The 2023 Kia Niro is a cool crossover
We’re pretty sure Kia will make the most radical cars in the electrified universe. The Kia EV6 looks dope and in their current portfolio of hybrid cars, the likes of Kia Sportage and Kia Sorento have been radically revamped to match the company’s “Opposites United” design ethos. Frankly, we were avoiding them Kias before the redesign to look ordinary!
And one of those mundane offerings was the Kia Niro. Since its inception in 2017, the Niro has been pretty boring. Well, that changes now with the all-new, second-generation 2023 Niro US Spec which was unveiled at the 2022 New York Auto Show. The new Niro is styled like the Kia HabaNiro concept shown in 2019.
The 2023 Niro’s interior also takes a lesson or two from the EV6’s interior while using durable materials. Technology is at the forefront with many connectivity and security features making the list desirable. The 2023 Niro carries over the hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric iterations from last year, but with notable tweaks.
The all-new 2023 Kia Niro shows us that the future can be both sustainable and desirable.
HabaNiro vibrates with a game of contrasts and opposites
This is one of the biggest design revisions we’ve come across. The first-generation Niro was plain and boring to be precise, and that wasn’t a disappointment as a “hybrid” was never considered an exciting vehicle until recently. But with the all-new second-generation makeover, Kia has injected an elixir of youth into this crossover. The 2023 Niro is built on Kia’s “Opposites United” design philosophy.
According to Kia, it combines “inspiration from nature with aerodynamic refinement”. Additionally, the crossover has grown about an inch in all directions, which now puts it well above its “compact” class. The coolest design sign is the Audi R8-like contrast panel that’s slapped on the rear third quarter. This is the “Aero Blade” accent panel which can be painted in a multitude of contrasting shades to add more drama to the sleek design.
The basic design language is taken directly from the Kia HabaNiro concept. The automaker has done an impressive job of retaining many design elements from the concept. The front fascia is highlighted by a radically designed headlamp setup, and the taillights are boomerang-shaped. It can also be fitted with optional 18-inch wheels on hybrid and PHEV models, inspired by the HabaNiro concept.
Trio of efficient powertrains, including a 253-mile electric vehicle
The 2023 Kia Niro continues to be offered in hybrid or all-electric versions. The standard iteration will be a hybrid package in a 1.6-liter inline-4 engine mated to a 32 kW electric motor producing a combined output of 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. This layout remains unchanged from last year and returns a combined 53 MPG.
Up next is the Niro PHEV which combines the same 1.6-litre petrol engine with a larger 62kW electric motor and 11.1kWh Li-Ion battery. Total power is bumped up to 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, which Kia claims offers an EV-only range of 33 miles when fitted with 16-inch wheels. The PHEV can be recharged from zero to full using Level 2 charging in less than three hours.
The EV contains a 64.8 kWh battery and a 201 hp electric motor. It offers fast DC charging that can boost 10-80% in less than 45 minutes. The paired 11kW charger enables a full charge in less than seven hours on a Level 2 charger. And the Niro EV 2023 can travel 253 miles on a single charge.
Radical Interior bets on innovation and sustainability
The interior also gets a complete overhaul and is now styled like the Kia EV6 with a clean, futuristic approach. The dashboard has a slanted design with things that narrow as we move away from the cockpit. The two-spoke steering wheel is radical but comfortable to use. But the most important aspect is that Kia has gone the sustainable and recycled route with the materials used.
Kia states that there are no animal products in the cabin. The headliner is made from recycled paper and the upholstery is made from “bio polyurethane” and materials extracted from eucalyptus leaves. The single-panel instrument cluster and infotainment system are additional options that merge two 10.25-inch screens. And the increase in dimensions also translates into improved seating and cargo space.
The 2023 Kia Niro is all about tech
Technology is front and center in the 2023 Kia Niro. The electric vehicle comes with ‘vehicle-to-charge’ capabilities that can use the car’s battery to run a range of appliances, including a coffee maker! Comfort and convenience are enhanced with a host of technology features, including optional front seat heating and ventilation and available memory settings. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and a head-up display is optional.
The 2023 Niro can also be equipped with an optional eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. Safety features are held in high regard with loads that come as standard. These include Forward Collision Avoidance with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Follow Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Lane Keep Assist, to name a few. name a few.
Optional features include Intelligent Cruise Control with Stop and Go, navigation-based cornering speed reduction, as well as Highway Driving Assist 2 (a semi-autonomous driving feature). Kia is also offering a new “Green Zone” driving mode for hybrid and PHEV models that automatically switches to EV-only propulsion by detecting residential areas, school zones and hospitals using the navigation system.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but the 2023 Kia Niro should be at the dealership by fall 2022. We expect it to be a value proposition and undercut the Kia EV6, which should start from $40,000.
Sources: Kiamedia.com, Caranddriver.com, Cars.com