Kia has released further details of the second-generation Niro crossover, which is expected in UK showrooms before the end of 2022.
The new Niro was first revealed in Korea in November – sitting between the Stonic and Sportage in Kia’s SUV line-up and rivalling the Nissan Qashqai. It will replace the first Kia Niro, on sale since 2016.
As before, three electrified powertrains will be on offer for the new Niro – hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and full battery-electric (BEV). Details of the PHEV and BEV units are still to be revealed but the hybrid combines Kia’s 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 141hp.
The engine is mated as standard to Kia’s six-speed automatic transmission. European fuel economy figures are yet to be revealed but under Korean testing conditions the car is said to achieve just over 59mpg.
New technology will also debut with the Niro, using the built-in satnav system to determine the most appropriate times for the drivetrain to switch between petrol and electric propulsion. It could, for example, only use the electric motor when close to schools or hospitals. The PHEV model will use the same system.
The Mk2 Niro is fractionally larger than its predecessor – 6cm longer, 2cm wider and 1cm taller. Boot space grows slightly as well, by 15 litres to 451 litres, achieved by moving the 12-volt hybrid battery from the boot to under the rear seats next to its high-voltage equivalent.
A totally redesigned interior includes a new ten-inch panoramic display panel that incorporates both the driver’s instrument cluster and the infotainment screen. Kia is also emphasising its commitment to sustainability – recycled materials inside the cabin include headlining made from recycled wallpaper, seats made from a material including eucalyptus leaves, and lead-free paint is used on the door panels.
The current Kia Niro family has received varying reviews from the motoring media. The electric e-Niro is one of the top-rated electric cars on sale, with an Expert Rating of 84%. It was also the UK’s second best-selling electric vehicle in 2021. However, the regular Niro hybrid and plug-in model fare more poorly, with an Expert Rating of only 62% that puts the Niro firmly in the bottom half of the small SUV segment.
- Kia Niro (2016 onwards) – Expert Rating
- Kia e-Niro (2019 onwards) – Expert Rating
- More Kia news, reviews, ratings and features