Already on sale in South Korea, we have seen the US-spec prototype undisguised and now it’s time to take a look into the second generation Kia Niro (codename SG2) for the European market. Caught near Hyundai-Kia Technical Center in Europe, it will be available around Summer.
What we know so far?
Based on the third generation platform, the new Niro benefits from a larger body that realizes class-leading interior space and storage capacity. Premium and eco-friendly materials combine to create a minimalist avant-garde feel; a moving mobility space in which occupants can relax and enjoy each stage of every journey. Modernistic digital displays and interior controls have been optimally placed to further enhance the user-friendly operating experience.
At the heart of all-new Niro’s eco-friendly credentials are a trio of state-of-the-art electrified powertrains, comprising hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric (BEV) options. PHEV and BEV models will be revealed at a later date, closer to market launch.
A highly-efficient Smartstream 1.6-liter GDI engine featuring improved cooling, friction and combustion technologies helps power the HEV model. The powerplant ensures highly competitive fuel efficiency, with the all-new Niro HEV capable of achieving 20.8km/L(based on Korean standard).
“The all-new Kia Niro heralds the next step in our journey to become a sustainable mobility solutions provider,” said Artur Martins, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Brand and Customer Experience Division at Kia Corporation. “From the outset, our ambition was to create a car that makes it easier for people to practice a sustainable lifestyle. With its eco-friendly materials, advanced technology and range of highly efficient electrified powertrains, the all-new Niro truly delivers on its goal.”
Sales of the all-new Kia Niro HEV will commence in Korea this month, with sales in selected global markets due to follow later this year.
Bold and assertive
Intelligent and stylish exterior design that’s brimming with personality
The all-new Kia Niro features a bold and dynamic design inspired by the brand’s acclaimed ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, and specifically its design pillar ‘Joy for Reason’. The treatment takes inspiration from nature, while the choice of colors, materials and finishes aim to strike the perfect balance between an environmentally responsible approach to mobility and a future-oriented passenger car vision.
The exterior of the all-new Niro embodies a sophisticated and adventurous sense of purpose that takes strong influence from the 2019 HabaNiro concept car. Stylish and bold crossover looks combine with a high-tech two tone body. A wide Aero C-Pillar at the rear – which enhances air flow to improve aerodynamics – blends into the striking boomerang-shaped rear taillights.
The all-new Niro’s front-end features the latest evolution of Kia’s signature Tiger Face, which extends from the hood to the rugged fender below. Striking ‘heartbeat’ daytime running lights (DRLs) add to the unique yet contemporary look, while a bold skid plate and cladding serve to enhance the vehicle’s rugged character.
The vehicle’s side profile combines clean character lines with a bold Aero C-Pillar, a highly distinctive shape that also serves an important aerodynamic function as it aids airflow underneath, helping to improve overall efficiency levels. These measures have enabled the all-new Niro to achieve an impressive drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29. The meeting of the boomerang-shaped C-Pillars with the LED taillights further adds to the vehicle’s sporty stance.
At the rear, vertical LED taillights sit alongside uncomplicated surface treatments for a concise and aerodynamic styling combination, while the heartbeat-shaped rear reflector, rugged skid plate and lower bumper help to complement the all-new Niro’s front-end design.
The second-generation Niro offers a choice of nine expressive exterior colors. Alongside new Cityscape Green, customers can choose between Snow White Pearl, Aurora Black Pearl, Mineral Blue, Interstella Gray, Orange Delight, Runway Red and Steel Gray. For the first time, the Niro provides added scope for personalization with a choice of six contrasting colors for the C-Pillars, and up to three different finishes for the cladding, enabling customers to design their car around their personality.
Spacious and welcoming interior
Innovative and minimalist cabin optimized for an optimal user experience
The all-new Niro features an interior that’s been designed to appeal to the senses, with premium quality materials and welcoming, textured surfaces that combine to create an avant-garde feel throughout.
