The Kia Niro has been a very popular car for the brand, helping it increase not just its overall market share by competing in the hugely popular C-segment SUV arena, but in all-electric form offering one of the most compelling overall packages.
Kia has now revealed the refreshed version at the Seoul Mobility Show which brings the car in-line with its latest design language both inside and out. It has also been designed with sustainability in mind, using sustainable materials and electrified powertrains to achieve this.
The brand’s signature ‘tiger face’ has been heavily revised to give the Niro a new and far more contemporary look, as well as more than a hint of ruggedness – at least compared to the outgoing model. It also brings with it new ‘heartbeat’ LED daytime running lights.
Looking at the car’s side profile you can really see the influence of the Habaniro concept with a wide C-pillar designed to enhance aerodynamics as well as offering distinctive style. At the rear are new vertical taillights in a boomerang shape, reflecting the DRLs at the front of the car. Two-tone bodywork brings the Niro into line with contemporaries.
Inside, the cabin has been brought more into line with other new models such as the EV6 through the use of a two-spoke, multifunction steering wheel augmented by a digital dash and large, landscape-orientated central touchscreen. Air vents incorporated into the dash, combined with gloss black surfaces make it an unfussy and stylish looking thing. Mood lighting should help enhance the interior, too.
Liberal use of sustainable materials helps bolster the new Kia Niro’s eco credentials. These include headlining made from recycled wallpaper, seats made from Bio PU with Tencel from eucalyptus leaves and BTX-free (water-based) paint on some panels.
Whilst we don’t know the details of the powertrains, we do know that both a pure EV and PHEV will be offered. We suspect that the EV will be a tweaked version of the current e-Niro’s powertrain, albeit offered solely with the 64kWh battery given the fact it significantly outsells the smaller 39kWh version. We await confirmation of the PHEV’s petrol and electric combination.
What we do know when it comes to the PHEV is that there will be a ‘Greenzone Drive Mode’ which automatically switches to EV mode based on driving data. This might be entering a residential area, navigation cues such as passing a school or simply driving history where the car could run on battery power for the final miles of a journey home, for example. Drivers can add places to their green zone, helping them to improve local air quality as well as enhancing the peace and quiet.
More details will be forthcoming in due course on Europe-specific specs as the car’s 2022 launch approaches.
Update 17.01.22: Kia has released some additional details of the all-new Niro, including the tech, safety and design details of the car. First and foremost, whilst we already know what the new Kia Niro will look like, we now know that it has grown in size over the previous generation car. Measuring 4420mm long, 1825mm wide and 1545mm tall it is 65mm longer, 20mm wider and 10mm taller than the old car. A 20mm longer wheelbase will add to interior comfort. Boot space is up 15 litres to 451 litres with the seats in place.
Kia is calling the interior ‘avant-garde’ with an off-centre dashboard that curves around the front occupants. Ambient lighting with 74 colours is available, and three interior colours – charcoal, medium grey and petrol – can be chosen from. A 10.25-inch digital touchscreen displays driving info and infotainment in one package. Below this is a panel with physical buttons to control climate and elements of the infotainment. A 10 inch head-up display can be specified.
Kia is including a full complement of its DriveWise intelligent Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) on the second-generation Niro. These include front collision avoidance assist, intelligent speed limit assist, safe exit assist, lane keep assist, blind spot collision avoidance and many more.
We are expecting more details of the PHEV and EV versions closer to the European launch later this year.