In 2016, Kia ranked highest among all brands in the J.D. Power 2016 Initial Quality Study and the brand shows no signs of slowing down in quality or variety of vehicles in 2017. This year, Kia is expected to release four new models, the Kia Stinger, Kia Optima PHEV, Kia Optima Hybrid and Kia Niro, all of which are unique and impressive.
Three of the four models are being introduced under the Kia Motors EcoDynamics environmentally friendly sub-brand. The new sub-brand has pledged to increase fuel efficiency on the entire lineup by 25 percent by 2020 and these three new models are a great start. But, Kia’s eco-friendly motives doesn’t mean the company is going to sacrifice power or speed from the lineup and that may be part of the reason for their most recent debut of the Kia Stinger.
Inspired by the Kia GT concept, Kia Stinger has been a long time coming and it was finally revealed at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. At the show, the all-new Kia Stinger was given the EyesOn Design award for Production Car Design Excellence and we expect that to be the first of many accolades because it seems to have captured the attention of consumers and automakers.
Expanding on Kia’s tasteful lineup of SUVs, CUVs, hybrids and a variety of sedans, the all-new Stinger is a true gran turismo that will definitely spice things up. Equipped with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Theta II engine or the available 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 Lambda II engine, the Kia Stinger will be fast and powerful. The 2.0L engine produces 255 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, whereas the 3.3L engine will smoke its competition with its 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque.
Designed with performance in mind, the Kia Stinger has a very sleek exterior and a luxurious interior. It will offer drivers the power of a sports car, but the convenience of comfort and space. Though sporting a much more refined racy look, to keep the Stinger looking like a member of Kia’s athletic and sophisticated lineup, it is equipped with Kia’s signature “tiger-nose” grille other classic Kia features. The 2018 Kia Stinger is set to go on sale in late 2017.
On the other end of the auto spectrum is the all-new Kia Niro. Unlike the sporty fastback sedan, the Kia Niro is a hybrid crossover. Built with convenience and practicality in mind, the new Niro will offer consumers space, versatility and fuel efficiency in one of the auto industry’s fastest growing segments, crossovers and SUVs.
The new Niro is a hybrid powered by a 1.6-liter GDI four-cylinder engine that works with an electric motor that is powered by a 1.56 kWh lithium ion polymer battery. Energy is transferred to the Niro’s front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Together, the engine, transmission and motor create a total of 193 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
The Niro lives up to its fuel efficient hype as it has a fuel economy of 52 mpg in the city and 49 mpg on the highway. Typical of hybrids, the Niro has a regenerative braking system that recycles the remaining energy used for braking and puts it back into the vehicle’s battery. This system is what gives the Niro a better fuel economy in the city because the brakes are being used more frequently.
The Niro will be released in early 2017 and there are plans to add a plug-in hybrid powertrain to the lineup.
In addition to the Kia Niro, Kia is adding two more fuel efficient cars, the Optima Hybrid and Optima PHEV. Both new models offer consumers the same comfort and style of the Optima and they also have a better fuel economy.
In comparison to the Kia Optima, the Kia Optima Hybrid has a 10 percent increase in fuel economy and still offers a great amount of power. The Optima Hybrid has a 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine and an electric motor and a 1.62 kWh lithium-polymer battery. The new Optima Hybrid has a fuel economy of 39 mpg in the highway and 46 mpg on the highway.
Going a step further is the all-new Kia Optima PHEV. The Optima PHEV is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that can be powered by its 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder GDI engine, its 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery and electric motor, or a hybrid of both. The Optima PHEV can travel up to 29 miles on pure electricity, meaning zero tailpipe emissions are released.
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