I’m not much of a gambling man, but if I were, I’d have to think the 2017 Kia Niro is a pretty safe bet.

With a seemingly limitless ceiling on how many crossovers the market can bear, it’s all but guaranteed to sell based on body style alone. Add in fuel consumption that’s almost on par with the Toyota Prius, and the Niro has an appeal that’s all its own.

As the first dedicated hybrid crossover on the market, the Niro occupies a unique space that’s only barely been tapped by the likes of the hybrid versions of both the Toyota RAV4 and the U.S.-exclusive Nissan Rogue. But unlike both of those, which burn only slightly less fuel than their purely gas-powered siblings, the Niro has what it takes to do battle with the Prius sedan at the pumps with the added bonus of the space of a compact crossover.

Hybrid crossovers, even front-wheel-drive ones, aren’t exactly fuel efficient, and that’s because they’re big, tall and heavy. That’s why the 2017 Kia Niro takes that trio of previously prerequisite conditions and tosses them right out the window.

Unlike both gas-electric versions of the RAV4 and Rogue, the Niro is built on a platform that was developed specifically for hybrid applications. Those underpinnings, which are shared with the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq, allow the Niro to be more slight and squat than a traditional crossover. That means the Niro is hunkered down like a car, riding low to the ground in a bid to improve efficiency.
Read more about the 2017 Kia Niro Review at AutoGuide.com.