The first preview photos of the all-new 2017 Kia Niro have been released ahead of its official unveiling next month at the Chicago Auto Show. While these strategically darkened images are less than fully enlightening, they do confirm the automaker’s first dedicated hybrid utility vehicle will match its targeted 50+ MPGe fuel economy with a solid sense of style.

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We drove still-disguised prototype versions of the Niro in Korea last November and came away from impressed. Melding sport wagon and crossover design cues, it boasts a peppy gas/electric powertrain that matches a 104-horsepower/1.6-liter direct-injected gasoline engine with a 43-horse electric motor which drive the front wheels through a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Factor in its surprisingly spacious and comfortable cabin, impressive standard and optional features plus a bounty of driver assists that Kia anticipates will earn it top safety ratings from NHTSA as well as the IIHS and the nifty Niro will be one of the more interesting players to debut in the Windy City. 

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