After the preview last November at the Seoul Motor Show, Kia presented the European version of the new Niro. Compared to the previous generation, the dimensions have grown by 65 mm in length (total 4.42 meters), 20 mm in width, 10 mm in height and 20 mm in wheelbase. Under the hood, the triple offer of electrified engines of the previous model is confirmed. The full hybrid is accompanied by the plug-in hybrid and the full electric, while the platform has been completely redesigned and includes the new four-link multilink rear suspension. As for the first, the thermal part is always delegated to the 1.6-liter direct injection, which has been improved in the combustion chamber and cooling. The system maintains the total power of 141 hp and according to Kia the average consumption will be close to 21 km with a liter, but the figure is still awaiting homologation.
So we will have to wait some more time, also because sales in Italy will start during the third quarter of 2022. The design changes radically compared to the past and, net of the subjective aesthetic taste, it becomes more original but also brings with it an aerodynamic drag coefficient ( Cd) of 0.29. Still in terms of style, the contrasting paints make their debut, with a treatment that includes the C pillar. Even inside, the eye-catcher is completely different, with the dashboard made of opposite horizontal and diagonal lines, and the d ‘lighting. atmosphere with 74 color combinations. The two 10.25-inch HD digital displays, one for the instrumentation and the other for the infotainment system, are integrated into a single solution: the graphics are crisp and the layout is designed to be very intuitive. Finally, on the central console there is the shift-by-wire gearbox.
Another interesting novelty is the “Greenzone Drive Mode” of the PHEV version, which activates the 100% electric mode automatically, when driving in restricted traffic areas, in residential areas or near schools and hospitals; it also recognizes the most frequented places such as home and office and registers them in the navigation system. Speaking of sustainability, extensive use is made of recycled materials in the passenger compartment: the headlining is made of recycled wallpaper, the seats are made of Bio PU with Tencel made from eucalyptus leaves and paint is used on the door panels free of BTX (benzene, toluene, and xylene isomers). Finally, speaking of hi-tech, all the most advanced driving assistance systems will be available on the Niro, including those that monitor intersections during turns, but also the doors when getting out of the car; there is also autonomous parking without a driver on board. The picture is completed by the 10-inch head-up display, advanced voice control and the Kia Connect app.