S

Grab-type Exterior Door Handles

S

S

S

S

SECURITY

Advanced Anti-Theft System including Immobiliser & Alarm

S

S

S

S

Locking Wheel Nuts

S

S

S

S

Visible Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

S

S

S

S

Door Deadlocks

S

S

S

S

Interior Door Lock/Unlock Function

S

S

S

S

Speed Sensing Auto Door Locking (Dealer-Activated Feature)

S

S

S

S

- = unavailable on grade   = available on grade   S = standard across range

 

7          THE BUSINESS CASE

 How Kia's hybrid crossover will lower running costs

Kia's ultimate goal is to decarbonise road transport completely, and the company is actively working on – and planning to market – all forms of alternative powertrain, including a hydrogen fuel cell car, before the end of the decade. But at present hybrids and plug-in hybrids offer the best alternative to purely combustion-engined vehicles because they are least dependent on expensive investment in new infrastructure to support them. 

With CO2 emissions of only 88g/km with 16-inch wheels and tyres, Niro will play a significant role in helping Kia achieve a 25 per cent reduction in fleet emissions by 2020, based on 2014 levels. It will also bring significant cost savings for both private and business motorists: there is no Vehicle Excise Duty to pay in either the first or second years with grades ‘1’ and ‘2’, while grades ‘3’ and ‘First Edition’ with 18-inch wheels and tyres are zero-rated in the first year and attract only a £20 charge thereafter. The respective Benefit-in-Kind taxation scales for business users are 15 and 17 per cent.      

As with every Kia, reparability has been engineered in from the start of the design stage to keep insurance costs to a minimum, and the extensive catalogue of advanced active safety features on Niro also help to lower insurance groupings. Servicing intervals mean that most owners will need to visit a dealer only once a year. And every Niro is covered by Kia's unique seven-year or 100,000-mile transferable warranty. 

Fuel consumption (mpg) and CO2 (g/km) 

 

Urban

Ex urban

Combined

CO2

 ‘1’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

74.3

72.4

74.3

88

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

74.3

72.4

74.3

88

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

64.2

62.8

64.2

101

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

64.2

62.8

64.2

101

 

Benefit-in-kind taxation rates and VED bands (2016-17) 

 

Tax rate

VED years 1/2

‘1’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

15%

£0/£0

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

15%

£0/£0

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

17%

£0/£20

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

17%

£0/£20

 

Insurance  

 

Group

‘1’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

12

‘2’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

12

‘3’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

14

‘First Edition’ 1.6 GDi 1.56kWh lithium-ion 139bhp 6DCT

12

 

Servicing

Servicing is required every 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes soonest. Niro is available with Kia’s Care-3 and Care-3 Plus servicing packages, offering retail customers fixed-cost, inflation-proof servicing for the first three or five years. All work is carried out by trained technicians using genuine Kia replacement parts and specified oils. All packages cover the car, not the owner, so are transferable should the vehicle be sold.  If a vehicle with a Care-3 package is sold on the next owner may upgrade to the five-year service package.  

The magnificent seven-year warranty

Kia set a new benchmark in 2007 when it launched the cee'd with an industry-best seven-year warranty.  That demonstration of faith in the quality and reliability of Kia products has subsequently been extended to cover every model, including Niro.

A major benefit is that it is transferable to subsequent owners at no charge as long as the seven-year time limit has not been reached and the mileage is below 100,000.  If the car is sold when less than 18 months old or with less than 18,000 miles on the clock, the warranty is topped up to match that of a new model. 

The mechanical warranty is supported by a 12-year anti-perforation warranty and a five-year paint warranty.

 

 

8          MANUFACTURING AND THE ENVIRONMENT                                                           

Built at Hwasung, Kia's largest factory 

The Niro is built alongside European versions of the Optima saloon and Sportswagon at Kia's Hwasung plant in Asan Bay, Korea. 

Hwasung is Kia's largest factory, with a production capacity of 600,000 cars a year. It opened in 1989 and manufacturing began in 1991. Hwasung is also home to a 200-acre proving ground with 16 driving courses, opened in 1993, and it houses an employee sports centre, giving the 12,000 workers and their families access to gymnasiums, swimming pools, squash courts and weight-training and community facilities. 

In recent years Hwasung has undergone major changes to improve the quality of production processes and the cars leaving the factory gates. The improved quality has been recognised by the American publication, Consumer Reports.

Constant efforts are also being made to minimise the plant's effect on the environment. There have been major initiatives to increase recycling, reduce the amount of pollutants and waste in the production process, lower greenhouse gas emissions and cut air pollution through more eco-friendly production systems. Energy-saving measures have also been introduced, and Hwasung has sent no waste to landfill since 2008. 

Improved paint facilities have been installed and every aspect of vehicle production has been scrutinised to ensure the plant uses less energy. Water and power consumption, dust, CO2, contaminants and the amount of waste per vehicle have all been reduced. 

Waste reduction

Kia has made reducing the amount of raw materials being fed into the production process a major priority in each of its production facilities. The last few years have seen significant progress in reducing waste, increasing recycling and developing cleaner production processes. 

