The new Kia Niro’s environmentally friendly, imaginative solutions and formal details have been reported in detail before. The information just released is still incomplete, but more than anything – it’s a shame that only one Kia has added a new photo.
The Niro will be available in the same way with three electrified powertrains, all so far. Details of the plug-in hybrid and purely electric models will be released by the factory prior to market launch, but the full hybrid version has already been revealed. It is not yet known when this will happen; domestic sales of the hybrid model will begin as early as January, with the new Niro HEV appearing in export markets later in 2022.
The foundation is a 1.6-liter direct-injection petrol engine with improved cooling, reduced internal friction and improved combustion – all in all, for better efficiency. The peak power is thus only 105 hp, while the torque is 144 Nm. The maximum power of the electric motor is 32 kW, and the combined peak power of the powertrain is 141 hp. The average consumption of the unit, which is associated with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, is 4.8 liters / 100 km according to Korean standard measurements. The medium resistance coefficient of 0.29 also helps in economical operation.
The Kia Niro is based on a new floorboard and has grown bigger with it. The exact dimensions can be found in the table below. Kia has struggled for every inch, every deciliter: the 12V battery, for example, has been moved under the rear seats next to the high-voltage traction battery, increasing the boot capacity from 436 to 451 liters.
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The space-saving frame structure of the front seats and the narrow headrests also contribute to a better feeling of space. The front passenger seat is tilted to the rest position at the push of a button, and the front seats are equipped not only with a storage compartment but also with USB charging sockets.
The cabin has not only become more spacious, but also more pleasant: sophisticated, environmentally friendly materials surround the passengers, the surfaces are available in three shades, and the lighting can vary between 74 different colors. The asymmetrical instrument panel features easy-to-operate controls, a 10-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch digital display. The shift lever is replaced by a directional dial, the floor console storage compartment can be rearranged and also serves as a double cup holder, as well as a cordless phone shelf.
The contrasting roof panel is now a trite (though still impressive) style element, so Kia Niro customers can request a C-pillar with a different finish: a total of six colors to choose from.
A big new feature of the Kia Niro is the green zone mode: the car automatically detects when you are near certain pre-defined locations (eg residential areas, schools, hospitals) and switches to electric mode. Such zones can be programmed by the driver himself.
The regenerative braking system is just as smart: it always achieves optimal energy recovery based on navigation data and radar measurements, with a fine, steady deceleration.
Engineers also replaced the chassis and steering gear. MacPherson struts at the front, four swingarm suspensions at the rear, tuning for precise, direct handling, not to mention suspension comfort. Engine and road noise are kept away from the passenger compartment by extra sound insulation.
In addition to the structural strength of the new generation floorboard, modern driver support features also improve the safety of the model; for example, the car detects when a vehicle is approaching from the front or from any side that will cross the Niro route and slow down to avoid a collision.
Kia can park even without a driver, though not entirely on its own: the owner must give the command from the remote control. Anyway, you don’t even need a key for the car, the owner can also identify the owner from his mobile phone, and if we want, we can also control the smart devices of our home from the car. The front and rear on-board cameras are also connected to the communication network, so we can watch the recorded videos either at home or from a mobile phone. A similar feature is the Valet mode, where you can track the movement of a vehicle if you have lent it to someone or left it in a workshop.