Kia unveils 2nd-gen Niro in electrified formats at New York show
Kia has pulled covers off the second-generation Niro, showcasing a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric model in New York. The new Niro is roomier, more efficient, and includes more technology than its predecessor.
Styling for the new model is bold, with a stronger front fascia, broader rear pillar, and faster-paced body lines – it's now more in line with other Kia crossovers in its look. While front-wheel drive only, the Niro now has more than six inches (152 mm) of ground clearance as well.
The interior of the 2023 Niro is roomier, with more headroom, legroom and cargo space than the outgoing generation. Slight increases in physical size helped facilitate this, adding eight more cubic feet (226.5 liters) of passenger room. Sustainability is also a mantra for the new Kia Niro, the interior of which is composed of animal-free textiles and recycled or sustainably-produced materials.
Technology gets an upgrade as well, with a large 10.25-inch touchscreen and same-sized digital instrument cluster being standard features. Advanced driver's aids and safety systems are also standard – these include forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assistance, lane-following assistance, driver attention warning, blind-spot collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, safe exit warning, and rear occupant alert. Most of these are available throughout the Kia lineup, but the Niro makes them standard.
More assistance and safety features are available as upgrades. Lane Change Assistance can be upgraded to include lane changing and machine learning functions for the Smart Cruise Control system. Digital Key 2.0 for keyless operation via a 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/100km) combined and a total driving range of 588 miles (946 km) per tank.
The Niro PHEV is a plug-in hybrid model that combines the same 1.6-liter engine with a 62-kW motor to produce 180 hp (134 kW). The battery is a 11.1-kWh lithium-polymer model, which can recharge at level 2 in under three hours. When fully charged, the Niro PHEV has an all-electric range of 33 miles (53 km), a 25 percent improvement over the previous generation.
The Niro EV is a battery electric model that combines a 64.8-kWh battery pack with a 150-kW motor for 201 horsepower. This Niro is level 3 fast-charge capable, and comes standard with that, allowing a recharge from near-zero to 80 percent in under 45 minutes. Level 2 charging time is under seven hours. Total range is 253 miles (407 km). A heat pump and battery warmer for colder climates are available.
All three 2023 Kia Niro models will go on sale later in 2022. Kia will have more information on them as production nears.