The all-new Kia Niro lead the pack in the Automotive Science Group’s (ASG) 2018 Automotive Performance Index™ (API), demonstrating the advanced capabilities of Hyundai’s new crossover hybrid platform. With an EPA estimated 50 MPG combined (52 city/48 hwy/50 combined), the Niro outperforms competitors in class by an average 24 MPG combined, revealing new capabilities for fuel economy gains and reduced fuel costs in the crossover segment, earning ASG’s Best All-Around Performance Crossover of 2018 Award.

ASG’s all-around performance analysis is a comprehensive data-driven assessment, analyzing economic, environmental and social performance indicators across a vehicle’s life-cycle, and in relative comparison to all 374 crossovers assessed in ASG’s 2018 study.

The Niro also earned a class leading economic performance rating, outperforming all vehicles in its segment, and earning ASG’s 2018 Best Economic Performance Award in class. ASG found the Niro to cost 28% less to purchase and operate in the first 6.5 years of its life-cycle, when compared to the average vehicle in the compact crossover class. The Niro lead notable competitors including the Jeep Renegade with a 7% advantage, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport by 8% and the Nissan Rogue Sport and Subaru Crosstrek by 9% and 11% respectively.

ASG found the 2018 Niro to offer the best value in class, and across its life-cycle.

The Kia Niro leverages an efficient 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine to deliver unparalleled fuel efficiency in the crossover segment, with hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric powertrain options. In fact, the Niro plug-in, with 26 miles of electric range and an EPA estimated 105 MPG-e, has the smallest carbon footprint of all model year 2018 crossovers, earning ASG’s Best Environmental Performance Award. The Niro’s industry leading fuel economy translates to reduced environmental footprint, increased operational efficiency and reduced life-cycle operating costs.

To this end, the Kia Niro establishes a new benchmark for performance and value, earning ASG’s distinguished honors in 2018.

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The Automotive Performance Index (API) applies statistical methods to demonstrate each vehicle rating in relative comparison. For example, the vehicle that performs highest in environment performance in a given class obtains a rating score of 100. Each vehicle in its class is then compared relative to the top-performing vehicle with a rating score reflecting the statistical difference in performance outcomes. A score of 91 translates to a 9% environmental performance deficit as compared to the top-performing vehicle.  

Due to the API’s relative vehicle rating method, vehicle class divisions were identified as a critical input - these class divisions are detailed here.

While the Automotive Performance Index is indeed an exhaustive list of vehicles to trim level detail, with each vehicle assessment reporting over 200 unique data outputs (the culmination of thousands of data inputs), ASG has taken additional measures to ease the burden of sorting through all data points and all vehicle assessments. We have developed key performance categories and sorted all vehicles in each class according to Environmental Performance, Social Performance, Economic Performance and All-Around Performance. The vehicle in each class with the best score in each unique category is named the performance award winner (i.e. Best Environmental Performance Award winner). The vehicle in each class that scores highest combined scores in Environmental Performance, Social Performance and Economic Performance is named the ASG Best All-Around Performance Award winner.

One step further, we also name the Best 5 All-Around Performance Award winners in each class to provide consumers with a concise product comparison guide.