Since gas prices are so high these days, the Kia Niro would be your best option. As the excellent fuel efficiency of 20.8 km/ℓ shows, the Niro has established itself as an eco-friendly SUV boasting the best fuel efficiency in its class. But the advantage of the Niro isn’t just its high fuel economy; Showcasing the new generation in 5 years since its first generation, Niro features excellent performance and efficiency. In addition, it provides a design that maximizes practicality and various advanced specifications optimized for convenience and safety.
This versatility is one of the core values of Niro. While it has a clear goal of being an ‘eco-friendly family SUV,’ it has built up the elements that consumers want for the latest SUVs. Now all that is left is to know exactly what Niro is and how to use it properly. Here are the details of how to fully use Niro.
When it comes to Niro, what you can’t miss is the high fuel efficiency. The Niro, equipped with a high-efficiency hybrid powertrain, always boasts fuel efficiency that exceeds expectations. And it would be even more unimaginable if you could drive this in the right way; Perhaps you will be surprised once you figure out its best fuel economy. The key to fuel-efficient driving is reducing unnecessary acceleration and deceleration. It maintains an appropriate distance between vehicles, increases speed smoothly, maintains kinetic energy, and runs steadily; and the story is the same with hybrid cars.
Of course, fuel economy driving in the city has many limitations; a driver cannot control other cars or traffic lights that change suddenly. It is enough to understand the flow of all these in advance and avoid unnecessary lane changes. But don’t worry too much. Thanks to Niro’s high-efficiency powertrain and clever hybrid system logic, the fuel economy can be enhanced in any situation.
The Niro’s drive mode consists of Eco and Sport. In city driving, it is recommended to drive in Eco mode to take full advantage of the Niro’s driving ability. This is because the Niro maintains efficient driving by constantly switching between electric and hybrid driving depending on driving conditions. The driver can actively intervene and contribute to fuel-efficient driving. Even more efficient driving is possible by directly controlling the strength of regenerative braking by using a small paddle shift attached to the back of the steering wheel.
For reference, the role of Niro’s paddle-shift changes depending on the driving mode. Eco mode controls the strength of regenerative braking, and in Sport mode, it is responsible for manual shifting like a typical internal combustion engine car. The intensity of the regenerative braking is in three stages, and the more you pull the ‘–’ paddle, the stronger it gets. If the vehicle is driven in a section with frequent congestion, the 3rd stage of regenerative braking can be used to maximize the battery charge when decelerating. You can also enter ‘complete stop’ mode by pulling the ‘–’ paddle for a long time. In full-stop mode, the regenerative braking ‘MAX’ symbol is displayed on the cluster, and it is possible to stop without pushing the brake pedal.
Conversely, pushing the ‘+’ paddle for a long time enters the regenerative braking ‘AUTO’ mode. In AUTO mode, the regenerative braking intensity gets changed automatically by reflecting the vehicle’s navigation information and driving information, such as the front sensor. Also, in AUTO mode, you can set the default regenerative braking by pulling the +/– paddle shift.
One of the most welcoming changes in the new Niro is the wider interior space. The current Niro also provided a large space as a family car-oriented crossover, but the new Niro applied a tough and sophisticated SUV style, and the interior space was also wider. The body is 65mm longer and 20mm wider than the current Niro (first generation), and in proportion to the larger body, the first-row legroom and headroom have been expanded by 12mm and 10mm, respectively.
The spacious interior of the Niro allows more freedom in seat arrangement - the passenger seat housing the relaxation comfort seat, for example. This offers a zero-gravity position just by simply pressing a button, and passengers can rest in a comfortable position. In addition, the second-row seats include a reclining function, which is one of the essential virtues of a family SUV. Niro’s reclining seat - offering two adjustable positions - provides a more comfortable environment for long-distance travel.
The unique value of the Niro lies in various storage spaces. For example, Niro’s cup holder connected to the center console storage box can change its shape. If you push the holder, you can use the space to the maximum to store your belongings, such as a camera or a small bag, and this convenient cup holder is available anytime when you simply press a button.
In addition, Niro’s seatback boasts a neat design, which is beautiful to look at and useful. The slim-designed seat provides spacious second-row legroom, and the hanger-type seat bag is perfect for hanging a jacket or bag.
Meanwhile, the trunk space of the new Niro is 451 liters, 15 liters more than the existing Niro. The 12V battery and high-voltage battery are mounted under the second row of seats to maximize the cargo space. In addition, when the second-row seats are folded, the space utilization is further increased by the configuration (full-flat) equal to the height of the trunk floor. With ample storage space and flexible expandability, Niro is enough for a family trip, camping, car camping, fishing, and other activities.
As is well known, eco-friendliness is what represents Kia Niro. The Niro is Kia’s flagship eco-friendly SUV, focusing on eco-friendliness from the manufacturing to the driving process. In particular, the second-generation green zone drive mode applied to the new Niro is a driving function that helps anyone easily experience eco-friendly driving. Based on navigation information, it activates the electric motor when entering school zones, dense residential areas, and large hospitals to increase efficiency and minimize air pollution.
The green zone drive mode is also simple to use. If you activate the Green Zone Drive mode in the eco-friendly settings in the infotainment system, the Niro recognizes the green zone and continues EV driving. In addition, the Green Zone Drive mode is activated near your home or office that is registered in the navigation database. In fact, the ‘Green Zone’ symbol appeared more often on the cluster during the test drive. Niro only drove on an electric motor near a school or in an underground parking lot of an apartment building, and it moved quietly without emitting exhaust gases.
Niro’s efforts towards eco-friendliness do not stop with driving. The Niro housed eco-friendly materials all over the cabin, especially where the passengers frequently touch and look. For example, the headlining of the Niro was made using recycled PET, and the bio-artificial leather made from eucalyptus vegetable was used for the seat. In addition, eco-friendly paint is used for the window switch panel to reduce environmental pollution and the emission of harmful substances. In this way, the interior of Niro - finished with eco-friendly materials - provides satisfaction to customers with its stylish design and excellent quality.
The Niro has evolved into an ideal eco-friendly family SUV throughout generations - not to mention the hybrid system with high efficiency in the city center and substantial practicality resulting from the spacious interior. Convenience features and advanced safety equipment suitable for a family car are so diverse that it is difficult to introduce them one by one. From fuel-efficient driving to customer-friendly features, the Niro is a car that gets more attractive the more you know it.
photography by Beom-Seok Kim
HMG Journal Operation Teamgroup@hyundai.com
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