Kia Australia has launched its first purpose-built vehicle (PBV) to local fleet customers, in the form of the Niro Plus HEV and EV, with prices starting from $41,710 before on-road costs.
While it may look like the lovechild of the first-gen Niro and a Kia Rondo, the Niro Plus aims to cater to taxi and ride share operators, and forms part of the brand’s plan to become a Sustainable Mobility Solutions Provider and a leader in “PBV” development.
Australia is getting HEV (hybrid) and EV versions of the Niro Plus, though the brand tells us the first allocation – around 300-400 units – has been sold out. The PHEV (plug-in hybrid) also remains off the table for our region.
Both powertrain variants are available in a sole, fleet-focused S specification, with the Niro Plus HEV S priced from the aforementioned $41,710 price point while the Niro Plus EV S starts at $64,450 – both prices exclude on-road costs.
Interestingly, the Niro Plus is more affordable than equivalent S versions of the second-generation Niro crossover, which launched Down Under earlier this year.
Kia Australia notes our market is one of the “select overseas markets” outside of Korea to receive the Niro Plus.
- 2023 Kia Niro Plus HEV S: $41,710
- 2023 Kia Niro Plus EV S: $64,450
Prices exclude on-road costs
The Kia Niro Plus HEV draws upon a 1.6-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine teamed with an electric motor and small lithium-ion battery pack.
On its own, the 1.6 GDi develops 77.2kW (5700rpm) and 147Nm (4000rpm), while the transmission-mounted e-motor cranks out 32kW and 170Nm. System outputs are quoted as 104kW and 265Nm.
Drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, with the li-on battery’s capacity rated at 1.56kWh. Kia says the Niro Plus HEV can travel at speeds of up to 120km/h in EV mode.
Meanwhile, the Niro Plus EV is powered solely by a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, delivering 150kW of power and 395Nm of torque. It’s fed by a 64kWh lithium-ion battery mounted in the floor, and features a single-speed transmission.
All versions of the Niro Plus are front-wheel drive (FWD).
Kia quotes a combined fuel consumption rating of 4.3L/100km for the Niro Plus HEV, with CO2 emissions quoted at 97g/km.
The hybrid will take 91 RON regular unleaded fuel, and the fuel tank measures 45 litres in capacity.
Niro Plus EV models quote 427 kilometres of electric range on the WLTP test cycle, with a quoted efficiency figure of 16.6kWh/100km.
Using a 7.2kW AC single-phase charger, the Niro Plus EV can be replenished from 10 to 100 per cent battery level in 9 hours 25 minutes, or as little as 47 minutes using a DC fast charger at a rate of 100kW.
The Niro Plus measures 4385mm long, 1805mm wide and 1630-1640mm tall (HEV-EV), with a 2700mm wheelbase. For reference, it’s 10mm longer and 80mm taller than the first-gen Niro it’s based on.
Running ground clearance is quoted as 180mm for the HEV and 155mm for the EV.
In terms of luggage capacity, the Niro Plus HEV offers 367L with the rear seats up and 1464L with them folded, while the EV improves on that with 397L and 1497L respectively.
Part of the discrepancy will come down to the position of the battery – the HEV mounts its battery under the rear seat while the EV has it under the floor.
Like the wider Kia range, the Niro Plus is covered by a seven-year warranty. If the vehicle is used commercially, however, the cover drops to 150,000 kilometres instead of unlimited kilometres over that period.
The high-voltage systems in electrified Kia models – including the On Board Charger, Traction Motor, Electric Power Control Unit (EPCU & HPCU), High Voltage (HV) Battery System – are warranted for seven years or 150,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.
Servicing follows the same schedule as the DE-generation Niro it’s based on, meaning intervals are the same 12 months/15,000km – whichever comes first.
Niro Plus HEV service pricing:
- 12mths or 15,000km: $276
- 24mths or 30,000km: $637
- 36mths or 45,000km: $344
- 48mths or 60,000km: $1000
- 60mths or 75,000km: $311
- 72mths or 90,000km: $773
- 84mths or 105,000km: $330
Niro Plus EV service pricing:
- 12mths or 15,000km: $87
- 24mths or 30,000km: $433
- 36mths or 45,000km: $539
- 48mths or 60,000km: $504
- 60mths or 75,000km: $92
- 72mths or 90,000km: $937
- 84mths or 105,000km: $95
Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid versions of the DE-generation Niro wear a five-star ANCAP safety rating based on tests conducted by sister firm Euro NCAP in 2016 – including the Niro Plus HEV. Niro EV variants remain unrated.
Based on ANCAP and Euro NCAP protocols, however, it’s understood the existing five-star rating for the Niro HEV will expire at the end of 2022, meaning Niro Plus HEVs bought from 2023 onwards will remain unrated.
Category scores included 91 per cent for adult occupant protection, 80 per cent for child occupant protection, 70 per cent for pedestrian detection and 81 per cent for safety assist.
Standard safety features include:
- 7 airbags incl. driver’s knee
- Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
- Car, Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
- Forward collision warning
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Lane keep assist
- Lane Following Assist (centring)
- Adaptive cruise control
- Driver Attention Alert
- Lead Vehicle Departure Alert
- Reversing camera
- Rear parking sensors
Niro Plus S highlights:
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- 215/55 R17 tyres
- Electric, heated, folding side mirrors
- Windscreen with solar glass, acoustic film
- Front side windows with solar glass
- Rear privacy glass
- Halogen headlights
- Projector type
- Dusk-sensing function
- Rain-sensing wipers
- 8-way power driver’s seat incl. 2-way lumbar
- 6-way power passenger seat
- Black cloth, leather combination upholstery
- Leather-appointed steering wheel
- 8.0-inch colour touchscreen
- Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Bluetooth phone, audio streaming
- AM/FM/DAB radio tuner
- Rear air vents
HEV specific features:
- Temporary space saver spare wheel
- Leather-appointed shifter
- 4.2-inch driver supervision display
- 6-speaker sound system
- Dual-zone climate control
EV specific features:
- Tyre mobility kit
- Smart key incl. push-button start
- Shift-by-wire knob (dial type)
- 7.0-inch driver supervision display
- Centre console storage tray
- 4-speaker sounds system
- Single-zone climate control
- Clear White
- Sparkling Silver*
- Astro Grey*
*Premium finishes cost extra