Kia's design team can do no wrong. They've crossed over into the promised land by injecting a pinch of sex appeal into some of the most mundane bodystyles. Case in point, the side-view mirror pictured above. As far as something that's usually an afterthought, it does look good.
Like all modern designs from Kia, the all-new second-generation 2022 Kia Niro is going to be a looker. We’ve seen the hybrid (HEV) version before but it wouldn’t hurt to turn that neck for a second look, especially with these latest set of photos that truly exemplifies the eye-catching design cues.
While waiting for the Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) variants too break cover, this will have to suffice. If you’re wondering where exactly the Niro slots into Kia’s line-up, it pretty much fills the gap between the Sportage and the Seltos.
During the briefing for the new Niro, things were kept really simple; prioritising fuel efficiency.
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A huge chunk of that focus was centred on achieving an impressively low drag coefficient (Cd) value of 0.29. You’ll notice the function over form ethos on spots such as the Aero C-pillar.
It continues into the cabin with a wraparound interior that places convenience and usability at the forefront for occupants.
Also Read: Malaysia-bound all-new 2022 Kia Niro hybrid specs revealed; 1.6-litre engine, 20.8 km/l
Clever use of sharp diagonal lines draws occupants’ attention to the 10.25-inch panoramic high-definition display that doubles up as the instrument cluster and control centre for the infotainment.
Being the HEV variant, the powertrain comprises Kia’s Smartstream 1.6-litre four-cylinder GDI petrol engine that produces 105 PS and 144 Nm on its own. Sandwiched between this and the second-generation 6-speed dual clutch transmission is a 32-kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motors that produce a combined output of 141 PS.
Going a step further with pure electric propulsion is Kia’s Green Zone Drive Mode. Simply put, the car will automatically switch to pure electric power in environments and situations such as a school or residential area. The driver can pre-set green mode for specific areas or have the system identify it automatically via geo-fencing.
All that Kia has let slip regarding the engine for now is the fuel consumption of 20.8 km/litre.
Also Read: Kia Niro is coming to Malaysia in 2023, what is it and why you should get excited about it
Together with green mode, Kia introduced a new smart regenerative braking system that places control of the regenerative braking force to slow the car down in the hand; or left foot, of the driver.
Safety wise, there’s a full suite of ADAS known as DriveWise. You’ll find the usual acronyms such as Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind-spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW) and Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC) among the list.
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Add in further tech like Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) Safe Exit Assist (SEA) that warns passengers of approaching vehicles when exiting the car, and Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) to ensure occupants are in the safest hands possible.
Here in Malaysia, Kia's new distributor Dinamikjaya, has plans to launch the second-generation Kia Niro on our shores in 2023. Fully utilising the the tax-free policy for EVs starting this year, the distributor will even be considering local assembly for the model that might include the fully-electric variant.