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Hybrid Kia Niro sets consumption world record

Green machine: The world record-setting Kia Niro managed fuel consumption figures of 76.6 miles per gallon, or 3.07 litres per 100km, on its journey from the west to east coast of the US.

2017 Kia Niro drives from LA to New York on four tanks of fuel

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Kia logo19 Dec 2016

THE yet-to-be-released Kia Niro crossover has claimed the Guinness world record for lowest fuel consumption in a hybrid vehicle, achieving 76.6 miles per gallon, or 3.09 litres per 100km, as it drove coast-to-coast across the USA.

The exercise, designed to flex the mid-size crossovers environmentally friendly muscles, saw the Niro consume only 183.6 litres (4.1 tanks) of fuel on the 5979.4km journey from Los Angeles to New York City.

The Niro’s hybrid powertrain combines a 76kW 1.6-litre petrol engine with a 32kW electric motor and 1.6kWh lithium-ion battery for a combined power output of 108kW/264Nm.

Interestingly, fuel use for the Niro is rated at 4.7L/100km, despite using a litre and a half less than that in its world record attempt.

Revealed earlier this year at the Chicago Auto Show, it remains unlikely the Niro will arrive in Australia given its sizing puts it in between the Sportage mid-size crossover and Sorento large SUV, a gap that Kia Motors Australia (KMAu) is not desperate to fill.

Speaking to GoAuto in February following the Niro’s reveal, KMAu media and corporate communications manager Kevin Hepworth said the size of the Niro combined with no internal-combustion engine option made it a tricky proposition for Australia.

“This is not a derivative of the Niro Concept which was a small urban SUV,” he said.

“This is a somewhat larger car, I think it's a little larger than Sportage so I'm not quite sure where it's going to fit.

“There's no indication that car (Niro) is a right-hand drive at the moment and also it is hybrid only, there's no internal combustion option for it, which makes it more difficult with us. We certainly don't discount these things because the way the industry changes, its worth having a look.” The Niro name was originally used by Kia to tease a compact SUV concept, a booming segment which Kia currently has no contender in.

For the Niro to come to Australia, Mr Hepworth said a high demand and strong sales case would need to be made, which he indicated is simply not there.

“It's still under consideration but the market has to justify it,” he said. “We can't support cars that won’t sell.”

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