Just six years after it first arrived on the market, the urban crossover has become one of Europe’s most popular cars. Ahead of its launch next year, the new Kia Niro was unmasked at the motor show with a bold new design inside and out.
Sustainability is at the core of this new version of the Kia Niro – since being offered with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric powertrains. However, the Mk2 e-Niro will remain separate from the firm’s line of ‘EV’-badged bespoke electric cars and will not use the E-GMP platform reserved for those models.
Promising to bring a boost to performance and efficiency, the new Kia Niro PHEV now uses data from the navigation system, to switch between the use of EV power and combustion depending on the location – shutting down the engine outside of built-up areas such as schools.
The mid-sized crossover has benefitted from a complete overhaul of design from top to bottom. According to Kia, the new Niro draws influences from the brand’s quirky HabaNiro concept back in 2019; encompassing a rugged, 4×4-inspired design and a striking two-tone paint effect. The front of the new Kia Niro has a new version of Kia’s trademark ‘tiger-face’ grille, with a large lower intake and small upper grille separated by a full-width chrome strip. The LED headlights and running lights are housed in separate pods, with Kia claiming the running lights mimic a heartbeat.
Remarkably, the C-pillars in the new design houses the vertically stacked tail-lights which incorporates boomerang-shaped rear light clusters, which is said to improve aerodynamics.
The major visual difference between the hybrid Niro and the fully electric E-Niro is the charge port integrated into the front fascia of the latter.
The new Kia Niro’s cabin has been specially updated with odes to eco-friendly and sustainable resources, using predominantly recycled materials. The headlining uses recycled wallpaper, whilst the seats incorporate fibres from eucalyptus leaves and the door panels are coated in a water-based paint free from BTX petrochemicals. Additionally, a curving style line flows upwards on the door trims, with Kia claiming that opposing horizontal and diagonal lines on the car “create a calming yet irregular aesthetic”.
The influence of Kia’s newer models is evident in the asymmetrical centre console and dashboard. Dominated by a large, single-piece display, the dash combines both the digital instruments and widescreen infotainment together, with separate touch-sensitive climate controls underneath. Significant changes from the previous Niro include an electronic gearshift dial, ambient mood lighting and slim, lightweight front seat designs with a coat hanger on the back of the headrests.
Kia is expected to offer a timeframe and pricing for the new Niro’s UK launch in the coming months, as it continues to refresh and expand its line-up. Make sure to check back here for more updates!