Kia claims US coast-to-coast fuel record

  • Kia’s newest crossover tested over 3980km
  • The run was from Los Angeles to New York City
  • Niro has eco-car platform, unique hybrid system

NEW YORK – A 2017 Kia Niro hybrid – yet to be released in either America or South Africa – has been awarded a Guinness World Record for its fuel consumption on a coast-to-coast crossing of the USA.

The run finished at New York’s City hall after starting from Los Angeles City Hall on the West Coast. How long the 5980km journey took overall and the car’s average speed while on the move were not, as far as is known, publicised.

Which, frankly, makes the record meaningless in the real world but translates from American gallons (smaller than Imperial gallons) to 3.07 litres/100km.

KIA World Record for crossing US. Image: Kia America / Newspress
KIA SETS FUEL RECORD: Feeling triumphant after setting a a fuel-consumption record for crossing the US are Robert Winger (left) and Wayne Gerdes with a representative from Guinness Records. Image: Kia America / Newspress

Wayne Gerdes of Carlsbad, California, and Robert Winger of Williamsburg, Virginia.

Orth Hedrick, boss of product planning at Kia Motors America, nevertheless told The Corner in a media release: “We’re extremely pleased by the Niro’s record-breaking performance. We set out to build a vehicle that offers real-world utility, great looks and fantastic fuel economy.

“Setting this record title confirms our achievement.”

Well, Orth, kinda…

READ MORE Kia features on Carman’s Corner

Anyway, the Niro EX was driven by Wayne Gerdes of Carlsbad, California, and Robert Winger of Williamsburg, Virginia. We’re told the car not altered in any way.

This isn’t, apparently, the first time Kia and Gerdes have put their talents to work. In 2011 they set a Guinness record by driving through the lower 48 US states in a Kia Optima Hybrid while averaging 3.64 litres/100km. (Read SA feature on the Optima)

The Optima is a significantly larger and heavier car than the Niro. A Honda Insight hybrid now holds that record at 3.16 litres/100km.

The Niro hybrid has not yet been launched in the US. The Insight is no longer sold there.

WATCH the Kia Niro hybrid in action

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