Prius-Fighting Kia Plug-In Hybrid Coming Before 2017


Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

Autocar is reporting that Kia plans to introduce a Toyota Prius killer rival for 2017, with codename “DE“.

This dedicated hybrid model should be interesting for because it’s expected to spawn a plug-in version.

On the drivetrain side “new-generation hybrid transmission with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor” should do the job, but for now there are no details.

An important attribute for DE will be more mainstream exterior styling, as according to Kia research, many Prius buyers would like something more conventional-looking:

“Kia sources say that the new car, which will be sold globally, has two roles. One is to help Kia meet the 95g/km fleet CO2 regulations to come into force in Europe in 2020. The second is take sales off the market-dominating Toyota Prius.

Unlike existing dedicated hybrids such as the Prius and Honda Insight, the DE’s exterior styling is quite mainstream, with the most obvious nods to aerodynamic efficiency seen in the extended, wrap-around, spoiler on the tailgate.

The interior of the DE benefits from Kia’s latest styling shift, which be seen first in the new-generation Optima, likely to be revealed early in 2015.”

We expect to hear (and see more details) about the new plug-ins from both Kia and sister-company Hyundai at the NAIAS in Detroit next month.

Source: Autocar

Category: Kia

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9 responses to "Prius-Fighting Kia Plug-In Hybrid Coming Before 2017"
  1. Rob Stark says:

    Only 20 years after the intro of the Prius.

  2. David Murray says:

    The Prius is already behind-the-times technologically speaking. The only thing that is keeping them flying off the shelves is the familiarity with the brand. Most people that buy a Prius today are blissfully unaware that they could get a Chevy Volt or a Ford PHEV for roughly the same cost and have a car that is superior in nearly every way. I expect over the next few years Toyota’s hybrid market will start to move to competitor products unless the next-gen Prius is really something special.

    1. Spin says:

      It is so far behind? It only gets about 25% better mileage on gas than the Ford or the Chevy.

      1. Ash09 says:

        That’s the thing. The next gen prius needs to have stuff in it that’ll make it exciting to drive and own.

        If it’s just “Gen 3 but with slightly better mpg”, people will probably start moving to other cars that are more fun to drive, and/or less expensive.

        Myself, I’m waiting to see if the next gen PiP is any better. If it’s not, or Toyota still refuses to sell it nationwide, I’m going with a Volt, Leaf, or Tesla Model 3.

      2. David Murray says:

        It isn’t all about fuel economy. Once you get used to plugging in, the fuel economy really doesn’t matter as much. I haven’t put gas in my Volt in nearly a year, so I don’t really care that much about the fuel economy.

        But it isn’t just that either. Like a lot of people, I bought a Prius back then because I wanted a high-tech car. You know, digital instrument panel, silent drive, etc. Well, the Volt has the Prius WAY beat in that department, beside it looks better too.

      3. Brian says:

        I’ve had my Volt for 1 year now and I got 1.9 L/100km over 27,000km (120 mpg). The Prius doesn’t come close to that.

      4. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “It is so far behind? It only gets about 25% better mileage on gas than the Ford or the Chevy.”

        You proved it.

        Your statement shows exactly why Prius is far behind b/c its defender are still thinking about “MPG” in terms of the old fashion way.

        Can a Prius burn 200 gallons of gas in 40K miles? Don’t think so. Can it get 100mpge while it is doing 8.8 sec in 0-60mph? No. Does it have decent handling and braking? No.

        Time for Prius defenders to wake to the new technology called “plugins”…

        Also, didn’t you know that some of the old Prius owners already tried to make the plugin Prius before Toyota offered them?

  3. pete g says:

    Has no one seen Prius sales. I expect Greg Luganis to comment on how spectacular the dive is. Prius sedan sales are off 16% this year. The Plug-in is the only Prius that has growing sales, and alot of people have argued thats due to California’s HOV stickers.

    1. william edwards says:

      The PiP would be selling in much greater volume if Toyota would:

      1. Make more of them
      2. Sell them in all 50 states