The overall waste generated by Hwasung is under constant review and a number of programmes have seen dramatic improvements.  Recycling has increased and now stands at well over 90 per cent. Exhaust pollutants from Hwasung – dust, NOx and SO2 – have also decreased dramatically. 

New technology is playing a significant part in environmental improvement. Typical cast melting furnaces produce large amounts of dust, and contained within this is a high proportion of zinc. The captured dust is treated and the zinc extracted before being re-used within the production process. 

Pump invertors have been fitted to coolant and collectant pumps to control the rpm according to load. This has led to energy savings and a reduction in CO2 equivalent to around 4,000 tons per year. 

Another simple energy-saving process has been implemented within Hwasung’s huge and complex air conditioning systems. A fixed amount of heat was supplied to some areas of the plant, regardless of the outside temperature. Using smart control units, the fans now run to supply heat only where and when needed. 

More technology is being employed in the machining shops where gearboxes are produced. Compressed air is used as a coolant when machining intricate gearbox internals, rather than cutting oil, helping to reduce oil use to less than half of one per cent. 

And at the end of a car's life…

Hwasung is also instrumental in the development of end-of-life treatment technologies to reduce the environmental and social impact of Kia’s. It is home to Kia's major Automobile Resource Regeneration centre, which not only dismantles cars once they are no longer serviceable, but is also helping to devise new ways in which Kia’s are designed and assembled, as well as with the choice of materials used in manufacturing. 

Modern cars contain explosive materials to trigger their airbags in an accident and large quantities of environmentally hostile solids and liquids, which must all be recycled or disposed of safely. Metal components such as the car body, engine and gearbox are relatively easy to recycle, as is the battery and exhaust catalyst, but plastics and rubbers present a greater challenge. Now only 5 per cent of a scrapped car is incinerated without energy recovery. 

Kia has developed an eight-stage dismantling process at Hwasung's ARR centre to recoup as many materials as possible for re-use while ensuring the few components which cannot be recycled are disposed of with the minimum environmental impact. Once the car to be scrapped has been registered it is taken into an explosives chamber where its airbags are triggered in a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. The car is then pre-treated for scrappage before all fluids are removed. The exterior, interior and powertrain components are systematically removed in sequence and finally the remnants of the car are crushed in a press. 

The ARR centre works on a conveyor system, just like when cars are being made, so that large numbers can be dismantled and recycled in a short time span. 

Eco-friendly recognition

The green landscape around Kia facilities is an important part of each plant make-up. One ongoing programme is based on a number of ecology gardens which are filled with trees and plants resistant and also sensitive to environmental changes in air pollution. This has the added benefits of providing a more comfortable environment for the staff and local population and offsetting some of the CO2 output from the facility. 

These gardens are continually monitored since they act as real-world indicators of air quality. Each site is broadening the green patches in and around its compound and constantly monitors air pollution in neighbouring communities. A monthly task for each facility is a stream clean-up programme, where Kia cleans and maintains local, natural water courses. This is not only to monitor cleanliness but also to keep them maintained for local communities to enjoy. 

The overall effect of the many green initiatives has resulted in Hwasung being officially recognised as an eco-friendly work site by the Korean Ministry of the Environment.

 

 

9          FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

             We've anticipated what you're likely to ask 

  1. Why introduce a hybrid to the UK now?
  2. A. The first reason is that the hybrid market is growing and we want a share of it. But as you know, all manufacturers have to lower average CO2 emissions to 95g/km or less in Europe by 2020-21, and electric and electrified vehicles will be essential to achieve this. We also have our own internal targets of a 25 per cent reduction in average corporate CO2 emissions, based on 2014 levels, by 2020.

 

  1. Why a dedicated hybrid rather than one based on an existing model?
  2. A. It makes a statement of our intent to be a leading manufacturer in the production of low- or zero-emissions cars. Dedicated hybrids also avoid the compromises found in some hybrids based on existing models, such as loss of boot space and a reduced payload. The important thing was that our dedicated hybrid had to have the showroom appeal of any other Kia and reflect market tastes, hence our decision to create a crossover-style kind of car. We will have a hybrid based on an existing model later in the year when the Optima plug-in hybrid (PHEV) goes on sale.

 

  1. Will there be a battery-electric Niro?
  2. A. We are very happy with the sales performance of our Soul EV, but the market and infrastructure are not advanced enough to support two all-electric models in our line-up at this stage, and we believe that advances in battery technology to further increase the range of all-electric cars will be needed before we can expect a widespread switch to them. But there will be a plug-in hybrid Niro for the 2017 model year.

 

  1. What level of sales of Niro do you expect in the UK, and will it be mostly a fleet or a retail car?
  2. A. We are expecting 1,600 sales in the remainder of 2016, and 2,500 in 2017 when the plug-in version has been added to the range. Around 60 per cent of sales will be to fleets. Our research suggests that buyers will primarily be shopping for a compact crossover with style, practicality and high technology content, but they will also be fully aware of and very interested in the benefits of hybrids.  

