Marketing a vehicle as a hybrid could be the way to go for many – at least if the car is delivering excellent mileage – but it turns out Kia isn’t too keen on the ‘hybrid’ factor as far as its record-breaking all-new 2017 Kia Niro is concerned.
Reports suggest that Kia may not be concentrating too much on the ‘hybrid’ aspect and is instead appealing to the masses by promoting the crossover aspect of the vehicle that delivers awesome mileage. The 2017 Kia Niro managed to find itself registering a Guinness World Record as the hybrid vehicle with the lowest fuel consumption. But, Kia may be refraining from marketing the car as a hybrid vehicle and instead promoting it as a “breakthrough, game-changing crossover” with “hybrid efficiency”.
When asked why Kia is doing that Steve Carter, Kia’s marketing director in Canada, told AutoGuide.com “We think that we don’t have to play up the hybrid characteristics, because if you look at fuel economy for a (crossover) buyer it’s not No. 1 on the list. People are looking for value for money, reliability and dependability, styling, and storage capacity — and then there’s fuel economy.”
Kia Canada’s corporate communications manager, John Adzija, spoke on similar lines and said that they aren’t scared of using the hybrid feature of the car, but they aren’t focusing on it either. “It’s fun, it’s versatile and, by the way, it gets great fuel economy and it happens to be a hybrid”, he added.
Kia is extensively marketing the 2017 Kia Niro as a crossover that doesn’t sacrifice emotionally engaging design or functional utility in the name of efficiency. Kia has been saying that its 2017 Niro offers excellent value, reliability, styling and space and has been stressing on its hybrid system that delivers un-hybrid-like driving experience.
At the heart of the Niro’s all-new powertrain is a state-of-the-art 1.6-litre GDI four-cylinder engine – from Kia’s Kappa engine family – which is engineered specifically for hybrid applications. Making 104 horsepower, the new engine marks the first combination of the Atkinson Cycle, cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), GDI and a long-stroke-narrow-bore specification to achieve as much as 4.7 L/100km combined.
Kia says special attention has been paid to brake feel. Applying lessons learned through development of two generations of Optima Hybrids as well as the fully electric Soul EV, Kia engineers designed the Niro’s regenerative system to seamlessly blend in hydraulic friction braking. Consequently, deceleration feels more consistent and linear than in other hybrids.
The Niro is offered with a suite of available advanced driver assistance and convenience technologies, including Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Lane Change Assist (LCA); Smart Cruise Control (SCC); Lane Departure Warning (LDW); and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).
Other notable features include active air flaps, which reduces drag by carefully managing the intake of outside air for the HVAC system, and also an accompanying Auto Defog system that prevents condensation from building on the glass by monitoring cabin air conditions to manage the cycling of the A/C compressor.