Three Exciting Debuts for Kia at the Chicago Auto Show

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support! For more information, please visit our Privacy Policy.

Kia Motors America (KMA) unveiled three all-new fuel efficient designs to the brand’s growing line-up of eco-friendly vehicles today at the Chicago Auto Show, including the all-new 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle, the 2017 Optima Hybrid, and the all new 2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid. 

“Kia is pursuing a bold initiative to increase fuel efficiency by 25 percent across our entire model line-up by 2020, and new models like the Optima HEV and PHEV will be critical to realizing that vision,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning, KMA. “The brand’s commitment to sustainability, coupled with our history of delivering premium amenities and value, has never been more evident than in these all-new hybrid vehicles, which are world-class examples of green engineering, advanced technology and design.”

2017 Niro
2017 Niro

The All New 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle

This year Kia used the International Auto Show in Chicago as it’s stage to debut the all-new 2017 Niro Hybrid Utility Vehicle (HUV). Introduced under their environmentally friendly sub-brand, Kia Motors EcoDynamics, this subcompact CUV is the first to make use an of all-new, dedicated eco-car platform. 

The 2017 Kia Niro also features the all new Eco-DAS1 (Driver Assistance System) features Kia’s first application of Coasting Guide and Predictive Energy Control. Predictive Energy Control uses the navigation system and cruise control to anticipate topographical changes in an effort to determine when it’s best to expend stored energy to optimize overall efficiency. Meanwhile, Coasting Guide coaches the driver to maximize fuel economy.

Everything about the Niro aims to shout “Un-Hybrid” with a strong utility-esque design, Kia’s signature grille and aggressively styled front end. Combined with rocker cladding, roof rails, and rear skid plate it all  contributes to a sporty that draws inspiration from its concept design.  Inside it boast many of the tech features we love from the Kia brand including the newest version of Kia’s award-winning infotainment system: UVO3 complete with Apple CarPlay and UVO eServices. 

The subcompact CUV market continues to be one of the fastest-growing segments and Kia just debuted a top contender. 

2017 Optima Plug-In Hybrid
2017 Optima Plug-In Hybrid

The 2017 Kia Optima Plug-In Hybrid

A host of new technologies and features in the Kia Optima PHEV, including a more powerful hybrid engine, a smarter and more robust telematics system, exterior design enhancements, and greater interior refinement, all combine to deliver a superior hybrid drive experience. 

The all-new 2017 Optima Plug-in Hybrid is crafted with many of the same luxurious appointments of its gas-powered sibling including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning System and Front Collision Warning System. Additionally, like the Kia Niro, the PHEV also features the all-new Eco-DAS system.

HowEVer, with an estimated 600 miles of total driving range, the Optima PHEV’s next-generation battery system features a 9.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, produces roughly 60 percent more energy output than the battery pack found in the outgoing Optima’s hybrid system, and is estimated to achieve 27 miles in full EV mode! 

It also features an efficient 2.0 liter, four-cylinder Gasoline Direct Injection engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission pushing the Optima PHEV into a class leading 154hp at 6,000 rpms. 

The Optima Plug-in Hybrid, available in one trim, EX,  is expected to go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year. 

2017 Optima Hybrid
2017 Optima Hybrid

The 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid

In many ways, the new Kia Optima Hybrid is incredibly similar to the gas powered version but in their quest for a more environmentally friendly vehicle, the new hybrid offers design features that differentiate it from the gas-powered models for a good cause.n active grille, which automatically opens and closes at high and low speeds, the Hybrid is able to improve aerodynamics while optimizing engine bay cooling.  Numerous other styling differences include a model-specific front air curtain, a beveled rear bumper, a rear diffuser designed to streamline airflow by shrouding the exhaust tip, and an aerodynamic

At the root of these differences lays aerodynamics. For starters, the active grille automatically opens and closes at high and low speeds to improve aerodynamics while optimizing engine bay cooling.  Other differences aiming to make a more aerodynamic vehicle include a model-specific front air curtain, a beveled rear bumper, a rear diffuser designed to streamline airflow by shrouding the exhaust tip, and an aerodynamic alloy-wheel design.  Inside the Optima Hybrid boast a 13 percent increase in its battery pack capacity, 10 percent increase in fuel economy and a received battery configuration allowing for larger cargo space. 

25 thoughts on “Three Exciting Debuts for Kia at the Chicago Auto Show”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.