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I received complimentary travel and lodging by Kia but a positive review was not required.
There’s a new hybrid on the block.
Early February I was treated to a epic trip to San Antonio, Texas to be part of the introduction of the brand new member of the Kia family, the Niro. I have always wanted to go to San Antonio and I wasn’t let down. The weather was awesome, the people were awesome and the hotel we stayed at, The Hotel Emma, made you feel like a million bucks. Honestly, I hope to make a trip back there soon. It was gorgeous. The river walk was amazing. There was a fantastic Library that served the BEST margarita’s and the entire place smelled heavenly, like a brick fireplace.
The highlight of my trip was getting to know the Niro. Before the Niro I wasn’t a fan of hybrids. I have driven others and I wasn’t impressed with the power. My cars need power. Think V6/V8 power. I need a great pickup in my cars, a smooth ride and a great wheelbase. I have been searching for a new car and I slowly came to realize a great wheelbase is a must. Illinois winters demand it. I want to feel like I am riding in a car but I also want the car to drive like a truck. I have definitely been leaning towards crossovers because of this.
Despite my doubts, I was impressed with Niro. We got to take it out for a cruise in San Antonio and I have to tell you, it corners like a dream. The pickup is amazing. It felt like you were driving a manual car due to the Dual Clutch, but it is most definitely a automatic. It’s a smooth ride and the seats are super comfortable. Normally driving hurts my back bad but I drove for quite awhile and my back didn’t even have a twinge.
So here’s what I learned on my trip about the Niro and Kia.
- Kia has gone from being ranked dead last in 2001 to #1 in 2016. Kia and Toyota are the only non-luxury brands ever to hold this spot.
- 2016 was an historic year with sales of over 647,ooo vehicles.
- They have plans to launch 20 all new or redesigned vehicles by 2020
- Kia is investing 12 billion dollars by 2018 to develop autonomous and green technologies
- Niro is a smarter kind of crossover. It was engineered from the ground up as a hybrid.
- It was designed to not compromise the combo of style, functionality and efficiency and I really think they achieved it.
- Niro is a world record holder – lowest consumption by a hybrid car driving coast to coast across the USA. It traveled 3,715 miles on 48.5 gallons of fuel (4.1 tanks)
- Did you see the Melissa McCarthy Super Bowl ad??? It was amazing. It pretty much said everything you need to know about the Niro.
What I loved about the car was that it was advanced, efficient, tough but sleek. It’s not a wagon. It definitely drives like a crossover and despite being lower to the ground, it really does have a smooth ride. I don’t gush about cars much but I really fell in love with this car. Especially the blue color ;-). It’s practical, roomy, has very responsive handling and has a fantastically cluttered dash. All the instruments make sense where they are which makes driving even easier. You’re not as distracted. Another thing I noticed was that the Niro has awesome hip points in the seat. It’s a small thing but if you have bursitis in your hips, you will notice. There was no pressure on my hips. As a mom who has to haul the kids around, I want my car to be comfortable for me. The 106 inch wheelbase makes the back seat roomier….hopefully that will help the fighting in the back seat. I also appreciated that the Niro had basically no blind spots and the ones that it did have were covered by the backup cameras. For all you non-Apple phone users you get and extra perk, a wireless phone charger! At $29,650 for the top of the line Touring Edition, it’s a good price. It’s made to be a normal car but give you that little taste of luxury, like heated seats that you normally have to pay extra for or don’t have the option in other economic cars. As a person who really wants to get rid of my fossil fuel cars, this car just speaks to me.
Everyone that works for Kia is amazing. The amount of care and effort the team puts into the brand is amazing. They truly are invested and love the company. As a thank you for us taking the time to come learn about Kia and the Niro they threw an amazingly fun carnival themed party for us.
We had Giant Operation, a shooting gallery, pig races and all sorts of fun to be had. I got to meet everyone involved with the Niro, chat with them and run around playing like a kid with my team.