Over the next five years, Kia wants to launch 14 new electric models. Despite all the energy devoted to bringing fully electric vehicles to market, the South Korean automaker continues to refresh its existing models, such as the Niro 2023. The latter gets updated for the second generation, as it makes its first public outing at the New York Auto Show.
Just like its first version, the Kia Niro comes in variants: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric. All versions are equipped with front-wheel drive. The hybrid retains the same performance as the previous generation by pairing a 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder engine with a 32 kilowatt permanent magnet electric motor.
It offers a combined output of 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque for fuel consumption of 4.4 litres/100 kilometers and a range of up to 946 kilometres. In the plug-in hybrid variant, we find the 1.6-litre 4-cylinder, this time with a 62-kilowatt electric motor, which provides 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The capacity of the lithium-ion battery, which stands at 11.1 kilowatt hours, makes it possible to get 53 kilometers of autonomy, a gain of 11 kilometers compared to the existing model.
More autonomy in the electric version
Finally, in the electric version, the Kia Niro retains the same engine as the current model but nevertheless gains a few kilometers in autonomy, 407 instead of 385, thanks to its lighter weight. With its 64.8 kilowatt-hour battery and 11 kilowatt on-board charger, the Niro regains 80% of its charge in less than 45 minutes when plugged into a level 3 charging station and under 7 hours when it’s on. connected to a level 2 terminal.
For the 2022 model year, the exterior design of the Niro has undergone some transformations, notably with the insertion, on its profile, of Aero Blade strips, which integrate with the taillights in boomerang shapes and accentuate the bottom of the doors, while promoting better air circulation.
Looking to the future
Both outside and inside the vehicle, there are elements that refer to the philosophy of “opposites united”, introduced with Kia’s new approach to environmentally friendly and future-oriented mobility.
The choice of colours, materials and finishes is inspired by nature. In the cabin, the leather of the seats is replaced by a mixture of biological polyurethane and Tencel fiber, made with eucalyptus leaves. The headrests are made from recycled wallpaper and the paintwork on the door panels is free of BTX (benzene, toluene, xylene), to minimize the impact on our ecosystems and reduce waste.
The interior styling of the Niro borrows elements from the Kia EV6 to create a tech-focused environment no matter which configuration you choose. The off-center dashboard, available as an option with two 10.25-inch widescreen displays, envelops its occupants.
The passenger compartment offers more space, and the cargo volume can reach 646 liters. Like all of the brand’s products, the Niro comes fitted as standard with a plethora of driver assistance systems. Although no price has been revealed for the moment, we know that the 2023 vintage will arrive in the fall in our southern neighbours.