The all-new Kia Niro CUV made its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show. The next-generation Niro has been designed from the ground up to meet and exceed the expectations of eco-minded consumers. With striking styling cues and a commitment to sustainability and connectivity throughout, the 2023 Niro will launch in the United States with three highly efficient, electrified powertrains: hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric (EV).
“Kia’s electrified vehicle momentum continues with the launch of the all-new second-generation Niro, which offers more refinement, versatility, connectivity, and technology than ever,” said Steven Center, COO & EVP, Kia America. “The 2023 Niro was designed for today’s needs and for sustainable future mobility.”
An urban environment like Manhattan, where space is at a premium, provides an optimal backdrop for the launch of the 2023 Niro. When it arrives at Kia retailers in all 50 states late fall, 2022, the 2023 Niro family will present state-of-the-art electrified powertrain options and outstanding efficiency wrapped in a sleek, aerodynamic, and technologically focused package. In its second generation, Niro remains the only vehicle on the market available with three different electrified propulsion options.
Shaped by Nature
Inside and out, the 2023 Niro features bold design inspired by the “Opposites United” philosophy that infuses inspiration from nature with aerodynamic refinement. The exterior of the 2023 Niro embodies a sophisticated and adventurous sense of purpose that takes strong influence from the 2019 HabaNiro concept, and it achieves an impressive drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.29. Its upswept, striking daytime running lights (DRL) flank the signature tiger nose grille, which has evolved with the new Kia brand identity. At the rear, boomerang-shaped LED taillights sit alongside uncomplicated surface treatments for a concise and aerodynamic styling combination, while the heartbeat-shaped rear reflector, rugged looking skid plate garnish and lower bumper enhance the front-end design. Niro HEV and Niro PHEV can be identified by black door cladding and wheel arches, while Niro EV is distinguished by Steel Grey or black exterior trim, depending on body color.
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 side profile of the 2023 Kia Niro is accentuated by the Aero Blade, a highly distinctive shape that also aids airflow underneath. The Aero Blade can be painted in body color or in a variety of contrasting colors. Further enhancing the profile of Niro HEV and Niro PHEV are optional 18-inch wheels inspired by the HabaNiro.
Dimensionally, the 2023 Niro retains a compact footprint but is incrementally larger than the vehicle it replaces. The wheelbase increases to 107.1 inches, and overall length increases to 174 inches. Cargo capacity behind the rear seats increases to 22.8 cubic feet. And with 6.3 inches of ground clearance, Niro can easily handle urban activities. With these changes, Niro has 8 more cubic feet of passenger cabin room and 50 percent more cargo room than the Tesla Model 3.
Forward-Looking Interior Design
Complementing the bold exterior of the all-new Niro is an avant-garde interior, styled and upholstered with premium materials and textured surfaces. Its parametric design borrows cues from the all-electric EV6 for a tech-focused environment in all configurations and trims.
Upscale touches abound inside the 2023 Niro, and sustainability is integral to the materiality of the passenger compartment. The interior of Niro EV is composed of animal-free textiles, including the premium seating surfaces to touchpoints throughout the cabin. The headliner is composed of recycled wallpaper, which contains 56 percent reused PET fibers. The slim, contemporary seats with integrated coat hangers enhance roominess, and they are covered by high-quality bio polyurethane and Tencel made from eucalyptus leaves. BTX-free paint, which is free from benzene, toluene, and xylene isomers, is used on the door panels to minimize the impact on the environment and reduce waste.
Style and in-car technology contribute to a sense of calm in the interior of the all-new Kia Niro. The off-center dashboard curves around the front occupants, with opposing horizontal and diagonal lines leading to a calming yet daring aesthetic. Available panoramic, dual 10.25-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system create a powerful, first visual impression, and offer state-of-the-art connectivity. Ambient mood lighting in a multitude of color combinations heightens the senses while creating a serene environment. Active Sound Design allows the driver to digitally enhance the engine and motor sounds of the Niro; an eight-speaker Harman/Kardon premium sound system is optional. The front seats, which feature optional heating and ventilation, offer standard USB ports on the side and optional seat memory positions on some variants.
Thanks to developments in interior packaging, the 2023 Niro now offers the roominess of a vehicle one size larger—and best-in-class passenger room. Generous front and rear headroom, legroom, and shoulder room demonstrate Kia’s commitment to passenger comfort and spaciousness.
Vehicle Technology Takes Center Stage
Advanced vehicle technology manifests in myriad forms in the all-new Kia Niro, from customizable vehicle settings through the in-dash infotainment system to class-leading, standard active safety equipment.
