Order books have opened for the all-new Kia Niro with the family SUV retaining a mix of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure-electric powertrains. The Kia Niro and all-electric Niro EV also get the same ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘4’ trim level specifications as before.
Kicking off the range at £27,745 is the ‘2’ Hybrid and it uses Kia’s 139bhp 1.6-litre GDi petrol hybrid engine coupled with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Hybrid model also features a ‘Green Zone’ Drive Mode, which can automatically switch to electric power based on the navigation system.
The ‘2’ Hybrid also includes as standard; 16-inch alloys, dual LED headlights, rear parking sensors with a reversing camera, cloth seats, and an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Stepping up to ‘3’ trim adds £2,750 to the price, but brings larger 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10.25-inch central screen with built-in sat-nav, front parking sensors, heated seats and a heated steering wheel, plus wireless phone charging. For another £2,750, top-spec ‘4’ models (from £33,245) feature a head-up display, a 10.25-inch digital dash, artificial leather seats (heated and cooled in the front, heated in the rear), a powered tailgate, a Harmon Kardon stereo and more advanced driver-assistance tech such as Highway Driver Assist and Forward Collision Avoidance.
Equipment levels for the plug-in hybrid model mirror those of the hybrid, but prices for the PHEV start from £32,775, with the same £2,750 step up in price between the different grades.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain gets a boost in battery size – from 8.9kWh in its predecessor up to 11.1kWh – and a combined power figure of 180bhp. Kia says an electric-only range of 40 miles should be available. Like the hybrid, the PHEV gets a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The eNiro, Britain’s second best-selling electric car of 2021, has had its name changed for this second-generation model to Niro EV. Starting from £34,995, Niro EV ‘2’ models get as standard an 8.0-inch touchscreen display with 10.25-inch instrument cluster, 17-inch alloy wheels and a battery heating system.
Above this, Niro EV ‘3’ models benefit from Vehicle-to-Device (V2L) functionality with a three-pin plug socket as standard, with the option of a heat pump. This means that any unused battery charge can be used to power external electrical appliances.
3, starting from £37,745, gets more driver-assistance tech and the option of different colours for the signature C-pillar blade, including Steel Grey and Black Pearl. It can also be had in body colour, as on other models.
The ‘4’ trim level gets all the features found on the hybrid and plug-in hybrid ‘4’ models and starts from £40,495.
All iterations of the Niro EV get a 64.8kWh battery and an electric motor producing 201bhp and 255Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0 to 62mph is dealt with in 7.8 seconds and while the maximum range hasn’t undergone WLTP confirmation yet, around 287 miles is anticipated – five miles more than the outgoing model. Recharging from 10 to 80 per cent can take 45 minutes, which is nine minutes quicker than the old eNiro.
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The new Niro sits on Kia’s latest generation K platform. As a result, boot space for the Niro EV has risen to 475 litres (not including the 20 litre frunk), with the Hybrid model offering 451 and the plug-in hybrid 348 litres.
In terms of design, the new Niro EV has a cleaner look at the front with split headlights and a larger lower grille. There’s also a central socket for the charger.
The big change really comes at the side, where Kia has given the Niro a much more dramatic look. On the EV it’s enhanced further by the steel-grey inserts along the sides, but the standout feature, across the range, is this coloured ‘blade’ that covers the C-pillar. In a neat trick, it actually stands proud of the main bodywork, helping to direct air along the side of the vehicle and improve aerodynamic efficiency.
This Niro is 6.5cm longer overall than the car it replaces, and the wheelbase has stretched by a couple of centimetres, so there’s enough room on board now for four six-footers.
Inside, ambient lighting is designed to extend its effect right across the front passenger side. Much of the interface will look familiar to anyone with a current Sorento or Sportage. The Niro also gets the same multifunction panel in the dash, allowing you to flick between infotainment and heating controls.
Pre-orders are now open with UK customer deliveries of the second-generation Kia Niro commencing in the autumn.
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