Kia Niro Review 2022

Kia Niro At A Glance

+New Kia Niro available with hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure-electric power.

-On sale later in 2022.

The new Kia Niro has been revealed with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure-electric power available, pitching it against a wide range of rivals from the Toyota C-HR to the Hyundai Kona Electric.

There are three trim levels available: 2, 3 or 4. All Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid 2 models feature 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, cloth upholstery, a dual-height boot floor for extra versatility, rear parking sensors and camera system, an 8.0-inch touchscreen display with DAB radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and 4.2-inch supervision cluster. In addition, standard driver assistance technologies include Forward Collision Avoidance with car, pedestrian and cyclist recognition and junction crossing (FCA1.5) and Smart Cruise Control (SCC).

Niro EV 2 models additionally pair an 8.0-inch touchscreen display with 10.25-inch instrument cluster, and also feature 17-inch alloy wheels, 11kW on-board charger, and a battery heating system.

For Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants, the move up to the mid-range 3 grade brings 18-inch alloy wheels with Continental tyres, a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation system, cloth and faux leather upholstery, a 4.2-inch TFT instrument cluster, front parking sensors, keyless smart entry and start, and heated seats and steering wheel. Equipment also includes rear privacy glass, driver lumbar support, Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (BCA) for the rear, a wireless smartphone charger, and adjustable multi-angle rear seats.

On top of this, Niro EV 3 models benefit from Vehicle-to-Device (V2L) functionality with a three-pin plug socket as standard, with the option of a heat pump. V2L made its debut on the Kia EV6 and means that any unused battery charge can be used to power external electrical appliances, thanks to the bi-directional ability of the car’s EV power pack.

Crowning the Niro Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid and EV line-up is the 4 grade. This adds a head-up display, twin 10.25-inch touchscreen and instrument cluster display, heated rear seats and ventilated front seats, front passenger premium relaxation seating, a power operated tailgate, electric sunroof, an uprated Harman Kardon premium sound system, driver’s side memory seating, and front passenger lumbar support. Additional technologies include Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), and Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA). The optional contrasting C-pillar is also available, while all ‘4’ grades – regardless of powertrain – feature PU vegan leather seat coverings, containing Tencel from eucalyptus trees.

Niro EV 4 versions also feature Highway Driver Assist 2 (HDA2) and Forward Collision Avoidance 2 (FCA2) with additional functionality.The all-new Niro EV is powered by a long-range 64.8 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack and a 201 bhp (150 kW) electric motor. Torque is rated at 255 Nm, and the car is capable of accelerating from 0-to-62 mph in just 7.8 seconds. Kia engineers are targeting an electric driving range of 287 miles on the WLTP combined cycle (pending homologation).

Recharging from 10 to 80 per cent takes as little as 45 minutes – up to nine minutes quicker than the outgoing model. In the winter months, when temperatures are typically low, the system in the Niro EV uses navigation-based conditioning to pre-heat the battery when a charge point is selected as a destination, which helps shorten charge times and optimise battery performance.

The Niro EV also offers trailer-towing capabilities, with a braked towing capacity of 750kg, sufficient to haul a small trailer.

The Niro Hybrid features Kia’s Smartstream 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (6DCT). This is combined with a 32 kW (43 bhp) permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, giving the powertrain a combined maximum power output of 139 bhp.

Powertrain innovations include low-friction ball bearings, gears optimised for efficiency, and the removal of the reverse gear, saving 2.3 kg in weight. Instead, the electric motor provides reverse propulsion, eliminating tailpipe emissions during manoeuvres. The Niro Hybrid has the ability to tow loads of up to 1,300kg to further boost versatility.

The Niro Hybrid also features a new intelligent ‘Green Zone’ Drive Mode, which automatically switches to electric power based on location guidance from the navigation system, driver patterns, or manual selection by the driver. For example, using the touchscreen drivers can designate built-up areas, roads close to schools and hospitals, or beauty spots as Green Zones, and the vehicle then automatically switches to electric-only driving to reduce exhaust emissions to zero in those environments (depending on battery state of charge).

Like the Niro Hybrid, the Plug-in Hybrid is powered by the same Smartstream 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine and 6DCT. It’s paired with a larger 62 kW (83 bhp) electric motor, resulting in a combined power output of 180 bhp. Engineers are targeting an electric-only driving range of up to 40 miles (WLTP, pending homologation) – more than enough for a driver to complete the average daily commute in the UK.

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid also offers the Green Zone Drive Mode, cutting out exhaust emissions in particular urban scenarios or those specially designated by the driver. For buyers that like to escape into the great outdoors, the Niro Plug-in Hybrid is also able to tow braked loads of up to 1,300kg

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