For Kia’s first dedicated hybrid model, the brand decided to not go after the Prius, like some other automakers have tried and instead it took a different route – a hybrid crossover. It’s actually quite smart, since Kia’s new subcompact crossover hasn’t arrived yet, the idea of a small hybrid crossover would easily check two boxes: One a fuel efficient hybrid and two a smaller crossover. Pull off the covers and what we have here is the 2017 Kia Niro – a fresh alternative to the conventional Prius. Did Kia succeed? Here are five of the best and worst things about the 2017 Kia Niro:
1Is it really a crossover?
Well since most small crossovers are simply lifted hatchbacks, the simple answer is yes. Does it really feel like a crossover? Not really. The exterior does have a few squared off elements that make it look a bit more suv – like, but at the end of the day it still feels like a hatchback or small wagon. It’s lower than other small crossovers, like the Honda HR-V and Chevy Trax, and its seat height is only about an inch taller than a typical sedan.
Marketing the Niro has a crossover, probably seemed like a great marketing idea, since buyers in the US are only starting to warm up to hatchbacks, but if you’re hoping for a real crossover hybrid, you should probably just check out the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.