Kia Niro: A Hybrid Crossover that Puts a Pep In Your Step

Kia Niro: A Hybrid Crossover that Puts a Pep In Your Step
By: Chris Mahlmann Last Updated: June 20, 2017

Having driven a Kia Sorento for quite a few years, and now driving the LIFE Mobile, which is a tricked-out Kia Soul, I am used to Kia doing a great job making driving a safe, cost-effective car fun.

When Tom Seely of Thomas Kia of Highland suggested to me to take the Kia Niro for a couple of days on a test ride, he raved about it being the first of its kind.

He talked about its incredible fuel economy, but also raved about its cool factor. His excitement for the "pep-in-your-step" acceleration of the hybrid crossover came right after mentioning the Guinness World Record for lowest fuel consumption.

Before seeing it, I had to wonder how they packed all that cool-and-quick into something so smart and responsible. After driving it through downtowns, highways, and country roads across the region, Tom was right. The Kia Niro is the best of both worlds.

Highlights for me are the dual-clutch automatic transmission tied to the hybrid engine that gives you the pop-off-the-line surge that makes you feel like you are driving something far more thirsty at the gas pump than this unique car is.

Second for me - being a tech guy - is the technology, which oozes from every aspect of the car, with safety features like forward collision and lane departure warning systems, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alerts, and park assist systems. You feel as if they car is keeping an eye on so many things at once, but not overwhelming you with the information.

The look outside and the feel inside stands out from anything similar. A sharp design matched with amenities like UVO infotainment system that works with everything "Apple" and "Android," down to my favorite air conditioned seals that keep this middle-aged driver thinking, driving, and feeling cool.

Here are a few highlights and images that give you a sense of all that Kia has put into this one-of-a-kind hybrid crossover, but the best way to experience it is by stopping into Thomas Kia of Highland to check it out for yourself! Find them online at or on Facebook at 

The first of its kind.
Introducing the 2017 Niro. A new approach to what a hybrid crossover can be. It achieves an EPA-est. 50 mpg combined and a near-600-mile range. And it features a high-efficiency 1.6L GDI engine and a smooth-transitioning dual-clutch automatic transmission that deliver pure fun behind the wheel.

kia-niro-2017-3The Best of Both Worlds
The Niro is the no-compromise vehicle. Thoughtfully designed to combine the benefits of the crossover and hybrid worlds. Like the forward-looking engineering and optimized fuel economy of a hybrid. And the versatile design and practicality of a crossover. It’s the high-style, high-MPG adventure vehicle made for the no-compromise driver. Unlike hybrids with continuous variable transmissions (CVT), the Niro comes with a highly responsive, smooth-shifting dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT) that gives the Niro a fun-to-drive feel missing from the competition. Plus, it offers ample interior space you wouldn’t expect from a hybrid.

kia-niro-2017-5A GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ achievement.
With record-breaking performance, the Kia Niro was driven in the achievement of a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for Lowest fuel consumption driving across the USA from coast to coast in a hybrid car. Wayne Gerdes and co-driver Robert Winger achieved the record by driving the Niro EX 3,715 miles—from LA to NYC—using only 4.1 tanks of gas. That’s a record-setting mark of an incredible 76.6 mpg.

kia-niro-2017-6Command more than road.
With UVO, Kia’s free infotainment system, you can send and receive texts, access your favorite apps, and connect to your smartphone via Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto™—all through the Niro’s built-in 7” or 8” color touchscreen display. Plus, voice-activated technology gives you ultimate convenience with both hands on the wheel. Learn more at

Smart Cruise Control
Meet the system that does more than set your pace. Smart Cruise Control (SCC) adapts to your driving environment by automatically applying the brakes, or accelerator, to help maintain a predetermined distance from the vehicle in front of you.

kia-niro-2017-9Forward Collision Warning System
It’s advanced tech that anticipates and responds automatically. The available Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS) gives audible and visual alerts when it detects a potential hazard in your path.

kia-niro-2017-2Lane Departure Warning System
The Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) helps you stay the course by monitoring the position of your Niro and alerting you if you drift from your lane without signaling.

kia-niro-2017-7Rear views that look ahead.
Whether you’re starting your commute or in the middle of a road trip, Niro’s got your back on every mile. Available Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Blind-Spot Detection (BSD) offer a second set of eyes for rear viewing. So that you can focus on the road ahead.

kia-niro-2017-8Park Assist System
This advanced drive-assist technology helps you stay informed while you park. Using sonar sensors integrated in the Niro’s bumpers, the available front and rear parking assist gives an audible warning when you near other vehicles or objects.

kia-niro-2017-4Ideal surroundings.
More than a cabin, it’s your space to relax. Featuring a power driver’s seat with lumbar support that adjusts up to 10 ways. And an available power sunroof that offers fresh air and sunlight at the push of a button. The Niro is a welcoming getaway tailored to you.