7 Design Features That Make the 2017 Kia Niro So Smart

Smart automotive design is more than just ornamental. It works to support the vehicle's mission, enhancing and improving functionality with every line, plane and curve.

The 2017 Kia Niro is an example of smart design in action. This hybrid crossover was created to serve your needs in several different ways. With EPA-estimated fuel economy of 43 mpg combined1 for the Touring trim level, the Niro is a satisfying choice for buyers seeking a smarter transportation solution. Many of us buy crossovers for their outstanding utility, and the Niro was also crafted to handle all kinds of hauling.

Finally, while shoppers love the fuel economy that hybrids can provide, many are turned off by the quirky sheet metal so often seen with these types of vehicles. The 2017 Kia Niro was designed to be an attractive alternative. Nothing about its appearance screams "hybrid," and it's an excellent choice for shoppers in search of a handsome crossover.

The Niro excels in both form and function, and it owes its success to its innovative design. Here are seven design features that help make the 2017 Kia Niro the smartest crossover on the market.

1. Stylish Sheet Metal
Many hybrids have a look that's polarizing and offbeat, but this isn't the case with the Kia Niro. "The Niro's sheet metal is a combination of strong and sleek," says Kia product planner Garrett Ono. Its assertive lines are inspired by the bold and modern look of passenger jets, and it all comes together to create a compact crossover with an assertive style all its own.

2. Lightweight Materials to Improve Fuel Efficiency and Ease of Use
In the Touring trim, the Niro gets an EPA-estimated 43 mpg combined,1 making it the most fuel-efficient crossover on the market.2 This feat didn't happen by accident. One of the design choices that helped the Niro achieve this result has to do with materials selection. For example, the Niro utilizes aluminum in its hood and tailgate. As a bonus, a lighter tailgate means easier opening and closing.

3. Strong and Light Core
The Kia Niro's platform has been specifically engineered to accommodate its gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain, using advanced high strength steel for a lighter-weight structure.

4. Stellar Aerodynamics
The Kia Niro features air vents placed before the front wheels to reduce aerodynamic drag. These vents create an air curtain that works to manage airflow around the wheels. The Niro also provides an active air flap in the lower grille that closes at higher speeds to reduce drag.

5. Just-Right Sizing for Nimbleness and Utility
Compact crossovers have gotten bigger in recent years, and many vehicles in this segment may be too unwieldy for people who are looking for a really nimble vehicle. On the other end of the spectrum, a subcompact crossover may be too small to offer the right amount of passenger and cargo space. The Kia Niro fits snugly in the middle of these two segments, sized to offer the maneuverability you want and the utility you need.

6. Cargo-Friendly Battery Placement
You want more space? The Kia Niro delivers. Its compact battery sits beneath the rear seat to help maximize cargo capacity.

7. Clever Concealed Storage
The Niro comes with an available storage compartment that's hidden beneath the cargo floor. This concealed space also increases the crossover's storage capacity. You also can add a sectioned storage tray that fits neatly within the storage space, allowing you to keep your stowed items efficiently organized.

Learn more about the 2017 Kia Niro.

1 Based on EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and your vehicle's condition. Niro EPA-estimated MPG city/highway/combined FE 52/49/50, LX 51/46/49, EX 51/46/49, Touring Launch 46/40/43, Touring 46/40/43. Quantities are limited. LX and EX trims expected to arrive at dealerships Spring 2017.
2 Niro Touring EPA fuel economy estimate 46 city/40 hwy/43 combined. Actual mileage will vary. Optional features shown. Comparisons based on 2016 and available 2017 crossovers as of February 2017, excluding electric and plug-in vehicles.

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