The upcoming next generation Kia Niro SUV has been designed from the ground up with a fresh face and new hybrid and electric powertrain options.
Like its predecessor, the new Niro will be offered in hybrid electric (HEV) and fully electric (EV) models with GT-Line and S trim levels available for both.
In terms of its new design, the Niro is inspired by Kia’s ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy giving it a bold and stylish new look.
Much of the styling takes after the 2019 HabaNiro concept car including the option of a contrasting coloured c-pillar.
A new interior design adopts eco-friendly materials while being supported by modern tech such as the 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and additional 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. Both screens are tied together in a seamless design stretching across the dashboard and are only available in GT-Line trim for the HEV and EV.
The entry level HEV S comes with a multi-function LCD 4.2-inch cluster while the EV S incorporates the 10.25-inch digital cluster with an 8-inch AV touch screen.
Continuing with the clean and contemporary theme, touch sensitive climate controls can be found below the centre screen along with Kia’s electronic ‘dial-type’ gear selector.
The new Niro has also grown over its predecessor offering increased interior and cargo space. By repositioning the Niro’s 12V battery alongside the high-voltage powerpack under the rear seats, boot load capacity for the Niro HEV model reaches 425 litres, 15 more than the old model.
Under the bonnet of the hybrid Niro is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder producing 77.2kW and 144Nm that is capable of achieving 4.0L/100km. When combined with the 32kW electric motor, the HEV model produces a combined maximum power output of 104kW and 265Nm. The petrol engine is mated to an automatic six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The more powerful fully electric model features a 64.8kWh battery and provides 150kW and 255Nm which is sent through a single speed transmission. Kia claims the EV Niro can travel 460km on a single charge.
Charging the electric Niro is said to take as little as 48 minutes from 10 to 80 percent charge.
Both models are front-wheel-drive only.
Safety features including a Centre Side Airbag, Multi Collision Braking (MCB), Electronic Chromic Mirror (ECM), Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA), Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist (RCCA) and Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) are standard across all trim levels.
Other standard safety features include Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), High Beam Assist (HBA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Rear View Monitor (RVM), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), and Rear Parking Sensors.
The new Niro isn’t far away from New Zealand shores with Kia NZ stating it’s “coming soon”.