Introduced in March 2017, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid touched down in the United States at the Los Angeles Auto Show for the 2018 model year. Scheduled to go on sale in three trim levels (LX, EX, and EX Premium), pricing for the Niro Plug-In Hybrid remains a mystery at this point in time.
“Consumers who are intrigued by the Niro hybrid’s fantastic versatility and design, but want even more EcoDynamics technology and the ability to drive only using electric power, will find more to love in the Niro Plug-in Hybrid,” said Orth Hedrick, VP of product planning at Kia Motors America.
Combining EV daily driving and gas-fueled propulsion on the long haul makes the Niro Plug-In Hybrid a compelling package focused on versatility. Kia knows it all too well that it’s different from the hybrid-only Niro, which is why the plug-in features a modified grille, blue accents, exclusive badging, and a charge port door located on the left front fender.
The business end of the Niro Plug-In Hybrid is an all-aluminum 1.6-liter GDI connected to a 60-horsepower electric motor and an 8.9 kWh lithium-polymer battery. Tucked under the cargo floor and rear seats, the battery doesn’t take precious cargo capacity, with the Niro Plug-In Hybrid boasting 19.4 cu.ft. with the rear seats up and 54.5 cu.ft. with them folded.
A six-speed dual-clutch transmission comes as standard for the 139-hp and 195-lb.ft powertrain, and to conserve energy, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid ships with Driver-Only Air Conditioning. The five-seat crossover can be juiced up in 2.5 hours if using a 240-volt (level 2) charger, while a 120-volt (level 1) charger takes 9 hours to recharge the battery to the brim.