Kia has released details of its redesigned 2022 Niro crossover and once again it features a mix of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and purely electric powertrains, but this time bolted to new underpinnings that allow for interior space and performance. additional.
The new Niro will be the first Kia to use the mid-size Hyundai-Kia K3 platform, meaning it’s now slightly longer than before, with space between the front and rear wheels also increased by 20 mm, which gives more room for passengers.
With the new platform comes new styling, and while it’s not a drastic departure from the outgoing model, it’s more in line with Kia’s current design language.
Perhaps the most notable styling features are the contrasting gray “blades” behind the rear doors, mimicking a similar feature on the original Audi R8 supercar.
Versions of the Niro take slight pride in the bodywork and Kia claims they help optimize airflow to increase aerodynamic efficiency, although critics have pointed out that it looks like a repaint job. partiel.
The pure-electric version of the Niro has been renamed Niro EV (the outgoing derivative is called e-Niro) in keeping with Kia’s current nomenclature, and the differences between it and its hybrid siblings are obvious in front view.
All models get the same polygonal light clusters, but the electric version gets a different (closed) grille compared to the hybrids, as well as a new center-mounted charging port.
For the first time there is a storage compartment under the bonnet of the electric version, which, although not offering much additional space (only 20 litres), is useful for storing charging cables.
The Niro EV gets 17-inch alloys as standard, while hybrid and plug-in hybrid models have a choice of 16-inch to 18-inch wheels.
Three different trim levels will be available, although they don’t vary much between the three powertrains. There will be two 10.25-inch displays mounted side-by-side, one for the driver’s instrument cluster and the other for the infotainment screen, with the overall interface being broadly similar to that Kia Sportage and Sorento models.
Much of the use is made of eco-friendly materials for the interior, such as recycled wallpaper for the headliner and seat coverings made in part from a by-product of eucalyptus.
Boot space in the EV amounts to 475 litres, although due to their battery and engine configuration, hybrids and plug-in hybrids reach 451 and 348 liters respectively.
A comprehensive suite of driver assistance and safety features includes automated emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane following assist, rear cross traffic alert and a range of other sensor and camera based systems to make parking and exiting a bit safer and easier. .
The Niro EV is powered by a 64.8 kWh battery and an electric motor delivering 201 hp, delivering around 288 miles between charges. With a DC fast charger, the Niro EV will take approximately 43 minutes to recharge from 10% to 80% battery capacity.
The hybrids both use a well-known 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and the 139bhp hybrid-electric model is capable of short-distance low-speed electric-only operation. The 180hp plug-in hybrid model can handle up to 40 miles of battery-powered driving, according to Kia, thanks to its 11.1kWh battery.
Green Zone Driving Mode is a feature of both hybrid models which, using navigation data, model learning or manual input, can automatically switch to electric-only operation in certain zones, such as around schools or hospitals or in the driver’s local vicinity.
Standard on higher-performance models (and optional on others), Vehicle-to-Charge (V2L) charging allows users to power external items such as laptop chargers, mini-fridges or other home appliances using the car’s high voltage electrical system.
The new Kia Niro will go on sale in the UK from the end of the month with first deliveries expected in July; the EV is expected to arrive in August. Pricing for the new model has yet to be confirmed.