The off-center dashboard curves around the front occupants, with opposing horizontal and diagonal lines leading to a calming yet daring aesthetic. Ambient mood lighting, available in no fewer than 74 color combinations, helps to heighten the senses while creating a warm and serene environment. Customers can further tailor the interior by choosing between three new interior colors: Charcoal, Medium Gray, Petrol and Light Warm Gray.
Positioned between the diagonal lines lies a high-tech 10.25-inch panoramic high-definition digital display screen that integrates both the instrument cluster and infotainment features in one streamlined package. The system has been designed to be easy to use with pin sharp graphics and a highly intuitive layout, enabling users to personalize, access and operate the vehicle’s connectivity, usability and functionality features with ease and confidence.
Located below the center screen lies an integrated infotainment and climate control system that removes clutter for a clean and coherent look and ensures front seat occupants can access these important controls without the need to scroll through multiple menus.
Within easy reach of the driver lies the Niro’s stylish center-console that incorporates a modern look with a high-gloss black surface finish. Here, the driver can operate the Niro’s electronic dial-type shift lever, the design of which saves space and is convenient and intuitive to operate. A variable large-capacity cupholder tray and a wireless smartphone charging pad are also close to hand.
The all-new Niro’s dimensions have grown over its predecessor, with a length measuring 4,420mm, a width of 1,825mm, a height of 1,545mm, and a wheelbase of 2,720mm, up by 65mm, 20mm, 10mm and 20mm respectively. As a result, the all-new Niro awards its occupants with a spacious environment where they can relax, get comfortable and enjoy every journey.
Available in seven stylish finishes, the slim, contemporary seats enhance roominess and comfort thanks to a high-tech lightweight seat mechanism. The special relaxation front passenger seat can recline for a comfortable lying posture at the touch of a button. The front seats incorporate convenient rear-mounted coat hangers, C-Type USB terminals and storage pockets, while the slim dimensions of the headrests help to increase the feeling of space and freedom from above.
By repositioning the Niro’s 12V battery out of the wheelhouse, and instead integrating it alongside the high-voltage battery at the bottom of the rear seats, trunk load capacity for the Niro HEV model reaches an impressive 451 liters (VDA), up 15 liters over its predecessor.
As a clear statement of Kia’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, the all-new Niro showcases new recycled materials inside the cabin. The headlining is made from recycled wallpaper, the seats are made from Bio PU with Tencel from eucalyptus leaves, and BTX* free paint is used on the door panels to minimize the impact on the environment and reduce waste.
Efficiency at its core
New and advanced powertrains deliver a comfortable, harmonious and energetic driving experience
The all-new Niro will be launched with three state-of-the-art highly efficient FWD electrified powertrains: hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric (BEV).
The HEV features Kia’s highly-efficient Smartstream 1.6-liter GDI gasoline engine. The four-cylinder unit produces a maximum output of 105PS along with 144 Nm (14.7 kgf.m) of torque, while improved cooling, friction and combustion technologies ensure maximum fuel efficiency. When combined with the 32kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, the HEV model produces a combined maximum power output of 141PS.
The 1.6-liter GDI engine is mated to the second-generation 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (6DCT) that has been carefully engineered and optimized to increase efficiency and reduce weight.
The Niro comes equipped with Kia’s Green Zone Drive Mode that automatically activates the electric-only drive operation of the car to ensure zero-emissions mobility in certain environments and situations. For example, when driving in green zones such as residential areas, or nearby schools and hospitals, the Niro HEV model automatically uses electric power based on navigation and driving history data. The driver can also set dedicated green zones into the navigation system to reduce pollution in areas such as near their home or place of work.
Kia’s smart regenerative braking system enables drivers to choose from a series of regeneration levels to easily slow the car and recuperate kinetic energy to maximize driving range. The system can calculate the amount of regeneration required using radar and road gradient information. The system allows the car to harvest the maximum amount of energy from its brakes while bringing the vehicle to a gentle halt.
