Kia Niro Hybrid’s 76.6 MPG Cross Country Trip Sets Guinness World Record

Kia’s Niro EX just took the Guinness World Record for lowest fuel consumption driving coast-to-coast in a hybrid car averaging 76.6 mpg.

The hybrid crossover was driven 3,715.4 miles from Los Angeles City Hall to New York City Hall. Well-known “hyper miler” Wayne Gerdes of Carlsbad, Calif., and co-driver Robert Winger of Williamsburg, Va., used only 48.5 gallons or 4.1 tanks of gas.

“We’re extremely pleased with the Niro’s record-breaking performance,” said Orth Hedrick, vice president, product planning Kia Motors America. “We set out to build a vehicle that offers real-world utility, great looks and fantastic mileage, and setting the Guinness World Record title confirms our achievement.”

Kia says the Niro utility vehicle fits the “Urban Crossover Hybrid Vehicle” category. It’s Kia’s first dedicated hybrid electric vehicle, and was designed to “bridge the gap between outstanding fuel economy and compact crossover usefulness.”

Its official EPA mileage rating for the standard FE package is 52 mpg highway, 49 city, and 50 mpg combined. Kia doesn’t list the EX model’s mpg, which was used in the cross-country trip. How the drivers were able to make the leap to 76.6 mpg in highway driving wasn’t explained, but a safe guess is they utilized every hyper miler technique feasible.

It all makes for a nice press release, but don’t expect to repeat the performance, unless you also are prepared for extreme austerity measures in your driving style.

That said, Kia notes the Niro does come with a new “dedicated eco-car platform and a unique hybrid system.” The Korean automaker designed the hybrid system to offer what it calls a more dynamic and engaging driving experience.

SEE ALSO:  Kia Niro Hybrid SUV To Launch In 2016

The all-new 2017 Niro is schedule to arrive at Kia dealerships in the first quarter of next year. It comes in five trim levels: FE, LX, EX, Touring, and a limited-quantity Launch Edition.

And, it comes with a whole set of features that Kia said it designed for fuel economy, safety, and utilitarian benefits. Driver assistance features that are available include Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, and Lane Departure Warning. For telematics and infotainment, it can come with UVO3 with Apple CarPlay2, Android Auto3 and a 7-inch touch screen, Smart Cruise Control, and a navigation system.

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Daimler and BMW Reportedly Talking About Shared Carsharing Platform

Daimler and BMW are reportedly looking to share a vehicle platform to better compete with the likes of Uber.

The disclosure comes from German monthly Manager Magazin which reported the automakers are combining their carsharing divisions, but will keep their individual brand names – BMW’s DriveNow and Daimler’s Car2Go.

Both German companies are also said to be looking into bringing their other mobility services into the alliance. These may include Daimler’s Mytaxi service for taxi operators and the Moovel internet platform; BMW may bring its ParkNow parking application and ChargeNow electric car charging service into the deal.

Manager Magazin interprets this as a way to get a footing in the race for mobility service leadership, where Uber leads the way. Both automakers declined to comment.

DriveNow, was a joint venture between BMW and Sixt that was founded in 2011.  Car2Go was launched by Daimler in 2008.

SEE ALSO:  BMW to Compete Against Uber With ‘ReachNow’ Car Sharing Service

Earlier this year, BMW launched what appears to be the U.S. market version of DriveNow through the ReachNow brand. During a press conference at AutoMobility LA during last month’s LA Auto Show, BNW named four new ReachNow mobility services and a Brooklyn location, its third North American city. The new services include on-demand ride services similar to Uber and Lyft; and exclusive use of the BMW i3 and BMW 3 Series onsite at select apartment and condo complex locations.

DriveNow runs about 5,390 vehicles across seven countries in Europe. BMW said that it serves over 750,000 customers.

Car2Go describes itself as beating rivals such as Zipcar by being the “world’s largest one-way car-sharing service.” Car2Go serves over two million members worldwide, and has cars available in eight countries in North America, Western Europe, and in China. The carsharing division said that it operates more than 14,000 vehicles.

Daimler and BMW, plus other rivals like Volkswagen, are testing out a whole series of mobility services to prepare for a rapidly changing global market driven by sharing, autonomous systems, and electrification. BMW recently announced a test project in Munich using self-driving cars and pay-per-use ride services to prepare for the future.

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