Kia’s ever-popular EV and PHEV SUV get a refresh

If you’re in the market for a new EV which ticks all the boxes and won’t set you back a fortune, the Kia e-Niro has been a default choice since its launch in 2017. It has now undergone a revamp, with both a PHEV and full EV on offer with new styling and on-board technology.

Whilst the EV6 might be the flagship of Kia’s battery electric model range at the moment, the venerable Niro has still been the backbone of the fleet. Its combination of decent performance, real-world range, reasonable cost and a warranty that few manufacturers can claim to rival has made it a fantastic choice for many individuals and families.

Kia revealed the all-new version late last year over in Korea, and now we know the overall details of the tech and powertrains that will be on offer when it makes it to the UK in the second half of 2022.

Two zero emissions-capable powertrains

Kia is looking to simplify its approach to more sustainable cars and with the new Niro there will be three electrified powertrain options – a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full EV. The PHEV is effectively the same powertrain as can be found in the current generation car, with a 1.6-litre GDI petrol engine and an 111bhp electric motor – powering the front wheels – with a total output of 180bhp.

Battery capacity has been increased from 8.9kWh to 11.1kWh (net) and as such, the electric range is now 40 miles on the WLTP cycle. A slippery drag coefficient and a new 5.5kWh high-volt positive temperature coefficient heater add to the car’s efficiency.

On the EV front, the new Niro maintains the 64.8kWh battery pack and 201bhp, 166lb-ft motor which is effectively lifted from the current car. It provides peppy performance, taking 7.8 seconds to hit 62mph, and achieves 288 miles on the WLTP test. The battery takes 43 minutes to charge from 10 to 80 per cent and comes with CCS as standard. It’ll even tow 750kg.

Technology and safety

We already took a look at the new Niro EV’s design in our previous story, so we’ll skip straight to the tech and connectivity on offer.

For the driver, the off-centre dash curves around and presents on two 10.25 inch display screens showing both vehicle and navigation or infotainment information. A 10 inch head-up display system projects relevant driving and navigation commands when specified, further reducing distractions within the cabin.

Various vehicle functions such as temperature and audio can be controlled via voice car control featuring natural voice recognition, whilst a multi command feature means passengers can also control relevant functions.

Kia Connect allows owners to pre-set aspects of the car, plan routes, sync calendars or access on-board features via an app. A new remote smart parking assist enables occupants to exit the vehicle while it completes a parking manoeuvre, assisted by all-round cameras and ultrasonic sensors. A vehicle to load (V2L) function has been integrated, allowing users to power other things from the car’s battery and has only previously been seen on the brand’s EV6.

On the safety side of things, the all-new Kia Niro comes with a suite of DriveWise intelligent advanced driver assistance systems. These include front collision-avoidance assist, a junction turning function which warns of hazards coming from ahead or the side, a front view camera with traffic sign recognition, intelligent speed limit assist, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, driver attention warning, navigation-based smart cruise control, blind spot assist, rear view monitor and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist.

In other words, a long list!

Price and availability

The Kia Niro PHEV will start from £32,775 for the '2' spec car, moving up to £35,525 for the '3' spec and finally £38,275 for the highest specification '4' version. If you want the EV, it'll cost £34,995 for the '2', £37,745 for the '3' and £40,495 for the '4'. 

Pre-orders are open already and customer cars are expected to hit the road in the autumn. 



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