Kia hybrid cars Discover the hybrid Kia range and compare new, used, and leasing deals
Kia is a company that’s been progressing quickly over the last few years, and that applies to a variety of areas, including the quality of its engineering, the plushness of its interiors, and, of course, the rush towards electrification. Today, as well as a variety of excellent all-electric Kia models, Kia also offers a wide range of hybrid models for customers who aren’t quite ready to make that switch yet. Here, we take you through these models, what sort of hybrids they are, and why you should consider them.
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Kia hybrids: current models
Of Kia’s extensive range of models, four are currently available as a hybrid of some sort.
You won’t find a Kia Niro that’s not electrified in some way. The all-electric Niro sits at the top of the range, and a very good car it is, too, but below it are the self-charging-hybrid and plug-in-hybrid versions. Both combine a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor, channelling their power to the wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The self-charging hybrid has 141hp for very reasonable performance, and tops up its batteries by recycling energy that would otherwise be lost through deceleration. Replenishing the batteries in the 182hp plug-in version is rather self-explanatory, and it’ll roll on electric-only power for up to 40 miles on a full charge, according to official figures. Aside from the Niro’s hybrid credentials, you’ll enjoy a smart-looking car with a posh-feeling, spacious interior and good refinement, but you will have to put up with a smaller boot than in the Niro EV.
The Kia Xceed is only offered with two powertrain options in the UK, either a non-electrified 1.5-litre turbo petrol with 160hp, or a much more economical plug-in hybrid. The latter teams a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to give 141hp, while the 8.9kWh battery allows it to run solely on electric power for almost 30 miles, according to official figures. That helped the car achieve an official fuel economy figure of more than 200mpg. The Xceed has a more compliant suspension than other members of the Ceed family, making it a more comfortable car, and more pleasant as a result. It’s also impressively practical, well made and generously equipped.
The entry-level Kia Sportage 1.6 T-GDI 150 petrol with a manual gearbox isn’t a hybrid, but every other version is, to one degree or another. Specify that same engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox instead, then a 48-volt mild hybrid system is included as well - offering very minor efficiency benefits. Then there’s a full ‘self-charging’ hybrid version which has a total system output of 230hp, but more importantly, can run around on electric power alone for short bursts. The range-topping plug-hybrid, meanwhile, has a total power output of 265hp, and with a much larger 13.8kWh battery, it can achieve up to 43 miles of electric-only running. Overall, the Sportage is a really impressive family SUV, with a plush, roomy cabin, a large boot and plenty of creature comforts.
Aside from the entry-level diesel-engine version that’s terribly unfashionable these days (unless you’re a caravanner, that is), the Kia Sportage is available in two petrol-electric hybrid forms. These systems are the same self-charging hybrid and plug-in hybrid systems as found in the Sportage, and so work in much the same way. However, because the Sorento is a bigger, heavier car, these versions aren’t quite so quick, nor quite so efficient, compared with the equivalent Sportage. Where the Sorento has the edge, though, is with its size, seven seats and even plusher cabin, while the bigger car’s sharp styling means it looks every bit as good as its stablemate.
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