Review and Test Drive: 2018 Kia Niro PHEV EX Premium

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Kia equips the Niro with a surfeit of driver-assistance technology, all part of its DriveWise range of options. This includes blind-spot detection, rear camera, “smart” radar cruise control, forward collision warning, lane keeping assistant, and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

The lane-change assistant includes a feature (this is a first for me)that looks rearward to make sure no one is creeping up on you.

We set out in all-electric mode and managed to get 22 miles (35.4 kilometers) before it switched to hybrid mode. The 26 figure is a best-case scenario and requires a gentle touch on the accelerator. The transition from all-electric to hybrid mode isn’t exactly subtle: you and your passengers will know it when it happens, given the addition of engine noise and vibration but that’s only because it’s so quiet in all-electric mode.

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The Niro will fully charge on a 110-volt outlet overnight but if you park at a Level 2 charger at your destination, a full charge will take at most three hours.

BOTTOM LINE

The Kia Niro PHEV is an excellent choice for city dwellers who want to stay in town during the week with the option to take long drives on the weekend.

THE DETAILS

2018 Kia Niro PHEV Ex Premium
Base price/price-as-tested $28,500/$35,970
Drivetrain Front engine, front-wheel drive
Engine 1.6-liter 4-cylinder with electric motor
Horsepower (engine)/Torque (combined) 106 / 195
Transmission Dual-clutch 6-speed automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 3,161
Wheelbase(inches) 106.3
Length x width x height(inches) 171.5 x 71.1 x 60.8
0-60 mph(seconds) (est.) 6.8
Fuel economy(mpg) (city/hwy/MPGe) 48/44/105

 

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

 

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