SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – Kia Motors unveiled its first hybrid subcompact sports utility vehicle “Niro” at the Chicago Auto Show on Thursday, the company said.
The Niro is the first South Korean-made “green” SUV. Its name was coined by combining the words “near zero” emissions and “hero.” Niro’s concept was first presented at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show and its “teaser” image was unveiled at the North American International Auto Show last month.
“The Niro hits the sweet spot by offering the best combination of outstanding mpg, an engaging driving experience, utility, and most importantly, a stunning design that doesn’t shout ‘hybrid,’” said Orth Hedrick, vice president of product planning at Kia Motors America.
“The subcompact CUV (crossover utility vehicle) market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the world, and the Niro offers a uniquely alluring yet practical package that consumers haven’t seen before,” he said in a statement.
The Niro comes with both a 105-horsepower, 1.6-liter gasoline engine and a 43.5-horsepower electric motor. It boasts fuel economy of 50 miles per gallon, which translates into about 21.5 kilometers per liter.
Kia said it plans to sell about 65,000 units of the Niro at home and abroad annually.