Kia Niro is coming to Malaysia in 2023, what is it and why you should get excited about it

Jerrica · Jan 9, 2022 03:30 PM

Kia Niro is coming to Malaysia in 2023, what is it and why you should get excited about it 01

Dinamikjaya Motors Sdn Bhd, the new distributor of Kia vehicles in Malaysia, announced that at least four Kia models will be making their way here. One of which is the Kia Niro, an SUV that Malaysians are relatively unaware of. What is the Kia Niro and where does it sit in the model hierarchy? Here’s a brief introduction.

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First-generation Kia Niro

The first-generation Kia Niro is Kia’s dedicated low-emissions hybrid crossover. The SUV came only in hybrid guise at launch, Kia later introduced a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and a battery electric vehicle (BEV) version in 2018.

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Think of the SUV as a declaration from the brand to a greener future as the Niro is Kia’s first eco-friendly focused vehicle before the Kia EV6 came into existence.

Also read: 4 new Kia models to Malaysia, EV included - CKD Kia Carnival, Sportage, Sorento, Niro

Kia Niro is coming to Malaysia in 2023, what is it and why you should get excited about it 01

Measuring 4,355 x 1,805 x 1,545 mm in length, width, and height with a wheelbase of 2,700 mm. The Niro is sized between the Kia Sportage and the Kia Seltos, it is very similar in size with the Europe only Kia XC’eed, the SUV version of the hatchback Kia C’eed (yes, the one on Top Gear).

Kia Niro vs Kia Sportage and Kia Seltos
  Kia Niro Kia Seltos Kia Sportage
Length (mm) 4,355 4,315 4,515
Width (mm) 1,805 1,800 1,865
Height (mm) 1,545 1,645 1,645
Wheelbase (mm) 2,700 2,610 2,680

At launch, the Niro came with only a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder GDI engine that is mated to a 1.56 kWh battery. The engine has a combined output of 141 PS and 264 Nm.

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The EV version, known as the e-Niro has two power outputs 130 PS/ 395 Nm and 201 PS/ 395 Nm. It comes with two battery options as well - a 39.2 kWh that offers 288 km and 64 kWh that has a 455 km distance range.

Also read: Ora Good Cat, Mazda MX-30, Lexus UX 300e, and 8 other EVs launching in Malaysia in 2022

Kia Niro is coming to Malaysia in 2023, what is it and why you should get excited about it 03

Second-generation Kia Niro

Kia only recently debuted the second-generation Kia Niro at the 2021 Seoul Mobility Show. The all-new Niro developed under the company’s Opposites United design philosophy, fulfilling the ‘Joy for Reason’ ethos.

Kia Niro is coming to Malaysia in 2023, what is it and why you should get excited about it 04

The company’s signature ‘tiger face’ has been redesigned to extend from the bonnet right through to the fender.

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From the striking heartbeat LED daytime running lights (DRL) to the vertical boomerang taillights Kia claims that the new Niro’s lights are penned to emphasise the SUV’s improved aerodynamics.

Also read: Kia e-Niro EV planned for Malaysian launch in 2021 – CKD assembly considered

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As of yet, Kia has not released any powertrain information.

Like we’ve mentioned, Dinamikjaya has pretty much confirmed that the Kia Niro is one of the few models planned for Malaysia. The distributor will take advantage of the tax-free policy for EVs starting this year to introduce the Kia e-Niro EV and even consider local assembly for the EV.

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But we don’t expect the Niro to make it here until at least 2023 taking into account the lead time it takes from official world debut to preparing the car for its local launch.

Also read: Budget 2022: Zero tax for BEVs, zero road tax too, with RM 2.5k income tax rebates

Jerrica

Writer

There isn’t a time in memory that doesn’t involve staring at cars. After discovering the excitement of watching Schumacher vs Hakkinen, Formula 1 became a major part of life. The love for cars and F1 ultimately led to a job with CAR Magazine. The untimely death of the magazine meant a hiatus from cars at lifestyle women’s magazine Marie Claire before another opportunity came knocking again.

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