Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid On Sale In U.S. Dealerships By December

2 weeks ago by Steven Loveday 25

Kia Niro PHEV

Kia Niro PHEV

Production of the Kia Niro PHEV for the U.S. began about two weeks ago and it will go on sale as soon as late November.

Industry sources have revealed that production of the U.S. model is already underway. While Kia may have the U.S. model for sale as soon as late November, it’s safer to say that first deliveries are set for  late December. However, it may take until January for all participating dealerships to receive access to the new vehicle.

Kia Niro PHEV

Inside the Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

We’ve been reporting for some time about the upcoming Kia Niro PHEV, as well as the pure-electric model, which is set to launch later in 2018. The Niro PHEV hit Europe awhile back, along with the Kia Optima Sportwagen PHEV, which sadly will not make it to the U.S.

The Niro plug-in is based on the same architecture as the Hyundai IONIQ plug-in, however, it comes as a different configuration. The Niro is a subcompact SUV, whereas the IONIQ is a compact car.

Kia has yet to release U.S. pricing for the new model. The Niro hybrid starts at $22,890 and the Hyundai IONIQ plug-in is set to arrive soon, so pricing is yet to be officially announced. The IONIQ Electric starts at $29,500.  Looking around the world, we note that the first handful of Niro PHEV deliveries actually got underway in late October in Sweden.

EPA ratings for the Niro PHEV in terms of official range and MPGe are also yet to be revealed. All details have already been released for the European model, which will use the same battery pack and drive motor.    For Europe, Kia advertises that its 8.9 kWh battery is good for 36 miles (58 km) of all-electric driving,  but that is on the optimistic NEDC scales, we expect something more like 25 miles (40 km) of real world/EPA range.

The Kia Niro hybrid has been selling in the U.S. since January, and according to Green Car Reports, Kia had sold 20,670 copies by the end of September. Niro plug-in sales are expected to be much lower volume since the automaker intends to focus on marketing the vehicle in “plug-in friendly” states (and global production is capped at around 20,000 for 2018 according to reports). Fortunately, if you want one, you’ll be able to order one at any Kia dealership nationwide.

Source: Green Car Reports

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25 responses to "Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid On Sale In U.S. Dealerships By December"

  1. Chris Stork says:

    You had me until “hybrid;” you totally lost me at “25 miles (40km).” Aside from the inherent hybrid problem of hauling around an IC engine whether you use it or not (and having to maintain it whether you use it or not, which means occasionally having to run it just for maintenance purposes), 25 miles would barely cover my own commute, and not any stops on the way home for milk and eggs, or my winter commute when I have to heat the car one way or another.

    Also, I have to wonder: when they say the range, is that /usable/ miles, or is that from 100% to 0% discharge, which you shouldn’t be doing daily anyway?

    In my humble opinion, a PHEV needs to have at least 50 usable miles pure battery range, much like a BEV needs at least 200 miles.

    But that’s just me.

    1. David Murray says:

      Different strokes for different folks. I think 25 miles is on the low side, but acceptable for a PHEV. What would probably be the dealbreaker for me is the drivetrain. If it shares the same drivetrain with the Ioniq Plug-in then the electric drive is anemic and there is no EV-mode button, so you can’t really get a real EV experience from the car.

      1. cab says:

        Agreed. It’s the EV driving experience that I find compelling. The only small SUV that MIGHT come close appears to be the Volvo XC60 T8. On the upside, it has a rear electric motor for a RWD single gear driving experience and a “pure EV” mode to be only electric. It also has a boatload of power when EV and gas are engaged simultaneously. On the downside, it won’t be a rocket in pure EV mode and it is pricey…still on my list to test drive.

      2. RAV4 EV says:

        Agreed, Love our C-Max Energi but we do wish it had a little more EV range and cargo space. We parked next to a Niro at the store last week. The Niro is about the same size as the C-Max.

        Looking forward to seeing the C-Max replacement. Hopefully it is a Escape PHEV with the batteries under the float boards.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Niro isn’t a crossover. It is actually pretty small inside. It is shorter than just about all crossover as well. In fact, it is even shorter than some of the large sedans.

          1. Dan says:

            Crossovers are always shorter than similar mass sedans; they don’t stick out much beyond the rear wheels.

            C-max energy (I lease one) is HEAVY. Almost 2 tons empty. PHEV Niro is significantly lighter and has more battery capacity so I bet you can get 30ish miles if you drive w/care.