  

  1. Will there ever be a pure combustion-engined Niro?
  2. A. The platform was designed to package the components for electric or electrified cars.

 

  1. Will Niro be on sale at every Kia dealership, and will all dealers be able to service it because of the extra safety demands when working with electric components?
  2. A. Every Kia dealer will have at least one technician plus a Kia Master Technician trained in handling the high-voltage systems associated with electrified cars, so Niro will be sold at and can be serviced at any Kia dealership. Model-specific training is also provided at two-day courses to coincide with the launch of each Kia electric and hybrid vehicle.

    To locate a local dealer or for more information please visit www.kia.co.uk

    Stephen Kitson
    Director of Corporate Communications

    E: skitson@kia.co.uk   
    T: 01932 832075 M: 07795 011 936
    Daniel Sayles
    Press Relations Manager

    E: dsayles@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832073 M: 07747 149 149
    Sara Robinson     
    Senior Press Officer

    E: srobinson@kia.co.uk
    T: 01932 832072 M: 07919 482 332
    Carly Escritt       
    Senior Press Officer

    E: cescritt@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832071 M: 07557 268 252
    Moyosola Fujamade
    Press Officer (press fleet)

    E: mfujamade@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832069 M: 07471 216 343
    Emily Jacklin
    Press Office Assistant
    E: ejacklin@kia.co.uk  
    T: 01932 832079 M: 07795 011 475

    Follow Kia on twitter @KiaUKPR
    Follow Kia at www.facebook.com/kiamotorsuk
    Watch Kia at www.youtube.com/kiamotorsuk

SPECIFICATION

Niro Hybrid

10        TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

1.6 GDi engine

 No. of cylinders/valves

 

 4/16

 Displacement

 cc

 1,580

 Bore/stroke

 mm

 72 x 97

 Power output

 bhp @ rpm

 104 @ 5,700

 Torque output

 Nm @ rpm

 147 @ 4,000

 Compression ratio

 

 13.0:1

 Engine details

 

 Normally aspirated direct fuel injection;

 200 bar injection pressure;

 aluminium block and head with steel sump;

 CVVT on intake and exhaust valves

 Emissions

 

 Euro 6

 

Battery and electric motor

 Battery type

 

 Lithium-ion polymer

 Battery voltage

 V

 240

 Energy storage

 kWh

 1.56

 Motor power output

 bhp (kW)

 43.5 (32) @ 1,798-2,500

 Torque output

 Nm

 170 @ 0-1,798

 Combined power (GDi + motor)

 bhp

 139 @ 5,700

 Combined torque (GDi + motor)

 Nm

 265 in first gear @ 1,000-2,400

 

Transmission

 Transmission type

 

 6-speed DCT

 Gear ratios

 1st gear

 2nd gear

 3rd gear

 4th gear

 5th gear

 6th gear

 Reverse

 Final Gear

 3.867

 2.217

 1.371

 0.930

 0.956

 0.767

 5.351

 4.438 (1st to 4th),

 3.227 (5th, 6th, Rev)

 

 

Suspension, steering and braking

 Front axle

 MacPherson struts, coil springs, gas-filled dampers,

 anti-roll bar

 Rear axle

 Multi-link with double wishbones, coil springs, gas-filled

 dampers, anti-roll bar

 Braking system

 Ventilated front discs, solid rear discs

 Steering

 Column-mounted MDPS, 2.66 turns lock-lock

 Wheels (alloy)

 6.5J x 16 or 7.5J x 18

 Tyres

 205/60 R16 or 225/45 R18

 Spare wheel

 Tyre repair kit

 

Dimensions and weights

 Wheelbase

 mm

 2,700

 Length/width/height

 mm

 4,355/1,805/1,545   

 Boot volume VDA (seats up/down)

 litres

 421/1,425 (373/1,371

with underfloor tray)

 Kerb weight (min/max)

 kg

 1,500/1,587

 Max roof weight

 kg

 100

 Min Turning circle (diameter)

 metres

 5.3

 Drag coefficient

 Cd

 0.29

 Fuel tank

 litres

 45

 

Performance and fuel consumption                                        

 Acceleration (0-60 mph)

 seconds

 11.1

 Maximum speed

 mph

 101

 Fuel consumption – urb/ex.urb/com

 

mpg 16" wheels

mpg 18" wheels

74.3/72.4/74.3

 

64.2/62.8/64.2

 CO2

 

 

g/km 16" wheels

g/km 18" wheels

88

 

101

 



ALL-NEW NIRO NEWS

STYLISH KIA NIRO HYBRID CROSSOVER ON SALE FROM JUST £21,295

Kia’s first dedicated hybrid and first ever hybrid in the UK Low-cost, high-efficiency motoring in a crossover-style package Built on an all-new platform and featuring an all-new powertrain Fuel economy of up to 74.3mpg with CO2 emissions from 88g/km Available with the latest connectivity and driver assistance features Four...

Jul 19, 2016
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