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Motion & Emotion

2022 Kia Niro Is Reborn in Line With Kia’s New-Age Design Ethos

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The new second-generation Kia Niro has been officially unveiled. It presents itself as one of the most popular crossovers in Europe with a bold new design – inside and out.

Ahead of its market launch next year – just six years after the current car came out – the new Niro was shown at the Seoul auto show for the first time. It showed how the Nissan Juke competitor had been brought into line with Kia’s evolved design language.

Kia has confirmed that, like the current car, the new arrival will be offered with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric powertrains. However, the Mk2 e-Niro will remain separate from the line of bespoke EV badged electric cars and will not use the E-GMP platform reserved for these models. It is expected that the current e-Niro will be further developed with an engine and front-wheel drive, although the shorter range may be discontinued in light of higher demand for the 64 kWh battery option with a range of 282 kilometres.

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Efficiency and performance improvements are expected across the model range. Kia has already confirmed that the plug-in hybrid car now uses navigation system data to switch between internal combustion and electric power when needed, such as switching off the engine outside schools. The 1.6-litre petrol engine currently used in Kia Niro variants with an internal combustion engine is also likely to be carried over but probably not upgraded to the same combined output of 261bhp as the new Sportage PHEV.

The new Niro borrows heavily from the quirky 2019 HabaNiro concept, with a striking two-tone paint scheme, rugged 4×4-inspired design features and a new version of Kia’s signature ‘Tigerface’ grille. A signature feature is the chunky C-pillar, designed to improve aerodynamics, and boomerang-shaped taillights similar to those adorning sister brand Hyundai’s new Bayon crossover.

The focus on aerodynamics is part of an effort to improve the Niro’s efficiency and sustainability. The redesigned interior features mostly recycled materials – the headliner, for example, is made of recycled wallpaper, and the seats contain fibres from eucalyptus leaves – and the door panels are coated with a water-based paint that is free of BTX petrochemicals.

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The influence of the newer Kia models is evident in the asymmetrical centre console and dashboard. Fundamental changes from the previous model include an electronic gear knob, mood lighting and slim, lightweight front seats with a coat hanger on the back of the headrests.

Kia is expected to announce a timeframe and pricing for the UK launch of the new Kia Niro in the coming months as it continues to refresh and expand its product range.

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