The popular Kia Niro crossover will be officially presented at the event New York Auto Show, which will take place on April 13 in the Big Apple. For the new edition, the Korean manufacturer has decided to start with a totally new design. First of all, the new Kia Niro offers a choice between three low- and zero-emission powertrains: Hybrid (HEV), Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) ed Electric (BEV). The HEV and PHEV models are equipped with the Smartstream 1.6 GDI petrol engine. The Niro EV offers a zero-emission range of up to 463 km (according to the WLTP cycle) in purely electric mode.
New Kia Niro: size and comfort
The new Kia Niro – 4,420 mm long, 1,825 mm wide and up to 1,570 mm high – was developed on the third generation “K” platform. With a wheelbase of 2,720mm and new proportions, the exterior of the new Niro offers class-leading interior space and boot capacity.
Recycled materials were used for the interior finishes. The minimalist dashboard has smooth lines and operation is intuitive. L’head-up display (HUD) improves safety and comfort while driving, and a suite of new safety systems brings the latest advancements in occupant protection to the family-friendly crossover.
The second generation Kia Niro offers a package of ADAS systems (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) of the family DriveWisewhose job is to avoid potential dangers while driving and to ensure the safety of all road users. Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) warns the driver of possible collisions with other vehicles or pedestrians and is able to brake the car. Protection when turning at intersections and monitoring of pedestrians crossing the intersection provide additional safety when changing direction. The system can also brake the Niro in the event that lateral movement is detected when a car approaches from the left or right.
The PHEV and HEV models use the Smartstream 1.6 GDI petrol engine, paired with a second generation six-speed dual-clutch transmission (6DCT). The innovations used in the second generation Smartstream 1.6 GDI power unit include low friction ball bearings. The gearbox was also modified: the gears were optimized for efficiency and the reverse gear was removed, which saved 2.3 kg. Driving in reverse is carried out only by means of the electric motor, which eliminates emissions during this maneuver.
The Niro HEV has a total power of 141hp generated by a four-cylinder engine in combination with a 43hp synchronous electric motor with permanent magnets. In the PHEV version, the 84 hp electric motor provides a maximum total power of 183 hp and an electric range of up to 65 km (WLTP combined cycle, 16-inch wheels).
Niro PHEV is the first Kia to be equipped with a 5.5 kW high voltage heating system for plug-in hybrid models. This system increases the range when driving with electric drive on colder days. Automatically controlled ceramic elements simultaneously heat the passenger compartment and the battery, continuously supplying warm air.
The driving mode Green Zone, available on both Niro HEV and Niro PHEV, automatically uses electricity thanks to the detection of the car’s position provided by the navigation system. This mode can learn typical routes, but the driver also has the option to manually define the Green Zone. Built-up areas and roads near schools and hospitals are marked as green zones where the Niro automatically switches to electric drive. The driver can also designate other areas in which he wishes to reduce the car’s emissions.
The electric version of the new Niro combines a long range of 463 km (WLTP) with excellent performance. The maximum power of the electric motor is 204 hp and is available from 6,000 to 14,600 rpm. Maximum torque is 255 Nm. Top speed is 167 km / h and 0-100 km / h acceleration is 7.8 seconds. The Niro EV has a drag coefficient of 0.29.
It takes 43 minutes to recharge the Niro EV lithium-ion battery, which can store 64.8 kWh of energy, 10 to 80%, with a suitable DC fast charger. When the outside temperature is low, the battery management system uses navigation to preheat the battery if the charging station selected as the destination is far away. This helps minimize charging times and ensure maximum battery performance. The Niro EV is equipped with a standard CCS charging port.
The Niro EV differs from the PHEV and HEV models by a built-in two-color cover between the headlights and unique steel gray covers on the sides of the body. The BEV version also has a different and exclusive bumper grille 17-inch light alloy wheels. The charging port is conveniently located in the center of the front cover between the headlights for easy access to all charging points.
There are nine modern exterior colors to choose from: C.ityscape Green, Clear White, Snow Pearl White, Aurora Pearl Black, Mineral Blue, Interstellar Grey, Delight Orange, Runway Red e Light Grey Steel. Additional options for customizing the exterior include a choice of different C-pillar colors to contrast or complement the body color and two different upholstery colors depending on equipment.
Kia puts comfort first
Other features that make the new Niro interesting include Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) and the ability to charge other receivers (V2L). The RSPA system allows the driver to leave the car before parking and carry out the parking maneuver by pressing a button. In tight spaces, the Niro can park automatically, moving back and forth in a straight line using cameras and ultrasonic sensors. The V2L functionwhich proves to be a beneficial solution for EV6 users, means that the unused energy in the battery can be used to power external electrical devices.
The roof is made from recycled materials, the door panels are finished with VOC-free paint, the seat covers are made of vegan PU leather with eucalyptus Tencel and the trunk lining is made of 75% fabric made from recycled fibers. Sustainable elements create an eco-friendly interior filled with natural and pleasant-to-the-touch materials.
The new Kia Niro offers a lot of space in the cockpit and more space in the trunk than its main rivals. With 475 liters of trunk capacity and 20 liters of additional space in the front trunk, the new Niro EV has a total of 495 liters of storage space. I modelli HEV e PHEV ha boot capacity of 451 and 348 liters respectively, each of which can be expanded by folding the rear seat backrests flat. When folded, the cargo space increases to 1,445 liters for the Niro HEV, 1,342 liters for the PHEV and 1,392 liters for the electric Niro.
The arrival in the dealerships is expected during the month of June. Prices for the Italian market have not yet been disclosed.