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Kia Niro Hybrid 2022: debuts second-generation with a striking new look and partial or fully-electric options

 
Zak Adkins
Journalist

The next Kia Niro has been revealed at the Seoul Mobility Show and will be available in Australia with HEV, PHEV and EV drivetrains in Q3 2022


The covers have come off the facelifted Kia Niro in South Korea, which has brand new styling and both hybrid and fully electric options for buyers. 

Kia’s media and corporate communications manager Alyson MacDonald confirmed to Chasing Cars that the facelifted Niro will go on sale in Australia from the third quarter of 2022. 

The brand has confirmed that hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric versions of the Niro will be available at launch in 2022 which mirrors the range currently available in Australia. 

Kia Niro 2022 duo
You can see the Boomerang-styled tail lights which light up the rear

When the next generation Niro is launched in Australia, it will go up against key rivals including the Hyundai Kona Electric, Lexus UX300e and the Toyota C-HR Hybrid

What’s new on the styling front?

Based on styling from the HabaNiro concept released in 2019, the new Niro’s bold new looks revolve around the signature Kia ‘tiger’ face front end which now runs from the bonnet right to the fenders below. 

The new ‘heartbeat’ LED daytime running lights complete the front end look, which the team here at Chasing Cars think is notably more stylish than its predecessor. 

Unique vertical tail lights feature at the rear of the car which Kia refers to as boomerangs which we think is perfectly Australian. 

Kia Niro 2022 side view green
The Kia Niro will have HEV, PHEV and EV options available for buyers

How sustainable is the Kia Niro?

As buyers look towards cars and other products that are built with more sustainable materials, the Kia has sought to meet this budding trend with the new Niro.

The headlining is made from recycled wallpaper, the seats are made from Bio PU (polyurethane) with Tencel from eucalyptus leaves (in yet another Australian reference) and the door panels are coated in BTX-free paint which is a water based solution free from harmful chemicals such as benzene, toluene and xylene isomers. 

The interior will feature the newest technology from Kia, and while no specifications have been released, from the photos it is clear that the car will receive a wrap around, driver focused pair of screens which remind us of the style used in Mercedes-Benz models. 

Kia Niro 2022 interior cabin
Wrap around driver displays give off the luxury car vibe

Kia will debut a technology called the ‘Greenzone Drive mode’ which is new for the Niro. 

The Niro, in both fully-electric and hybrid forms, will automatically enter full EV mode when driving through green zones such as residential areas or nearby hospitals and schools. 

The car will use navigation cues and driving history data to detect when to use electric power only, which will come in handy in places like London that have low emission zones, however this type of council zoning has not come into place in Australian cities. 

What will power the new Kia Niro?

Kia Niro 2022 front 3/4 white
Top spec EV produces 150kW/395Nm from its electric motor

Technical specifications have not yet been released for the next Kia Niro, however we can speculate that the hybrid and electric models will have similar outputs to the current Niro range available in Australia. 

The entry level hybrid currently uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine paired with an electric motor to produce 104kW of power and 265Nm of torque

The plug-in hybrid model is powered by the same hybrid setup but has the option to be able to be plugged in and charged when needed. 

The flagship EV model uses a 150kW electric motor which produces 395Nm of torque. It is powered by a 64kWh battery pack and has a range of 455km according to WLTP testing. 

On a 100kW DC fast charger, the Niro EV can be charged from 0-80 percent in just 54 minutes.