The next-generation Kia Niro will be here before the end of June.
Hybrid and electric (EV) versions of the eco-friendly crossover will be available in both entry-level S and new GT-Line flagship trim levels.
GT-Line versions of the Niro Hybrid (HEV) and Niro EV will also debut Kia Connect for the Australian market, a net-based telematics system that brings online functions and remote services to the infotainment system and Kia Connect smartphone app.
As previously reported by CarExpert, the Niro Plug-in Hybrid will not form part of the launch family. Kia has confirmed it’s been homologated for Australia, in case the market suddenly demands a PHEV.
Niro HEV and EV GT-Line models will feature:
- 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster
- Head-up display
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Heated steering wheel
- Remote Smart Parking Assist
- Electric tailgate
- Wireless phone charger
- Kia Connect
- Keyless entry with push-button start
Niro EV GT-Line also adds:
- Power tilt/slide sunroof
- Premium Relaxation Seat
- 8-speaker Harman/Kardon premium audio
- Vehicle to Load (V2L)
Kia Connect (GT-Line only) includes:
- Remote engine start
- Remote climate control
- Remote door lock/unlock
- Remote seat heating/ventilation control
- Check vehicle status
- Valet Parking Mode
- Kia Connect Live Services
- Emergency call
- Vehicle tracking
- Stolen Vehicle Ignition Control
- Send Destination 2 Car (via smartphone)
- Local Search
- Voice Control
- Personal calendar integration
- EV charging station locator (Niro EV)
Power in the Niro Hybrid (HEV) comes from a 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated direct-injection petrol engine “featuring improved cooling, friction and combustion technologies”, teamed with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.
On its own the petrol engine makes 77.2kW and 144Nm, while the e-motor develops a quoted 32kW. Together, the power sources combine for outputs of 104kW and 265Nm – identical to the outgoing model, despite the developments.
Drive is channelled to the front wheels through a second-generation six-speed dual-clutch automatic, which the company says “has been carefully engineered and optimised to increase efficiency and reduce weight”.
Fuel consumption is rated at a thrifty 4.0L/100km on the combined cycle. The previous model used 3.8L/100km in base S trim and 4.4L/100km in high-grade Sport guise.
The new Niro EV, meanwhile, swaps out the oily bits for a 150kW/255Nm electric motor with single-speed transmission, hooked up to a 64.8kWh battery pack.
Like the Niro Hybrid, the EV is front-wheel drive only.
Kia claims the new Niro EV can travel 460 kilometres on a charge, a 5km improvement on the previous-generation model, though interestingly peak torque is some 145Nm down on the old car.
Like its predecessor, the EV offers a regenerative braking system with selectable levels of energy recuperation, as well as an adaptive mode that uses radar and road gradient information to calculate the amount of regen require.
Full pricing and specifications for the new-generation Niro family will be detailed closer to launch later this month.
While Kia will no doubt be looking to increase the Niro’s market share locally, initial supply at launch will be relatively tight at around 100-150 units per month.
The company expects GT-Lines to account for the bulk of sales, with a skew to the Niro EV GT-Line.
Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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MORE: Everything Kia Niro