The second generation of the Kia Niro crossover has been revealed in Korea, retaining its line-up of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric powertrains.
Kia claims that the Niro line-up, including the e-Niro, has been rebuilt from the ground up, featuring an entirely new exterior design and cabin interior, including new on-board tech features that the manufacturer has added to boost sustainability across the range.
The exterior styling of the 2022 Kia Niro takes its inspiration from the Habanero crossover concept from 2019, providing a substantial evolution of Kia’s signature ‘tiger face’ grille. The rear pillars have been widened, which Kia says improves the SUV’s aerodynamics, and matches the new vertical wing-shaped tailights.
Sustainability is front and centre in the sales brief for the new Niro, with water-based paint used to cut out petrochemicals on the door panels, while recycled materials have been used to construct the interior trim. The headlining fabric on the underside of the roof is made from recycled wallpaper, while the seats have been made using eco-friendly fabric and coating materials extracted from eucalyptus leaves.
Bringing the Niro up to date with newer Kia models like the EV6, the curved dashboard redesign adds a new infotainment console, shaped to fit the diagonal lines on the dash.
Other new tech additions include interior lighting, an electronic gear shift dial, and what Kia calls ‘Greenzone Drive Mode’, which is available exclusivley for the plug-in hybrid version. This new software takes cues from the navigation system and driving history data to switch between combustion and electric power where appropriate, with the aim of reducing pollution around ‘green zones’ like residential areas, schools and hospitals.
Kia has not released any specifics about the new Niro’s engine line-up, and there there is currently no word as to whether Kia has improved the battery range of the all-electric e-Niro; the 2019 model able to travel a maximum of 282 miles on a full battery.
Prices for the the second generation of the Niro are also expected closer to its UK launch, sometime in 2022.
The current model of the Kia Niro, which holds an Expert Rating of 62%, was one of the UK’s best selling cars in October, and is likely to continue to add to its impressive sales record into the new year. The Kia e-Niro EV stands as the top-ranked small SUV in our index of over 300 new cars, with an Expert Rating of 84%.