            This is fine for trips around town/city. Best part is avoiding heating up a cold ICE for a short trip. Once on the open road just use the gasoline and enjoy the 500 mile range with 3 minute recharging.

      3. Davek says:

        I’ve driven both the Niro and Ioniq Plug-Ins in Germany and they both have an EV button, and it is pretty easy to stay out of the ICE if you want to. I’ve read reviews by journalists complaining about the ICE coming on, but I get the feeling that they’re getting in and mashing the throttle like they’re in a drag race. Autobahn in full EV is no problem if you stay below 130 km/h and don’t go for ludicrous acceleration.

        If you want dealbreakers though, I’ve got them for you. How about no electric heating or pre-conditioning? Both the Ioniq and the Niro only use the ICE for heat. So if you live anywhere that gets below 20°C for a significant part of the year and you actually want to drive gas-free most of the time, you can forget these cars. So close, Hyundai/Kia, and then you do something as unforgivably stupid as that. :'(

        Also you’re not allowed to put roof racks on the Ioniq. Complain to your dealers, people! Write letters! Tell them why you’re not buying their almost-brilliant-but-then-ultimately-depressingly-disappointing cars!

        1. Ryan Daum says:

          The deal breaker for me is that they will not offer any kind of towing option or permit it. At least I assume so since the standard hybrid Niro is like that. Just want to be able to tow our bike rack or small trailer without getting grief when we take it in for service.

          1. Daniel says:

            The Kia Niro is allowed to tow 1300 kg here in Sweden

          2. Paul Lemieux says:

            Niro has roof rails as well, so you can haul your bikes and gear on the roof.

    2. Jason Carmichael says:

      This is still a sub $25k car the Volt $33k. Prius prime, starts at $27k and out the door normally more than $35k

    3. David S. says:

      Stops don’t consume electricity.
      PHEV can use the entire range daily without issue.

    4. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Chris:

      “## miles would barely cover my own commute”

      – And that is exactly what is needed. No need to pay extra for extra heavy, bulky and expensive battery if you will not use it most of the time, and that creates more pollution during mining and manufacturing processes than burning gas during once a month events of longer trips. Extra weight also reduces electricity or fuel economy by itself.

    5. Kris says:

      The vehicle has a range well over 200 miles – it just switches to gas/petrol when the battery is depleted. The combination of a small battery + regular gas engine reduces vehicle weight. I’ve heard rumors the equivalent mpg will be well over 100.

  2. Bobby says:

    AWD? Seems to be a no 🙁

    1. Jason Carmichael says:

      There simply is no way for that to be possible. The rear end is designed not for it.

  3. Tom says:

    I’ve been waiting. Plan on buying one next spring. Perfect for my needs.

  4. Derek says:

    Bigger battery, AWD? It does make the Outlander look better.

  5. Todd says:

    Was is with all the phev hate because of low range. Big deal it only covers half your commute. It’s still an 70-80 mpge round trip vs the 50 mpg of a hybrid. When the prius was first introduced it had less of an environmental benefit and people praised it. Phev are just the next step. And one day full electric infrastructure everywhere. For myself, I have a 10 mile commute… for the year I bet I’d be able to get 70-80% electric driving out of this. And barely ever hit the gas station.

  6. john yanoscik says:

    just leased a kia soul ev 2017, 104 miles range, xtremly efficient regen ! its all i need ! Miss da coda yet needed dealer network 4 warranty service. $ 190 per month
    15,000 miles a year. my not using gas will definitly pay my monthly lease cost. tesla 4 big shots.

    1. Tom says:

      Holy crap a Coda? You kept it didn’t you? Future collector’s item.

  7. Scott wilson says:

    Here in south jersey electricity is not cheap $0.23kwh so a pure plug in ends up costing the same as a car that gets 30mpg in gas that’s based on $2.30 per gallon.

  8. Chris W says:

    Scott, we’re in SJ as well, but we pay $0.173/kwh for electricity with 100% renewable option. At $2.30/gal and 30 mpg, you’re looking at $0.076 per mile for gas. Assuming 30 kwh to charge a plug-in for a 100 mile range, that’s $0.052 per mile. That’s about 30% cheaper than the gas powered car.

    1. Tom says:

      Sure. I think a better comparison might be against a Prius or other similar hybrid and the equation shifts away from electric.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Kia Niro (not plugin) is 49-50 mpg combined, not 30.
      https://www.kia.com/us/en/vehicle/niro/2018/features
      Anyway, upfront price (or depreciation) may make much more difference for TCO than a cent per mile of fuel.

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