Kia has pulled the covers off the second-generation Niro, showcasing a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric model in New York. The new Niro is more spacious, more efficient and includes more technology than its predecessor.
The new model’s styling is bold, with a stronger front fascia, wider rear pillar and faster body lines – it’s now more in line with other Kia crossovers in its looks. Despite being front-wheel-drive only, the Niro now has over 152 mm (6 inches) of ground clearance.
The 2023 Niro’s interior is roomier, with more headroom, legroom and cargo space than the outgoing generation. Slight increases in physical size facilitated this, adding an additional eight cubic feet (226.5 liters) of passenger space. Sustainability is also a mantra for the new Kia Niro, whose interior is made from animal-free textiles and recycled or sustainably produced materials.
Technology also gets an upgrade, with a large 10.25-inch touchscreen and same-sized digital instrument panel as standard features. Driver aids and advanced safety systems are also standard – these include forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, safety exit warning, and rear occupant alert. Most of these are available across Kia’s range, but the Niro makes them standard.
More support and security features are available as upgrades. Lane change assist can be upgraded to include lane changing and self-learning functions for the Smart Cruise Control system. Digital Key 2.0 for keyless operation via smartphone is also available.
And as we mentioned earlier, the 2023 Kia Niro comes in three models: hybrid, PHEV and EV. The hybrid model combines a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a 32 kW permanent magnet motor for a total of 139 horsepower (103.7 kW). The Niro Hybrid returns 53 mpg (4.4 l/100 km) combined and a total range of 588 miles (946 km) per tank.
The Niro PHEV is a plug-in hybrid model that combines the same 1.6-litre engine with a 62 kW motor to produce 180 hp (134 kW). The battery is an 11.1 kWh lithium-polymer model, which can recharge to level 2 in less than three hours. When fully charged, the Niro PHEV has an all-electric range of 33 miles (53 km), a 25% improvement over the previous generation.
The Niro EV is a battery-electric model that combines a 64.8 kWh battery with a 150 kW motor for 201 horsepower. This Niro is capable of Level 3 fast charging, and comes standard with that, enabling a recharge from near zero to 80 per cent in less than 45 minutes. Level 2 charge time is less than seven hours. Total range is 253 miles (407 km). A heat pump and battery heater for colder climates are available.
All three 2023 Kia Niro models will go on sale later in 2022. Kia will have more information about them as production nears.