Published on November 25th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
All-New Kia Niro Unveiled As Sustainable Mobility Vehicle
A new Kia Niro has been shown and will be put on sale next year as a 2023 model.
The Kia Niro will be unfamiliar to most Malaysians, as it was not sold in this country. In fact, its primary markets were Europe, South Korea, and the United States with some units of the hybrid model making their way to neighbouring Singapore. Today, Kia has shown a second generation, all-new Niro at the 2021 Seoul Mobility Show. The previous Niro pioneered multiple electrified powertrains with a hybrid and electric version available. This one takes the sustainability to the next level with more electrified engine options and more eco-friendly materials being used throughout its construction.
The design of the 2nd generation Kia Niro takes much inspiration from the 2019 Habaniro concept. It features a two tone body with a dark coloured pillar at the rear emphasizing improved aerodynamics and boomerang-shaped vertical taillights. The dual tone colour element extends to the door claddings that extend from the rear and front bumpers, leaving a small gap at the rear doors.
The taillights are said to highlight the new Niro’s aerodynamics and high-tech nature. Throughout the vehicle’s body, we find simple surface treatments with a few dynamic sections to emphasise its modernity. The Tiger Face, a signature of Kia’s, has been transformed on this new Niro to extend from the hood all the way to the fender below. This front design is finished with a “heartbeat” LED Daytime Running Light that builds on an electrocardiograph reading motif.
The new Kia Niro will be made of recycled materials within the cabin. The headliner, for instance, is made from recycled wallpaper, while the seats come from Bio-based poly urethane with Tencel from eucalyptus leaves. Benzene, tolene and xylene (BTX)-free, water-based paint has been used on the door panel to reduce the Niro’s impact on the environment and reduce waste in its production process.
The cabin features an asymmetrical look with a gentle sloping dashboard and doorcards that reach up into the A-pillars. Two large displays are employed here, one for the instrument cluster and one for the infotainment unit. A large ambient lighting element in blue is tucked away above the glovebox. The rest of the interior features clean lines and gentle swooping curves to achieve a pleasing, modern aesthetic. There are loads of gaps and high-gloss black surfaces will not be easy to keep clean. Oh, and there’s a two-spoke steering wheel with the new Kia logo at the centre.
The use of slim, high-tech, lightweight seats improve roominess in the new Niro. The headrests, though not shown in photos, are said to incorporate a coat hanger too.
No details were share about the powertrain specifics. However, it is known that the Kia Niro will be offered as a Hybrid (HEV), a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and a battery electric vehicle (EV) starting 2022. For the HEV and PHEV models, a new “Greenzone Drive Mode’ automatically switches the car to pure electric driving when in residential areas, near schools and hospitals, as well as when near home or at the owner’s office… all based on navigation and driving history data.