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2019 Kia Niro EV

2019 Kia Niro EV

The battery-powered Niro is ready to play with the big boys!

The Kia Niro EV is the all-electric version of the Niro subcompact crossover that the Korean automaker launched for the 2017 model year. Unveiled in Autumn 2018 as the e-Niro for the European market, the Niro EV is the U.S.-spec model and broke cover at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. Virtually identical to its European sibling, the Niro EV and e-Niro share the same features and specification, save for the less powerful base model. Kia chose to bring only the more powerful version to the U.S., where it will compete against its platform sibling, the Hyundai Kona Electric (or EV on this side of the pond). The Niro EV is Kia’s first all-electric crossover and among the first battery-powered SUVs for the non-premium market.

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2019 Kia e-Niro

2019 Kia e-Niro

It’s the Euro-spec version of the Niro EV

After unveiling the Niro EV at the International Electric Vehicle Expo in South Korea, Kia has also revealed the European version, dubbed e-Niro, at this year’s Paris Motor Show. It comes with two battery pack options, a range of up to 301 miles (or 485 km) on one charge, and it even comes with a system called Coasting Guide Control which informs the driver of the best times to coast calculated based on a planned route.

You may also have noticed that its name sounds like the surname of Robert DeNiro and Kia has gone ahead and embraced this and featured the movie star in its TV, digital and print adverts.

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The Kia e-Niro Electric Crossover Has an All-Electric Range of 301 Miles

The Kia e-Niro Electric Crossover Has an All-Electric Range of 301 Miles

The Euro-spec e-Niro is different compared to the U.S.-spec Niro EV

The Kia e-Niro is all set to debut in its Euro-spec avatar at the Paris Motor Show next month. Essentially, it’s the same car as the U.S.-spec model, but there are quite a few differences apart from the name. For starters, the e-Niro has 65 miles of extra range over that of the Niro EV. Jealous? Don’t be. It’s because of the difference in the measuring cycles as well.

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2018 Kia Niro EV Concept

2018 Kia Niro EV Concept

Concept car previews 238-mile capable production EV

Launched for the 2017 model year, the Kia Niro is a subcompact crossover positioned below the popular Sportage. Previewed by a concept vehicle introduced in 2013, the Niro is built on the same platform as the Hyundai Ioniq, and it’s available with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and electric motor combo, in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. A gasoline-only version isn’t on a drawing table yet, but a fully electric model is definitely underway. Already spotted testing on public roads in 2017, the Niro EV broke cover at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in concept form.

Heavily based on the production model, the electric concept is more than just a Niro with an electric motor and a battery. Kia also meddled with the exterior design and created a new lighting system for the show car. Inside the cabin, it features an updated "human-machine interface" and an array of new safety features. Surprisingly enough, Kia redesigned the Niro’s interior for the all-electric model. Alongside the Niro EV, Kia also unveiled plans to launch 16 new electrified vehicles by 2025. The range includes five hybrids, five plug-in hybrids, five all-electric models, and a hydrogen-powered vehicle. The latter is planned to arrive in 2020 and could be based on the Hyundai Nexo, also unveiled at the 2018 CES.

The production version of the Niro EV is likely to debut by the end of 2018.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Niro EV concept.

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2016 Kia Niro Triathlon

2016 Kia Niro Triathlon

It’s a very utilitarian take on the Kia Niro

For the SEMA show this year, Kia had one major theme: Autonomy. Models like the Kia Soul First Class exposes what the self-driving Kia models of the future will offer for the daily driver. Then you’ve got a handful of models that are catered to a specific breed of people. The Kia Soul Ski Gondola is all about going off-road and hitting the slopes in autonomous style and excessive comfort. And then there’s this crazy concept that is based on the Kia Niro, a model that isn’t even on sale yet. Focused on athletes that train every day, this SUV has been transformed into, well, a mini, four-door truck of sorts. It’s fully autonomous and features things like a custom bed in the rear, suicide doors, a completely custom cabin, and is ready to give just about any athlete an extra edge in the training department.

I know that sounds like PR talk, but once you get a good look at this thing, you’ll understand why it’s just that cool. When you consider the Niro isn’t even on sale quite yet, being introduced just recently for the 2017 model year, it’s pretty wild to see Kia put so much custom work into it. It’s certainly a way to garner attention for a model that competes in a pretty competitive segment, and this crazy concept is certainly doing that. Keep in mind; it’s being displayed in the same building as concepts like the Dodge Durango Shaker, Chevy Camaro Slammer, and the Toyota Extreme Sienna, to name a few. But, what is really giving it that edge is that it is utilitarian in nature in a large crowd of vehicles aimed at showing off various accessories that are already on sale or could be in the near future.

With that said, let’s kick off the running shoes, and take a look at the one concept at SEMA that is designed to help you better yourself and not your ego.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Niro Triathlon.

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2017 Kia Niro

2017 Kia Niro

Kia’s first hybrid vehicle built on a dedicated platform.

Kia keeps hitting homerun after homerun with the new models it has been releasing lately, but its newest addition will take the brand into a previously unexplored segment. When it comes to the red-hot subcompact crossover market, the Kia Soul is probably the closest thing Kia has to compete in, but a more traditional crossover is about to slot in below the compact Sportage. It goes by the name Niro and, more important, it’s a hybrid.

Previewed by the KX3 Concept that was unveiled at the 2014 Guangzhou Motor Show in China (itself inspired by the 2013 Kia Niro Concept), the Niro was unveiled at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, where Kia showcased a range of green vehicles that also includes hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Optima. But unlike the four-door sedan, the Niro rides on the company’s first dedicated hybrid architecture, one that’s supposed to triple Kia’s global green car lineup by 2020.

"The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid,’" said Orth Hedrick, vice president product planning KMA. “The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before.”

Granted, the Niro makes a lot of sense in today’s growing crossover market, but does it have what it takes to draw in customers from the established nameplates? Keep reading to find out more about that.

Updated 02/16/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the cars official debut at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show. Check the "Pictures" tab to see them.

Continue reading to find out more about the Kia Niro.

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