The Kia Niro PHEV plug-in hybrid is the South Korean manufacturer’s most fuel-efficient car ever. We present the facts worth knowing, including the UK price, running costs and efficiency figures.
A plug-in hybrid version of the Kia Niro has arrived, don’t you know? Known as the Niro PHEV, the compact crossover uses a hybrid powertrain you can plug into the wall to recharge in exchange for potentially lower running costs.
The Niro PHEV uses the same 104bhp 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol as the standard parallel hybrid, but it has a larger electric motor with 60bhp (44.5kW). It also has a larger lithium-ion polymer battery pack to run it, at 8.9kWh instead of 1.56kWh.
What this means in terms of range is you get more of it. With the battery fully charged, the Niro PHEV can go a claimed 36 miles on electric alone and – when used in conjunction with the petrol engine – manage up to 217.3mpg.
It will, of course, be much less fuel efficient if you forget to charge it, but the Niro PHEV will always be cheap to tax thanks to a CO2 rating of just 29g/km. For business folk, that is a mere nine per cent company car tax in 2017-2018.
For comparison’s sake, the Niro hybrid had CO2 emissions of 59g/km and fuel economy of 74.3mpg, which is a 59g/km and 143mpg improvement for the Niro PHEV, respectively.
More performance, sir?
Performance is another area where the Niro benefits from the bigger electric motor. 0-62mph takes 10.4 seconds, instead of 11.5 seconds, while the top speed is a more impressive but relatively pointless 107mph.
The total Niro PHEV outputs 139bhp and 195lb/ft (265NM) of torque, which is turned into movement by a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as opposed to your typical CVT setup so it should be nicer to drive.
To help owners of their new Kia maximise fuel economy, the Niro PHEV comes with a few clever systems including regenerative braking and a Drive Mode Select button for choosing between more power or greater efficiency (Eco and Normal).
There is also a driving style guide that helps you improve your eco-driving abilities, which includes the Coasting Guide Control (CGC). Between the speeds of 37 and 100mph, this handy addition tells you the best time to coast providing a navigation destination has been set.
Kia has bundled in two battery charging cables, a standard three-pin plug for domestic charging and Type 2 to Type 2 for faster charging points. An empty to full battery charge takes two hours and 15 minutes.
What is the Kia Niro?
Unfamiliar with the Kia Niro? It’s a five-seater, five-door compact crossover that is 4,355mm long, 1805mm wide and 1,535mm tall ─ between the Cee’d hatchback and Sportage SUV. It has a kerb weight of 1,594kg and a 324-litre boot, which is less than usual because of the battery.
In terms of standard technology, the Niro PHEV gets autonomous emergency braking with smart cruise control, lane keep assist, hill-start assist control and speed limit as well as an eight-inch touchscreen navigation infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
A 320-watt JBL Premium sound system and wireless charger are also included, as well as the other bits you get on the Niro 3 trim level spec it uses.
A new Kia Niro PHEV 1.6 will set you back from £30,495, which works out at £27,995 once the UK government’s plug-in grant of £2,500 is factored in. An entry-level Niro hybrid costs from £23,125, to put that into perspective.
The price includes a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty. Best to give a dealer a call as the Kia website is yet to be updated with the PHEV model at the time of writing.