Kia Niro makes debut with new-age design elements, three electric powertrains
Kia Niro has been showcased to the world with a slew of updated to its exterior design language and is all set for an official launch in the US market this year. While Kia is underlining a ‘sustainable’ design on the outside of the Niro, there is also an emphasis on the three powertrains on offer - hybrid (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric (EV) variants.
A compact crossover SUV, Kia Niro is sold in select markets across the world. The second-generation Niro builds on the model's compact proportions while promising a more dominant road presence courtesy larger dimensions which also help increase the space for passengers and for cargo on the inside. Largely an urban commute vehicle, the Kia Niro gets a smart face with the trademark ‘Tiger Nose’ grille at the front. The bumper now sits slightly lower than it had on the preceding model.
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The side profile of the 2022 Niro is highlighted primarily by an Aero Blade, a highly distinctive shape that also aids airflow underneath. There are 18-inch alloy wheels as optional.
In terms of dimensions, the latest Kia Niro sees its wheelbase increase to 2,717 mm while the overall length of the vehicle goes up to 4,419 mm. The vehicle has a ground clearance of 160 mm. Boot space is now at a very impressive 645 litres.
On the inside, Kia admits the latest Niro takes inspiration from Kia EV6. The Niro makes use of sustainable materials and the brand says it is entirely free of animal textiles. The headliner is composed of recycled wallpaper, which contains 56 percent reused PET fibers. The seats are covered by high-quality bio polyurethane and Tencel made from eucalyptus leaves. BTX-free paint, which is free from benzene, toluene, and xylene isomers, is used on the door panels to minimize the impact on the environment and reduce waste.
There are two 10.25-inch display screens and an eight-speaker Harman/Kardon premium sound system is optional. Active Sound Design allows the driver to digitally enhance the engine and motor sounds of the Niro. There is also optional heating and ventilation option on the front seats.
Kia Niro HEV
The Niro Hybrid gets a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with a 32kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, for a combined maximum power output of 139 horsepower and 264 Nm of torque. Improved cooling, friction and combustion technologies ensure maximum fuel efficiency, claims Kia.
Kia Niro PHEV
The Niro Plug-in Hybrid pairs the 1.6-liter engine with a 62kW electric motor, for a total system output of 180 hp and 264 Nm of torque. When it is connected to a Level 2 charger, the Niro PHEV can refill its 11.1-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery in under three hours. And on electric power alone, the vehicle has a range of around 53 kms.
Kia Niro EV
The all-electric Kia Niro has a 64.8 kWh battery and a 150kW (201-horsepower) motor at its heart. Plugged in to a Level 3 fast charger, the Niro EV can replenish 10 to 80 percent in under 45 minutes, at a maximum charging capability of 85 kW.
There is also a new Green Zone drive mode, apart from Sport and Eco. This mode allows Niro HEV and PHEV to automatically switch to electric power in residential or sound-sensitive zones for a silent drive.