The Kia Niro has been treated to a radical style overhaul for 2022, being redesigned from the ‘ground up’.
And with bold two-tone rear haunches, a more rugged exterior and more SUV like proportions, it's almost like the popular crossover has been down the gym pumping iron.
The Niro has gone from strength to strength since first being introduced back in 2016.
And in recent months the compact family SUV has won a clutch of industry awards. What Car? named the all-electric e-Niro variant the 'best small electric car for long journeys', praising its ability to travel almost 300 miles between charges. Meanwhile the Business Motor Awards also recently handed the Niro gongs for both 'Best Hybrid' and 'Company Car of the Year'.
So, you wouldn't have blamed Kia for playing it safe and not tinkering too much with a winning formula when designing this new facelifted model.
But that hasn't happened. At all.
And in our book, Kia should be applauded for the way it has approached the makeover - as they really have created something that stands out in the marketplace.
Your eyes are immediately drawn to the rear 'c-pillars', which are a different shade to the rest of the car and harbour 'boomerang' light clusters. They're also created with sophisticated aerodynamic principals in mind.
There's an all new front end, with Kia tweaking the tiger grille front face to make it look more purposeful, more aggressive. And there are nods all round that suggest the Niro is very much a mini SUV, not just a mild mannered run-around.
Kia is also keen to make the new Niro more environmentally-friendly than ever before, too.
Ho Sung Song, President and CEO of Kia, says:
“Kia continues to take steps towards a more sustainable future, inviting everyone to join the movement into the new mobility era. The all-new Kia Niro makes it simple to practice a sustainable lifestyle with its eco-friendly materials, advanced technology and electric powertrains while it also fulfills the practical needs of customers."
Inside the cabin there’s recycled materials throughout. The headlining is made from recycled wallpaper, the seats are made from Bio-based polyurethane - as opposed to petrochemical alternatives - and incorporate eucalyptus leaves.
Meanwhile the paint used on the door panels is free from benzene, toluene, and xylene isomers - minimising the impact on the environment and reducing waste.
The off-centre dash ‘curves around the front occupants with horizontal and diagonal lines opposing each other to create a calming, yet irregular aesthetic’, says Kia. And there are slim seats for extra cabin space, too.
As with the outgoing version, the Niro will be available as a self-charging hybrid-electric, a plug-in hybrid and a full-blown EV.
Kia will also introduce something it calls 'Greenzone Drive Mode' to the Niro - which automatically transfers the (P)HEV into EV drive mode to ‘meet the demand for sustainable mobility solutions’.
A spokesperson adds:
“When driving in green zones such as residential areas, or nearby schools and hospitals, the vehicle automatically uses electric power based on navigation cues and driving history data. It also recognises a driver's favourite places, including home and office registered in the navigation system as a green zone.”
We’ll bring you more news - particularly when it comes to the powertrains - when they drop.
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