Approaching the vehicle, heartbeat-inspired DRLs and available power-folding mirrors act as a warm greeting. Once inside, available memory seats on some variants recall the driver’s position, and programmable mood lighting sets the scene. An available Head-Up Display (HUD) projects directions, active safety warnings, vehicle speed, and current infotainment directly in the driver’s line of sight. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are standard, and a wireless phone charger is optional.
The 2023 Niro EV is available with the same vehicle-to-load (V2L) onboard generator functionality pioneered by the EV6.
Standard, cutting-edge ADAS technology on the 2023 Niro includes:
- Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) with Pedestrian detection capability: Warns if there is risk of a collision with a pedestrian in front of the vehicle while driving and may automatically assist with braking
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA): Helps detect lane markings and provides steering inputs to help prevent the vehicle from leaving the lane while driving
- Lane Following Assist (LFA): Helps detect lane markings and vehicles ahead and provides steering inputs to help center the vehicle in the lane
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW): Analyzes the driver attention level and provides a warning if a break is recommended. It may also provide a leading vehicle departure alert if the leading vehicle departs from a stop and the driver does not react within a certain time period
- Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (BCA) with Parallel Exit: May help avoid collisions with rear-side vehicles when exiting a parallel parking spot by automatically assisting with braking
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist (RCCA): Helps detect approaching cross traffic when in reverse. When approaching cross traffic is detected, the system alerts the driver and may apply brakes
- Safe Exit Warning (SEW): Provides a warning when a vehicle is approaching from the rear-side while someone is exiting the vehicle
- Rear Occupant Alert (ROA): Provides a warning to the driver to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle
Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Navigation-Based Curve is available across the Niro lineup, as is FCA with Assist-Junction w/ Cyclist & Junction Turning. Optional for the first time on Niro EV is Highway Driving Assist II, which integrates the functionality of Lane Change Assist, FCA with Lane Change, and Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning.
Kia Connect advanced in-vehicle connectivity, which is accessible in-car or through the Kia Access App, is standard on Niro EX and above. Additionally, the driver can unlock the 2023 Niro’s doors through new Digital Key 2.0, which facilitates opening and starting the Niro using an Apple iPhone, Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy smartphones. And sharing Digital Key 2.0 is as simple as sending a text. Over-The-Air (OTA) updates ensure that maps and the infotainment system are updated automatically. Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Immobilization offers peace of mind for owners, with the capability to assist law enforcement agencies to recover a stolen vehicle. Smart Speaker Integration lets customers use Amazon-Alexa or Google-Assistant enabled smart speakers or devices to remotely control certain vehicle functions, such as remote start. Additional functionality, including 911 Connect and Roadside Assistance, are also part of the Kia Connect feature set.
Three Flavors, All Sustainable
The all-new Kia Niro will arrive in the U.S. in three distinct powertrain configurations: the Niro HEV hybrid, the Niro PHEV plug-in hybrid, and the all-electric Niro EV. All Niro models are front-wheel-drive, which provides advantages in adverse weather. A 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard in HEV and PHEV.
The Niro HEV features a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with a 32kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, for a combined maximum power output of 139 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. Improved cooling, friction and combustion technologies ensure maximum fuel efficiency, and Niro HEV returns a targeted 53 mpg combined and an estimated driving range of 588 miles.
The Niro PHEV pairs the 1.6-liter engine with a 62kW electric motor, for a total system output of 180 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. When it is connected to a Level 2 charger, the Niro PHEV can refill its 11.1-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery in under three hours. Fully charged, the all-electric range (AER) of the Niro PHEV is estimated at 33 miles when fitted with 16-inch wheels: an improvement of 25 percent over the model it replaces.
The all-electric Niro EV is powered by a 64.8 kWh battery and a 150kW (201-horsepower) motor with DC fast-charging capability as standard. Plugged in to a Level 3 fast charger, the Niro EV can replenish 10 to 80 percent in under 45 minutes, at a maximum charging capability of 85 kW. The 11kW onboard charger also helps recharge the Niro EV in under seven hours on a Level 2 charger. Targeted AER for the Niro EV is 253 miles. An optional heat pump and battery warmer help preserve range in cold temperatures.
In addition to Sport and Eco drive modes, the all-new Kia Niro introduces Green Zone Drive Mode, which automatically transfers Niro HEV and Niro PHEV into EV drive mode in residential areas, and nearby schools and hospitals. The Niro automatically uses electric power based on navigation cues and driving history data, and recognizes favorite places, such as home and office set in the navigation system.
Intelligent regenerative braking enables a variety 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, and it can allow all Niro models to harvest the maximum amount of energy from its brakes while bringing the vehicle to a gentle halt.