Kia has extended its range of plug-in hybrids to include the Optima wagon and Niro SUV
Jimi Beckwith
4 September 2017

Kia has extended its line-up to include two new plug-in hybrids: the Niro and Optima Sportswagon PHEV. 

The firm claims fuel economy of 217.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 29g/km for the Niro PHEV, with power of 139bhp and torque at 195lb ft. This marks an increase in fuel economy of 143mpg over the standard car’s 74.3mpg and a CO2 improvement of 59g/km.

These upgrades make the Niro PHEV Kia’s most fuel-efficient car yet, and it has an electric-only range of 36 miles. Top speed is increased to 107mph, and acceleration to 62mph drops from 11.5sec to 10.4sec.

Three drive modes are available: Eco and Normal, as well as a Manual Sports mode that allows drivers to select gears themselves. Drivers can also choose between pure electric EV mode and hybrid HEV mode. Kia’s Coasting Guide Control reads the navigation to pre-empt approaching road conditions and maximise efficiency, by recharging the batteries through coasting. 

On the outside, the Niro PHEV is marked out by its metallic blue trim on the front and rear bumpers, as well as the charge socket on the passenger side front wing.

The Niro PHEV starts at £27,995 after the government’s £2500 plug-in grant, and is based on the 3-spec mild hybrid. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are AEB and lane-keep assist. 

The Optima PHEV Sportswagon was also revealed, months after the advent of its saloon sibling. Kia claims an increase in range and fuel economy and lower emissions than the saloon. Although 201.8mpg versus the saloon’s 176.6mpg is claimed, the PHEV has 15 litres less boot capacity than its petrol- or diesel-only counterpart. 

Like the Niro PHEV, blue trim at the front and rear of the car separates it from the standard Optima Sportswagon; while, under the surface, there are larger brakes - 300mm to the standard 262mm - and tweaked suspension to deal with the excess weight.  

The car’s 202bhp gives identical performance figures to the Optima PHEV saloon: a 9.4sec 0-62mph time, 119mph top speed and CO2 emissions of 33g/km. 

Read more: 

New Hyundai Ioniq plug-in to join electrified range, priced from £24,995

Kia Niro long-term test review: first report

Kia Stinger range to diversify with diesel and electric power

Kia plans electric Niro and more SUV models

Our Verdict

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Comments
5

4 September 2017

The 0-60 time quoted for the standard Niro is without electric assist, so should be repeatable even when the drive battery is depleted. Autocar's own testing showed a marked improvement on the quoted time.

Darren Moss was running a Niro on long term test. What happened to the updates on it?

4 September 2017

The Niro wasn't quite big enough to start with and loses even more (too much) space with the PHEV, and no one wants a dull big old estate. They should have spent the effort reworking a slightly larger sportage with this powertrain, it would sell by the shed load.

4 September 2017

Never mind the silly mpg figures which were presumably measured on the old NEDC (hopefully the new test cycle will not allow plug ins to cheat in this way?). So far as I am concerned the only figures that are important are the battery capacity in kilowatt hours, which will dictate the car's range on electric only power - and the "real world" fuel consumption if the owner chooses not to plug it in. These two figures would tell us what the actual capability of this car are in its petrol and electric operating modes. 

4 September 2017

Normal hybrid Niro 3 -  £25,135 PHEV - £27,995. 

If your saving on Tax and/or congestion charges may make sense economically - but for the normal punter this doesn't add up (particularly with rising electricity prices

4 September 2017
The price of electric doesn't change everytime it is delivered like petrol and diesel changes price everytime the forecourt takes delvery.
DBJUNIOR

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