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2017 Kia Niro Touring

1.6-liter four-cylinder mixed with electrical motor (139 horsepower; 195 lb-ft)

Six-speed computerized, front-wheel drive

46 metropolis / 40 freeway / 43 mixed (EPA Score, MPG)

5.1 metropolis / 5.eight freeway / 5.four mixed. (NRCan Score, L/100km)

Base Value: $30,545 (U.S) / $34,735 (Canada)

As Examined: $32,575 (U.S.) / $34,735 (Canada)

Costs embrace $895 vacation spot cost in the USA and $1,740 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, due to cross-border tools variations, can’t be straight in contrast.

Exterior of maybe its entrance styling – particularly the marginally bug-eyed headlamps and the pinched grille – the Kia Niro doesn’t actually stand out in a crowd.

It’s quiet, due to a hybrid powertrain. It’s compact in size and top. It has a driving expertise that isn’t memorable in methods good or unhealthy.

And none of that previous paragraph is supposed as an insult.

Generally calling a automobile “boring” is a bit like saying the mistaken factor a few barfly’s mom – an invite to hassle (metaphorical bother, on this occasion, however bother nonetheless). Not on this case, although. As a lot as virtually everybody who writes about automobiles needs all the things we drove was sporty and sleek-looking, that’s not what most patrons need or want. Why else has Toyota bought Camrys and Corollas by the literal boatload, no matter any criticism from the automotive media?

Yeah, I do know, this level has been made earlier than – I’ve definitely written a variation of that earlier paragraph a number of occasions. Self-plagiarism apart, it’s value repeating as a result of it’s an apparent premise that nonetheless usually will get missed.

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Generally a automobile simply works. It does a number of issues properly, and it doesn’t matter if it’s entertaining or enjoyable or turns heads. That, in a nutshell, is the Niro.

All trim ranges have the identical powertrain: A 1.6-liter four-cylinder fuel engine that mates to an electrical motor for a complete system horsepower of 139, with a mixed torque determine of 195 lb-ft. That energy will get to the wheels by way of a six-speed computerized transmission. Simple sufficient.

Even with virtually 200 lb-ft of torque, the Niro feels a bit underpowered, and a three,000-pound-ish curb weight (it varies by trim) doesn’t assist. Plan your passing accordingly.

Kia has been accused prior to now of providing poor steering really feel, however the firm has proven enchancment, and that’s the case right here. Whereas there are crossovers on the market with higher, extra dynamic steering, the Niro’s unit is at the least partaking sufficient. There’s no numbness or extreme lightness.

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Experience is nice, and dealing with is simply sporty sufficient (it’s not all boredom spherical these right here elements). Once more, a extra partaking character can be good, however the Niro doesn’t appear to want it.

That’s partially as a result of, character apart, my take a look at Niro got here in Touring trim — the mannequin’s prime trim degree. As such, it arrived with options like heated entrance seats, heated steering wheel, nav, Bluetooth, UVO infotainment, satellite tv for pc radio, leather-based seats – the standard when one asks for “the works.” An choice bundle added forward-collision warning, sensible cruise management, autonomous emergency braking, and lane-departure warning.

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The “it simply works” theme carries over to the within. The radio has quantity and tuner knobs in simply the best place, the local weather controls are easy and simple (in addition to simply reached), and the touchscreen is intuitive and switches menus shortly. Graphically, it’s simple to learn.

The USB port is in a handy place, simply fore of a small storage space and the cupholders. Nothing is fancy right here, however all the things is within the place the place you’d count on it to be.

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Rear-seat room is a tad tight, however legroom is class-competitive and headroom is barely bested by the Ford C-Max. My tall body was fully comfy up entrance.

A nagging query bugged me throughout my total time within the automobile – is the Niro a crossover or a wagon? The TTAC editorial employees was cut up. It doesn’t essentially appear to be a wagon – the cargo space is just too truncated. However in some methods, it looks like one. That’s additionally not an insult, by the way in which.

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Yeah, Kia will promote it as a CUV, and as famous, the editorial braintrust is cut up on whether or not it’s a wagon or not. To me, it has the identical qualities that make small wagons interesting to so many.

No matter it’s, it has so much going for it. Other than a scarcity of punch and so-so steering, it’s not disappointing to drive. It’s not a looker, per se, but it surely’s not ugly – and to be honest, my tester got here painted in a barely pedestrian shade of blue. I’ve seen Niros with the crimson paint job which have extra aptitude (sorry, Mike Choose).

I do know, I do know, a well-packaged automobile isn’t probably the most thrilling factor on the earth. However that’s the purpose. There’s so much to love concerning the Niro, together with fuel-economy scores of 46 mpg metropolis/40 mpg freeway. It’s a bundle that simply works.

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That stated, the sticker value for the Touring trim I examined reached $32,575, and that takes a few of the shine off.

In the event you don’t want all of the bells and whistles, you will get a LX or EX trim for a bit much less cash. That may provide you with good worth for a fuel-efficient every day driver that does a number of issues properly.

Not attractive, positive. Nevertheless it doesn’t matter – you’ll be spending your power determining for those who personal a wagon or a crossover, and that’s a debate that’s positive to by no means bore you.

[Images: © 2017 Tim Healey/The Truth About Cars]

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