If one trend defines the last few years in the American automotive industry, it’s the rise of the crossover. People who find themselves trying to do a little bit of everything are enamored with cars designed to perform the same balancing act, and a quick glance in your rear view mirror will tell much the same story as a quarterly sales report: crossovers are everywhere, and they’re here to stay.
Yet growth in any segment these days is dependent on another reality that won’t be leaving any time soon: federal emissions and fuel economy standards. Most crossovers sip gas compared to their burlier sports-utility cousins, but it’s hard to beat hybrids for the fuel-efficient crown. Kia, a company that is no stranger to the power of the crossover, has never brought a standalone hybrid to market.
All that is about to change with the upcoming Kia Niro, a hybrid crossover that can perform all the tasks that sedate, mild-mannered crossovers pride themselves on while giving the Prius a run for its money at the pump.
And as if that wasn’t enough, you’d be hard pressed to find another crossover or hybrid that looks quite as nice; the Niro wears Kia’s signature tiger-nose grille with some serious style, and seems to blend design cues from the recently redesigned Sportage and from the highly-coveted Optima Sportswagon, which is so far only available in Europe.
So whether you’re looking for a commuter, a family mover, a camping trip car, or just a really wonderful vehicle, the Niro looks ready to meet your needs. Kia is calling it the “un-hybrid,” as its elevated seating position, spacious interior, and elegant styling aren’t what you’d typically associate with a vehicle that will net in the neighborhood of 50 mpg combined.
So if you love your hybrid but don’t love its styling, or if you love your crossover but don’t love its fuel efficiency, Kia feels it has exactly what you’re looking for in the works. We will be sure to post more information as soon as we hear more!