Kia Niro First Teaser Photos Show Baby Sportage, Hybrid Crossover to Debut in Early 2016

Kia Niro First Teaser Photos 3 photos
Photo: Kia
Kia Niro First Teaser PhotosKia Niro First Teaser Photos
Kia has given us the first glimpse of the Niro, a brand new B-segment crossover that takes a different approach to most of its rivals by offering a hybrid powertrain.
The Korean car company first showed the Niro as a concept at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. As expected, almost nothing has stayed the same, not even that funky butterfly door setup.

In some markets (India and China), Kia already sells a similarly sized crossover called the KX3. Many people have commented about how ugly it looks, but they should have no issues with the Niro.

Sure, it's still as funky as a K-pop dance routine, but it's also got that classy sober look of a Sportage (the old one, not the 2016 model). We're getting all this from a couple of teaser photos that have been released today. At the front, there's a bit of BMW Air Curtain going on, while the back seems to have taillights copied from the new Hyundai Tucson.

The real thing will come in early 2016 with a brand new hybrid powertrain, followed by a PHEV a year later. And yes, Hyundai is making one too, called the Ioniq. The main difference is that one looks like a streamlined hatchback.

Hyundai and Kia have conducted several market studies before deciding how they want to go after the Prius. Apparently, customers want the fuel economy to be mixed with slightly keener looks and driving dynamics.

Since the Niro is small, it can make due with a 1.6-liter GDI producing 105 PS (77 kW) and 147 Nm (108 lb-ft). Kia says it's not the same stuff you get on the Rio, and it achieves a thermal efficiency of 40%, which is on par with the 2016 Prius. It will be mated to a six-speed dual clutch gearbox, a 35 kW (47 hp) electric motor, and a 1.56 kWh battery pack.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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