All-Electric Kia Niro SUV Lands In South Korea

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But when will the U.S. and European versions arrive?

The Kia Niro is one of our favorite hybrid cars on the market. Combining the fuel efficiency of a Prius with looks that won't make young children cry, Kia currently sells two versions of the Niro: the hybrid, and the plug-in hybrid. Now the Korean automaker has just launched a third version for its home market: the Niro EV. As the name suggests, the Niro EV ditches the gas engine entirely in favor of a fully electric drivetrain. Much like its corporate cousin, the Hyundai Kona EV, the Niro EV looks like a great affordable option in the EV segment.

The Korean-spec Niro EV is available with two battery packs: 39.2 kWh, and 64 kWh, capable of a 150-mile and 236-mile range respectively. The Kona is able to travel a bit further (292 miles), but it isn't as large as the Niro. When the Niro EV is announced for the US market, it is expected to only be offered with the larger battery. Design wise, the Niro EV does have cues to set it apart from the hybrid and plug-in models. Since there is no engine up front to keep cool, the grille is more for show and houses a charging port. The design looks remarkably similar to the concept car that was shown off at CES.

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Kia hasn't announced pricing or availability yet, but the company says it has already received 5,000 orders for the Niro EV in Korea. Based on initial impressions, we'd say the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 have some real competition on the way.

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