Both models will go on sale later this year.

Kia’s hybrid offerings have officially expanded. The company unveiled its latest efforts at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, featuring plug-in versions of the Niro compact crossover and Optima Sportwagon. Both models will be covered by Kia’s 7-year / 100,000-mile warranty, which does include the lithium-ion battery packs. That could offer some reassurance to hybrid shoppers who are interested in Kia but concerned over the brand’s limited history in the hybrid genre.

 

2018 Kia Niro

 

The Niro plug-in hybrid retains the 1.6-litre, 104hp petrol engine from the standard model but jumps up to an 8.9kWh, high-capacity lithium-ion battery pack. Kia says the Niro should be good for an all-electric range of more than 34 miles, depending of course on speed and a variety of other power-use factors.

Kia is keen to point out the plug-in Niro is available with an optional towing package – something not usually seen on hybrid vehicles – which can accommodate loads up to 1,270kg provided the trailer has brakes of its own. A new Eco Driving Assistant System (dubbed Eco DAS by Kia) helps drivers get the most from their Niro by offering “intelligent guidance” on getting the most efficiency in various driving conditions.

The Optima Sportswagon plug-in hybrid combines a 2.0-litre four-pot petrol engine with an 11.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack powering an electric motor, all packaged efficiently beneath the SW’s attractive skin. Total combined output is 202hp, and although the official range hasn't been announced, Kia has said it's targeting an electric-only distance of 38 miles at 75mph.

Compared to the standard wagon, the plug-in hybrid components have virtually no impact on passenger or cargo space. 439 litres is available in the back with the rear seats upright, and despite the battery pack beneath the floor, the rear seats will fold completely flat to reveal 1,575 litres of total cargo space.

Both the Niro and Optima Sportswagon offer plenty of kit, including a touchscreen infotainment system that monitors the hybrid system to show total range and nearby charging stations. Both models are expected to go on sale in the third quarter of 2017.

Source: Kia 

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