We take a closer look at the Malaysia-bound Kia Niro at the 2023 Singapore Motor Show
CY Foong · Jan 16, 2023 01:55 PM
When BAuto’s Dinamikjaya Motors took over as the Malaysian distributor for Kia, it announced 4 new models planned and one of it is the Kia Niro. Currently in its second generation, the Niro is Kia’s electrified SUV and is available as a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an EV.
At the recently concluded Singapore Motor Show 2023 held over the weekend, Kia Singapore had just launched the Kia Niro EV. The Niro Hybrid was launched in 2022 with prices starting from SGD 150,999 (~RM 497k) while the Niro EV starts from SGD 189,999 (~RM 625k).
Though the Niro EV’s prices are revealed, deliveries are only expected to begin later in Q1 2023. It is also the second Kia EV that is currently available in the little red dot after the Kia EV6 which starts from SGD 284,999 (~RM 938k).
Toyota Corolla Cross
Dimensions-wise, the Kia Niro sits between the Honda HR-Vand Toyota Corolla Cross. Despite that, the Korean SUV has the longest wheelbase among the trio.
The latest Kia Niro is a much better-looking SUV than its blobby predecessor with the iconic “Tiger Nose” grille given a dynamic design that is also seen in its bigger brother, the Sportage. Aerodynamic is the main aim for the second-gen Niro with a low drag coefficient (Cd) value of 0.29 to save fuel.
The Niro Hybrid is powered by a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine coupled with a 32-kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor (141 PS/264 Nm combined). This parallel-hybrid unit is paired with a 6-speed DCT automatic transmission via a shift-by-wire rotary gear.
Meanwhile, the Niro EV is juiced up by a 64.8 kWh battery while its single electric motor on the front axle makes 201 PS and 255 Nm. It has a range of 460 km under the WLTP test cycle while DC fast charging (up to 85 kW) takes 45 minutes to replenish 10 to 80 per cent.
Though details of the Singapore-spec Niro EV apart from the price are still not revealed, it is expected to have the same features as the rest of the world. This includes the Vehicle to Load (V2L) feature which allows the electric SUV to power up appliances during emergencies.
As for the Niro Hybrid, convenience features offered include a hands-free power tailgate, a sunroof, ambient lighting, wireless charger, along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The slim front seats’ headrests also double up as a coat hanger/shopping bag hook which is probably an important feature for shopaholics. Additionally, the seat materials are bio-synthetic leather which is made from eucalyptus trees, so it also gets green points from environmentalists.
Speaking of green, the Niro Hybrid comes with Green Zone Drive Mode which is Kia’s fancy way of calling electric-only mode. This feature can be set by geo-fencing or pre-set by the driver as they enter a residential or school area.
The Singapore-spec Niro Hybrid is also packed with safety features including Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind-spot Collision-avoidance Assist (BCA), Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), and Smart Cruise Control (SCC).
The Singapore-spec Niro Hybrid is fully-imported (CBU) from South Korea though there are local assembly (CKD) plans for the Malaysian-spec Niro. Its launch won’t be so soon however as the third Kia model to be launched under Dinamikjaya would likely be the Kia Sorento.