Since its arrival on the market in 2017, the reputation of the Kia Niro compact hatchback has only grown in the most positive direction possible. Its only shortcoming is its generic and bland style, which detracts from the appeal in the showroom and the excitement of the user experience.
The next generation of Kia’s electrified small two-volume ends up with that lack. Breaking all visual ties with his first generation, the new second generation Kia Niro which was just unveiled at the 2021 Seoul Mobility Show in Korea, puts aside the generic spirit of its predecessor and replaces it with a radical look, which will please some and repel others, but which will be difficult to maintain. indifferent.
This change did not happen in a vacuum. The new Kia Niro replicates on a smaller scale the design of the new 2022 Sportage, in which the change felt less radical since the vehicle it replaces also had an individualistic, successful and very striking design. But the vast majority of their lines are derived from Kia HabaNiro electric concept Unveiled at the 2019 New York Auto Show from which it inherited its striking LED daytime running light eyebrows, and contrasting color rear pillar with strong echoes of the first Audi R8. The new Niro HEV’s two-tone alloy wheels, with their Y-spoke design, are also derived from the concept, as are its rearward-curved boomerang-shaped taillights.
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The interior was also completely redesigned with a minimalist design theme, reminding us that luxury lies both in the use of expensive materials, seemingly in short supply in the new Niro, and in a sleek, over-the-top design that the new Niro has to spare. The design of its dashboard and controls, with an emphasis on horizontality, uses a landscape mode screen that houses both the instrument panel and the infotainment system, and other supplementary controls, and is similar to what we got in the new Sportage.
The gear lever on the previous Niro was replaced by a rotary knob in order to free up space in the center console, so it could be surrounded by additional physical buttons for the heating and ventilation systems, the seats, the steering wheel heating, the function. automatic vehicle stop and parking assist system.
In keeping with the eco-friendly spirit of the Niro, Kia told us that the door panels of the new model are painted with BTX, which is a type of water-based paint without benzene, toluene or xylene isomers. The inner lining of its headliner is made from recycled wallpaper, and its bio-polyurethane seats are upholstered in Tencel fabric made from eucalyptus leaf fibers.
Kia kept all the technical specifications of the second generation of the Niro for its official launch in 2022, but we hope that like the model it will replace it will have regular hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric versions.