2018 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid from a Test Drive Perspective

While the electric vehicles are still evolving, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid is already way ahead of the times with a bold Hybrid version. The 2018 Niro Plug-in that comes in three exciting trims, the base LX, EX and EX-Premium, can be placed easily into the Hybrid-Crossover category as it offers ultimate convenience of both with its spacious interiors and perky power train like a sports vehicle which is what needs to be seen from a test drive perspective collected from a consumer of Kia Temecula dealer..


Before stepping in and stepping on the pedal, first impression from outside is of a midsize crossover with aerodynamic appeal. You are bound to notice the sophisticated front grill and well laid out front facia with LED Headlights wrapping around and slightly upturned making it look sleek, cool and upscale. The solid build is also a deviation from its close electric vehicle competitors as most EVs are made from light materials to reduce the curb weight. To address any drag issues air vents are strategically placed beside the front bumper to allow air to pass through reducing friction.


On boarding the Nero Plug-in, you will be surprised with the amount of space that complements this hybrid. Climbing on to the driver’s seat you are greeted by a leather wrapped steering and gear shift knob that’s supposed to be standard on all the trims. The diver’s seat is 4-way adjustable and the dashboard is high tech and well connected with Kia’s UVO infotainment system that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto accessible on the 7-inch color touch screen display. The rear features 60/40 folding seats which are also standard on all the trims and expose a decent cargo space.More technical features include a smart key system with pushbutton start and immobilizer and ranges into a Supervision Meter Cluster that can switch between analog and digital displays in the higher trims.

Driving Performance

The Plug-in is fitted with a 1.6 L 4-cylinder engine with Full Parallel Hybrid System that can run on both gas and electric modes delivering 104 hp with 109lb-ft of torque. Ride quality in the gasoline mode was quiet and smooth which can be attributed to the 16-valve DOHC with Dual CVVT. Switching to the all-electric mode with the push of a button reduced makes not much of a noticeable difference in the performance as the AC Synchronous Permanent Magnet ElectricMotor delivers a decent 60hp with increased 125lb-ft of torque which is quite decent for electric vehicles.


The Temecula Kia dealer shared with us a few noticeable safety features such as a rear-view camera that makes you immediately feel secure and as you effortlessly clamber uphill without rolling back, you realize that the advanced hill assist has kicked in the moment you played with the brakes. There are a ton of other safety equipment and features that are there to protect you.


With a huge array of convenience, technology and safety features incorporated into the Kia Nero Plug-in Hybrid, it entices you to lay your hands on it and take it for a drive and be part of the electric revolution.a

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