Meet the new Kia Niro, mixing concept-inspired looks and two interior screens with a choice of hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric power.
The 2023 Kia Niro has been revealed, ahead of its Australian launch expected early in the second half of 2022.
While the first-generation Niro has been on sale in Australia for less than 12 months, around five years have passed since its launch in Europe and the US, making it prime for replacement – and like its predecessor, Kia’s new SUV will continue to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric options.
The new Niro’s styling draws inspiration from the Habaniro concept of 2019, with a unique take on Kia’s ‘tiger nose’ grille, a distinctive front LED lighting signature (with ‘heartbeat’ daytime-running lights), and a rugged lower skid plate (on hybrid models) all featuring up front.
Towards the rear, vertical LED tail-lights sit on either side of the minimalist tailgate. Buyers can option a two-tone paint scheme, which instead of a contrast roof, sees the rear pillar finished in one of a selection of contrasting hues (including grey and red).
Electric models add a charging port between the upper and lower front grilles, plus a restyled lower bumper design.
Inside, the Niro adopts a similar layout to Kia’s larger EV6 and Sportage SUVs, with a pair of circa-12-inch displays (for infotainment functions and driver instruments) combined into one curved panel.
It’s joined by other cabin highlights including a two-spoke steering wheel, an electronic rotary gear selector, a touch-heavy climate control panel, ambient lighting, and provision of a Greenzone drive mode that locks the car’s driveline into all-electric mode when in a designated ‘green zone’.
The seats – which debut a new mechanism up front, with inbuilt coat hangers and slim headrests – are trimmed in bio PU material with Tencel from eucalyptus plants. New sustainable water-based paint is used on the door panels.
Details of powertrains are yet to be announced, though Kia has confirmed self-charging hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric powertrains will be available – with all three set to be offered at launch in Australia.
Rumours suggest similar offerings to today’s car, which offers a mixture of a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor in hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants (both developing 104kW/265Nm), before stepping up to a 150kW/395Nm electric motor and 64kWh lithium-ion battery in the electric model.
The 2023 Kia Niro will go on sale in Australia early in the second half of 2022 (third quarter), with a launch before the end of September appearing likely. Stay tuned to Drive for more details as the Niro’s launch approaches.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.