The Kia Niro small crossover, whose main claim to fame is offering hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric variants on a single platform, introduced a hot second generation today at the 2021 Seoul Mobility Show in South Korea.
Look for it to arrive in Canada next year as a 2023 model.
- Also: 2020 Kia Niro Boasts Extra Safety, Sleeker Looks
- Also: Kia Adds Spice to New York Auto Show with HabaNiro Concept
Redesigned From the Ground Up
Similar to the brand new EV6 and 2023 Sportage Hybrid, the fully redesigned Kia Niro has been developed under the company's Opposites United design philosophy. Colour and material selection is inspired by nature and reflects a sustainable approach (more on that a bit later).
At the same time, the strong influence of the 2019 Habaniro concept is evident in the bold, angular front end (including the unique LED signature), body cladding around the front wheel arches that extends into the bottom of the doors, vertical body panel in a contrasting finish behind the rear doors, and thin, boomerang-shaped taillights. Even the wheels and rooftop spoiler are similar.
Overall, the new Niro looks quite sharp and distinctive. And we applaud Kia for once again moving away from the traditional “Tiger Nose” grille that is seriously getting old and stale.
The redesign of the 2023 Kia Niro is no less impressive inside. As seen in the brand’s latest products, a wide interface combines a digital instrument panel with a centre touchscreen. Below the latter is a row of touch-sensitive controls for the HVAC system.
The centre console brings together the start-stop button, controls for the heated seats and steering wheel, and electronic, rotary-style shifter. There’s a nice gloss-black finish on it, which we imagine will be full of fingerprints and scratches in no time.
A number of recycled or environmentally friendly materials are used throughout the cabin, such as recycled wallpaper for the headliner and Bio PU with Tencel from eucalyptus leaves on the seats. The door panels are finished in a water-based paint that’s free from benzene, toluene and xylene isomers.
Other highlights include ambient mood lighting and a slimmer seat design that maximizes interior space for occupants without sacrificing comfort, Kia claims.
The company is not sharing any details about the various powertrains at this point, but don’t expect major changes. It would be nice, though, to see the Niro EV’s range increase from 385 kilometres (as it stands now) to more than 400 kilometres in order to keep up with the many new EVs hitting the market. We’ll keep you posted as new information becomes available.