There is now a Plus version of the Kia Niro Hybrid for taxi and private hire drivers
When the taxi company Premier set out to look for a new vehicle for its fleet, it picked the Kia Niro Hybrid Plus.
The Niro Plus Hybrid is Kia’s first ‘purpose built vehicle’ made for fleet operators and has slightly different design cues from the standard Niro Hybrid (the last generation car; not the latest Niro Hybrid which is our Hybrid Car of 2022). It fulfils modern day business demands, which often can be a mixed bag of delivery and logistics services and people mover purposes, including ride hailing.
The Plus has an 80 mm heightened roofline and larger windows which improves interior ambience, load space, rear legroom and headroom. Ride height has been raised by 10 mm for comfort, giving a sort of Dakar look (perhaps an idea for a future Niro Off-Road version?). Boot space has also been specifically shaped to carry large loads, reportedly up to three large pieces of luggage in addition to one folded wheelchair.
Other fleet-friendly features include wider opening doors, assist handles on the B-pillar and rear aircon vents. There’s even wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for those PHV journeys where accessing the app is so essential.
Like the standard Niro Hybrid, the Plus also has a suite of active safety features (which helps to prevent collisions from occurring and passive safety features (which protects everyone on board in the event of an accident).
The Plus uses the same 1.6L, four cylinder direct injection engine and dual-clutch gearbox drivetrain as the standard Niro Hybrid which technically makes it a Cat A COE car. However, the Premier Niro Hybrid Plus taxis will use a Cat E COE as per all taxis.
We can expect to see more purpose built vehicle models from Kia, including the new Kia Niro Plus EV later this year; the brand seeing them to be an important part of future mobility.
Photos by James Wong
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