Plug-in Hybrids To Join Niro & Optima Sportswagon Range

As part of the Kia’s drive to reduce the average CO2 emissions of its range by 25 per cent, by 2020, based on 2014 figures Kia has added two new significant Plug-in Hybrids to its range. The Niro PHEV and Optima Sportswagon PHEV are to joins the Optima saloon PHEV and all-electric Soul EV.

The Niro PHEV crossover is priced at £27,995 on the road after taking into consideration the Government plug-in car grant of £2,500. With potential fuel economy of well over 200mpg and CO2 emissions of just 29g/km, the Niro PHEV is easily the Korean company’s most efficient car to feature a combustion engine ever.

The PHEV is a stand-alone model in the Niro line-up, based on the mid-range (grade 3) Niro parallel hybrid (with ADAP). Standard features include the latest connectivity and active safety technologies, including Kia Connected Services featuring TomTom, wireless smartphone charging, autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist. It also offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which, via pre-downloaded apps, link smartphones to navigation, music, hands-free calls and texts and voice recognition services.

The Niro PHEV is also equipped with a 4.2-inch colour TFT supervision cluster, a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors, roof rails, privacy glass on the rear windows and tailgate and LED tail lights and daytime running lights. It has special 16-inch alloy wheels with aerodynamic plastic covers, dual automatic air conditioning, an automatic windscreen de-fogging system, all-round electric windows and electrically adjustable folding door mirrors with LED indicators. A DAB radio, USB and AUX ports, a leather-covered steering wheel and gearshifter, black leather upholstery, chrome interior and exterior door handles, rain-sensing front wipers and an under-floor tray are also standard. The front seats and steering wheel are heated and there is eight-way power adjustment and powered lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat.

It is available in six colours, including optional Gravity Blue which is exclusive to the plug-in Niro. The standard paint colour is Rich Espresso, while other options are Clear White, Graphite, Midnight Black and White Pearl.

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The Optima Sportswagon PHEV

The stylish and spacious Optima Sportswagon will be sold as a single, highly specified stand-alone model priced at £32,645 after the Government’s plug-in car grant of £2,500.

As with the Optima saloon PHEV, the Sportswagon PHEV combines a 154bhp 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol engine with a 50kW (67bhp) electric motor. The motor replaces the torque converter in the smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. When working together, the combustion engine and electric motor generate 202bhp and 375Nm of torque.

A package of aerodynamic, styling and technology features contributes towards the Optima Sportswagon PHEV’s low CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. The most significant aerodynamic change is an active air flap grille which lowers the car’s drag co-efficient (Cd) to 0.28 when closed. Every small improvement in drag can have a significant effect on fuel consumption, especially at higher speeds. There are also uniquely profiled front and rear bumpers for the PHEV to reduce air turbulence.

Distinguishing features of the PHEV are blue-tinted headlights and chrome enhancements with a metallic blue finish on the lower front air grille, the ‘tiger-nose’ main grille and the side sills. There are ‘ECO plug-in’ badges on the front wings, while the recharging port for the batteries is housed in the left front wing.

Naturally, such a technologically advanced addition to the Optima family is available with a comprehensive range of connectivity and advanced driver assistance features, including an 8.0-inch touchscreen navigation system with European mapping.

The touchscreen features additional menus to help the driver achieve the maximum all-electric driving range. It provides valuable information on the status of the batteries, the location of nearby charging stations, energy use based on driving style and the mileage which can be expected from the energy remaining in the batteries.

The comprehensive standard specification of the Optima Sportswagon PHEV also includes 17-inch alloy wheels shod with 215/55 R17 tyres, LED daytime running lights and headlights – the latter with automatic levelling, welcome and follow-me-home lighting, black cloth and faux leather seats with eight-way power adjustment and four-way power lumbar adjustment on the driver’s side, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera integrated into the navigation screen, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, steering wheel mounted controls, all-round electric windows, cruise control with a speed limiter, remote central locking, an electronic parking brake and a 4.3-inch full-colour TFT (Thin Film Transistor) instrument cluster.

Electronic Stability Control and Vehicle Stability Management are standard. These automatically counter any loss of traction when cornering or setting off on surfaces with differing levels of grip from left to right. Hill-start Assist Control, which holds the car when setting off on inclines, is also standard.

In keeping with every Kia, the Niro PHEV and Optima Sportswagon PHEV comes with the company’s unique-in-the-UK seven-year or 100,000-mile warranty, subject to certain wear and tear conditions. The warranty is fully transferable should the car be sold before the time or mileage limits have been reached.

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