Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kia's New Niro Has Star Quality

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kia's New Niro Has Star Quality

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Hughes

KIA chose the North East of England for the press launch of its new Niro hybrid model, taking in a mix of urban and rural roads to showcase its performance prowess.

The company believes the newcomer sets new standards with a combination of environmental friendliness and everyday practicality.

It achieves economy of 75mpg and a CO2 reading of just 88k/km, which endows it with all of the financial savings associated with low emission vehicles.

There is also a relatively low price tag of PS21,295, which makes it cheaper than many of its most obvious rivals in the small SUV class, few if any of which offer the important hybrid bonus.

Kia has even coined a new term for the vehicle, which is referred to as an HUV, which is like an SUV - or Sport Utility Vehicle - but is more hybrid than sport.

The cars certainly impressed on their trip from Newcastle Airport to Gateshead via a circuitous route up the North East coastline where their accomplished driving dynamics and outstanding economy shone, even if the sun did not.

Spaciousness and practicality are particular virtues, as are the ease of driving and the generosity of equipment.

Standard kit includes cruise control, DAB radio plus Bluetooth, a seven-inch touchscreen sat-nav system, reversing camera, partleather trim, automatic wipers and parking sensors.

There are also 18-inch alloy wheels, an optional eight-inch touchscreen,wireless phone charging, a sophisticated sound system, leather upholstery and heated steering wheel.

At the top of the pile is the introductory First Edition version that adds blind-spot detection, autonomous braking, cooled front seats and heated rear seats plus an electric sunroof, which takes the price up to PS26,995.

Power comes courtesy of a 1.6-litre petrol engine generating 104bhp plus a Lithium-Ion Polymer battery placed beneath the rear seat, plus a 43.5bhp electric motor driving through a six-speed double-clutch automatic transmission. …

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