Kia has revealed a bold new design for its Nissan Juke-rivalling Niro crossover, before the refreshed family-friendly model arrives on roads in 2022. Revealed in Kia’s home country at the Seoul motor show, the new Niro also gets an upgraded interior with a wider infotainment system and sharper graphics, alongside plusher cabin materials to emphasise Kia’s ambitions to move upmarket. At first glimpse, we’d say Kia’s designers have done a fantastic job.
Despite remaining fairly compact in size like the current Niro, the 2022 car looks positively butch with its new exterior, which mixes futuristic details onto a practical bodyshape perfectly suited to the needs of a small family. The Niro’s place as one of Britain best crossovers (models that bridge the gap between cars and proper SUVs) is well-established enough, but this 2022 model looks well placed to lure in a few more fashion-conscious buyers than its handsome, but less striking predecessor.
Like the current car, ‘self-charging’ hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions will be offered. The hybrid models will use Kia’s 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, with the combined efforts of petrol and electric giving the more powerful plug-in version an anticipated 265hp. The e-Niro electric model will likely improve on the current car’s 201hp, as well as its claimed 282-mile range. It’ll face the same electric rivals as its predecessor, such as the MG ZS EV and Skoda Enyaq iV, in what is fast becoming one of the most hotly contested classes out there.
Inside, the 2022 Niro’s enhanced interior won’t do any harm to Kia’s progression up the automotive ladder, with the company’s excellent record for reliability increasingly now coming alongside great reports for build quality and functionality. The mix of nicer materials hasn’t come at the cost of sustainability, either, with Kia using lots of recycled materials, including a headlining made from recycled wallpaper and seats with fibres from eucalyptus leaves. Even the door panels are coated in a water-based paint that’s from BTX petrochemicals. It’s a great effort all round.
Adding to that is the Niro’s clever connected features, one of which allows the hybrid model to know when it’s close to pollution sensitive areas. If the hybrid Niro is driving down the road of a school, for example, it’ll automatically default to electric-only mode so as not to contribute to local emissions. Smart. Being aware of its surroundings and the route ahead also allows the hybrid model to better manage its energy use, lowering fuel consumption. The same is true for the electric car, which can make better use of its available battery.
At this early stage, however, further details are slim. Kia will no doubt release more information in the run up to the 2022 Niro’s market launch, including its starting price. Something close to the current car’s ‘from’ £26,045 seems likely; although if you’re interested in a used car, you can quickly knock £8,000 off that price with cars available to order on cinch. If the 2022 car is too far off for you to wait, handily for the used buyer, Niros on cinch can also be outside your front door in as little as one week. We don’t like to brag…