Kia has only one real competitor in the current crossover market, the Sportage. The 2017 Kia Niro will change that, based on a small-size crossover concept model called the KX3, a car which had a real chance to be built, but they didn’t went through with it. The automaker announced that they are going to release this compact crossover, similar in size to the Soul, on the US and European markets.
Exterior and Interior Design, Platform
It is unclear for now what type of platform the new 2017 Kia Niro is going to feature, but considering its actual size, the car might in fact ride on a smaller version of the one found in the Sportage. This would allow the manufacturer to offer the car both in front and all wheel drive configurations, as well as make it cheaper than if they had to build a specifically designed platform.
The exterior of the production car is currently unknown, but if we had to take a guess then the camouflaged model gives us quite a few hints. (Spy shots can be seen after the article.) Firstly, the front end is likely going to share its features with the KX3 Concept (photo below), while at the back the production model is going to be a bit more impressive with big taillights similar to those on the original Niro Concept. As standard the 2017 Kia Niro should ride on a set of 16-inch alloy wheels, while options are going to include different 16- and 17-inch alloys. We also heard some rumors that the LED daytime running lights are also going to be standard, but Xenon lights are only going to be offered as options.
On the inside, the 2017 Kia Niro is quite likely going to share a few things with the new generation Soul, mostly because the manufacturer wants to market the car at the younger people who need a roomy interior good for their friends and luggage, without having to make compromises on the tech or even the design of the car. The base model should be quite nicely equipped with a standard audio system with a couple of USB plugs that could charge phones or tablets, electric windows and mirrors, as well as the new funky seats and most of the instruments on the dashboard.
Engine, Specs, Performance
Engine wise, the 2017 Kia Niro is quite likely going to get the same engines as the Soul, meaning that the base model will make use of a 1.6L four-cylinder engine with direct injection, good for 140 horsepower, while as an option it will come with a 2-liter engine producing 164 horsepower. Both of them will be available either with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, as well as the front-wheel or all-wheel drive system. Unlike the Soul though, the Niro should also come with a higher performance engine, a turbocharged 1.6L inline-4 delivering up to 200 horsepower, which should be more than enough for a car aimed at the younger generation. A diesel will also be available, but unfortunately it will only be offered in Europe and certain parts of Asia.
2017 Kia Niro Release Date, Price
The crossover is most likely going to be introduced at the Frankfurt Auto Show and get ready to be sold by the start of 2016 in Europe, North America and some Asian countries. The base price has not been announced yet, but it will probably be set under $20,000, so the new 2017 Kia Niro has a real chance at becoming successful.
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