Fresh details on the second-generation Niro have been released by Kia, with class-leading interior space and storage options just some of the promises being made about the Nissan Qashqai rival.
Identifiable by the latest take on Kia’s ‘Tiger Face’ that incorporates so-called heartbeat DRLs, the Niro’s futuristic styling is demonstrated by the boomerang-shaped C-pillars and slim LED taillights.
The largely smooth panels are also said to increase the crossover’s eco credentials, with the drag coefficient rated at 0.29d. On the Korean test cycle Kia claims the hybrid is capable of 59.1mpg.
Power comes from “a trio of state-of-the-art electrified powertrains” comprising a hybrid electric, a plug-in hybrid and a full battery electric model. Initially, only a mild hybrid Niro will be available that will employ the firm’s ‘Smartstream’ 1.6-litre ‘GDI’-badged four-cylinder turbo petrol engine.
The petrol produces 104bhp and 106lb ft with total power raised to 139bhp when the electric motor joins in. Power is sent to the front wheels via a “carefully engineered” 6-speed dual-clutch automatic.
To make best use of the hybrid and plug-in hybrid’s battery in congested areas, information from the sat-nav system is used to switch between petrol and electric where necessary such as outside schools.
The bold look disguises the fact the new Niro, which is due to be launched in the coming months, is bigger than the model it replaces; it is 65mm longer, 20mm wider and 10mm taller than before.
Steps have also been taken to create a larger cargo area with this being achieved by repositioning the 12V battery at the base of the rear seats. By freeing up 15-litres, the boot now measures 451-litres.
And with a roomier rear bench “occupants can relax, get comfortable and enjoy every journey”, according to Kia, whose designers have also paid particular attention to the interior’s dash area.
Assembled from “premium quality materials and welcoming, textured surfaces that combine to create an avant-garde feel throughout,” the off-centre dashboard is shaped to flow around the driver and front seat passenger.
The new Niro runs a 10.25-inch panoramic digital display that merges the instrument cluster with the multimedia functions. Positioned directly beneath this is a small panel where options for the infotainment and climate control are found to create “a clean and coherent look”. A head-up display and wireless charging for the latest smartphone devices are also firsts for the car.
‘Charcoal’, ‘Medium Grey’ and ‘Petrol’ are three interior colours customers can choose from, with up to 74 mood lighting colour combinations being offered. Slim front seats that incorporate rear-mounted coat hangers, Type-C USB terminals and storage pockets are available in seven finishes, meanwhile.
Under the skin, the Niro gets a more advanced suspension arrangement comprising a MacPherson strut-type arrangement at the front and a four-link-type set-up at the rear for “improved responsiveness and stability”. Kia has also reworked the steering and increased the amount of sound deadening for a quieter in-car experience.
Further details – and prices – are expected to be announced by Kia closer to the all-new Niro going on sale.