A new suspension and steering system have been optimized to ensure a comfortable and harmonious driving experience. At the front, the all-new Niro benefits from a MacPherson strut type suspension, while the rear gets a four-link type set-up. The front and rear geometry have both been tuned for improved responsiveness, stability and ride comfort, while an optimized steering gear ratio and a new tilt-type strut bearing reduces friction to improve steering feel. Additional insulation and padding have been inserted around the vehicle’s structure to help combat unwanted engine and road noise.
Structural integrity and next-gen ADAS deliver added confidence behind the wheel
Safety has been a top priority during the development of the all-new Niro. As a result, the vehicle’s high-strength lightweight body features a multi-load front impact structure to ensure passengers benefit from outstanding levels of safety in the event of a front-end collision.
The second-generation Niro includes a full complement of Kia’s DriveWise intelligent Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that are designed to avoid potential hazards and improve confidence and convenience behind the wheel.
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) warns the driver if the risk of a collision is detected with other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists. The system’s Junction Turning and Junction Crossing functions provide maximum preventative safety when navigating junctions. If the all-new Niro’s turn signal is activated, the system will warn the driver if there is a collision risk with an oncoming vehicle. Similarly, a warning is provided if there is a risk from vehicles approaching from the left or right when the driver is travelling straight across a junction. If either risk increases, the system will warn the driver before automatically applying the brakes to avoid a collision.
Using information from the new Niro’s front view camera and navigation system, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) delivers a warning and adjusts the speed if the driver travels over the speed limit. Once parked, Safe Exit Assist (SEA) provides a warning when a vehicle is approaching from the rear-side when getting out of the vehicle, with the electronic child lock preventing rear seat passengers from opening the rear door.
Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) is a feature that enables the vehicle to park itself autonomously, whether or not the driver is in the vehicle. It enables drivers to move their car out of a front-and-back parking space remotely with their key fob.
Other ADAS features include Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), High Beam Assist (HBA), Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Rear View Monitor (RVM), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA-R) and Front/Rear Parking Distance Warning (PDW-F/R).
High-tech connectivity and convenience features fit seamlessly into everyday life
The all-new Niro includes an extensive range of high-tech convenience and connectivity features designed to make life easier both behind the wheel and on leaving the car.
A 10-inch head-up display (HUD) system displays key driving information including speed, ADAS data and navigation commands directly onto the front windshield. The ultra-clear graphics are displayed directly ahead of the driver helping to minimize eye movement while driving, enhancing safety and convenience in the process.
An advanced Voice Car Control system featuring Natural Voice Recognition technology allows occupants to control key vehicle systems such as temperature and audio settings without raising an arm. A new Multi-Command feature means passengers can also control multiple functions with one command. Additional convenience is provided by a power tailgate that opens automatically on detecting the user’s smart key.
The all-new Niro is equipped with Kia’s Digital Key 2 Touch system that allows occupants to unlock and start their vehicle via smartphone. Compatible with both iOS and Android devices that feature the Kia Connect App, the system uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to enable drivers to access and start their vehicle without the need to carry the car’s smart key.
Built-in front and rear cameras mounted inside the all-new Niro allow occupants to record high quality videos of memorable journeys and scenic locations. Users can then save and view the videos on the vehicle’s infotainment screen or via a smartphone. The Niro also features Car to Home, a function that allows users to control home IoT devices such as television, lighting and room temperatures directly from inside the vehicle.
The Kia Connect smartphone app allows users to connect with their vehicle remotely. Drivers can sync calendars, plan journeys with online navigation and access key onboard features including live traffic alerts, local fuel station information and real-time weather forecasts. An End Destination Guidance feature helps customers navigate to their final destination on foot once their Niro is parked using Google Maps and augmented reality (AR) technology. Valet Mode enables customers to monitor their vehicle remotely when it’s being driven by another user, providing added peace of mind.
Due for global market launch later this year, more information on the all-new Niro will be made available in due course.