SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — Kia Motors Corp.’s Niro has been named Green Car Journal’s 2018 top sport utility vehicle (SUV) of the Year in the United States, the company said Thursday.
The Niro crossover, which went on sale early last year, beat rivals from Chevrolet, Mini and Volvo for the “Green SUV” title as consumers sought a hybrid offering crossover utility and attractive looks, Kia Motors said in a statement.
“The Kia Niro impresses on many levels with its appealing style, functionality and features,” Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and GreenCarJournal.com, said in the statement.
What’s equally important is its hybrid powertrain and affordable price point, he added, a combination that makes the Niro accessible to a great many buyers who wish to drive with a smaller environmental footprint.
According to the company, the Niro, launched in South Korea in March, 2016, is available in two versions — a 1.6-liter gasoline hybrid model and a plug-in hybrid model.
Kia sold a total of 84,787 Niro models in South Korea, Europe and the United States last year. In the previous year, 28,122 Niros were sold in Korea and Europe, it said, but the model had not yet arrived in the U.S.