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Kia Niro sets new world record for lowest gas consumption

Kia Niro sets new world record for lowest gas consumption

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The Kia Niro has just set a new world record for the lowest hybrid fuel consumption after driving across the USA from coast to coast. The new Kia did the entire 3,715 mile journey on just 48.5 gallons of gas, or 4.1 tanks worth. That’s an average of 76.6 MPG.

The achievement is impressive. Not only that someone would actually want to drive across the country in one go but they would trust a new hybrid vehicle to do it in. The new Kia Niro is an impressive car though so it was a good choice.

The journey began at Los Angeles City Hall and finished at New York City Hall and was undertaken in a Niro EX hybrid. It uses a 1.6-litre engine along with an electric motor, a dual clutch transmission and lithium-ion batteries to generate motion. For a total of 146 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, the compact SUV uses a six speed automatic transmission to send power to the front wheels.

The Kia Niro had an EPA estimate of 49 MPG but achieved 76.6 MPG in this test. While the attempt used hypermiling techniques that few of us will ever use in real life, it does show what is possible when the conditions are right.

2017 Kia Niro
While I called the Niro a compact SUV, Kia actually calls it a ‘hybrid utility vehicle’. Essentially it’s a small SUV with front wheel drive and a slightly higher ride height. It looks good though. Rounded edges, a friendly profile and an upright stance. The tiger nose is present, as are the now ubiquitous angled headlights. Ground clearance is higher than usual, hence the ‘HUV’ moniker.

Inside, the 2017 Kia Niro is light and spacious. A good driving position with great visibility all round and a comfortable seat get things off to a great start. A simple dashboard with tidy instruments, a 7 inch touchscreen and nice materials are set the scene nicely.

It’s spacious too, with room for five with cargo space in back. The batteries for the motor are stored under the rear seats but manage to not compromise legroom or comfort at all. Behind the rear seats is around 25.5 cubic feet of space for groceries or family stuff.

The 1.6-litre Kappa engine is a known quantity but not so much in hybrid guise. That’s why Kia tried for this record. With so many automakers bringing out hybrid models, an entirely new entrant needs to justify itself from the off. With this new world record, I think the Niro has done that.

The 2017 Kia Niro will be released sometime in early 2017. Keep an eye on Georgetown Kia, 199 and 314 Guelph Street, Georgetown, Ontario for details.

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