The all-new Kia Niro CUV made its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show. The company says the next-generation Niro has been designed from the ground up, and the 2023 Niro will launch in the United States with three electrified powertrains: hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric (EV). The vehicle will arrive at Kia retailers in all 50 states this fall.
All three 2023 Kia Niro models are front-wheel-drive. A 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard in HEV and PHEV.
The Niro HEV features a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with a 32kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, for a combined maximum power output of 139 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. Improved cooling, friction and combustion technologies ensure maximum fuel efficiency, and Niro HEV returns a targeted 53 mpg combined and an estimated driving range of 588 miles.
The Niro PHEV pairs the 1.6-liter engine with a 62kW electric motor, for a total system output of 180 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. When it is connected to a Level 2 charger, the Niro PHEV can refill its 11.1-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery in under three hours. Fully charged, the all-electric range (AER) of the Niro PHEV is estimated at 33 miles when fitted with 16-in. wheels: an improvement of 25% over the model it replaces.
The all-electric Niro EV is powered by a 64.8 kWh battery and a 150kW (201 hp) motor with DC fast-charging capability as standard. Plugged in to a Level 3 fast charger, the Niro EV can replenish 10 to 80% in under 45 minutes, at a maximum charging capability of 85 kW. The 11kW onboard charger also helps recharge the Niro EV in under seven hours on a Level 2 charger. Targeted AER for the Niro EV is 253 miles. An optional heat pump and battery warmer help preserve range in cold temperatures.
In addition to Sport and Eco drive modes, the 2023 Kia Niro introduces Green Zone Drive Mode, which automatically transfers Niro HEV and Niro PHEV into EV drive mode in residential areas, and nearby schools and hospitals. The Niro automatically uses electric power based on navigation cues and driving history data, and recognizes favorite places, such as home and office set in the navigation system.
Intelligent regenerative braking enables a variety of regeneration levels to easily slow the car and recuperate kinetic energy to maximize driving range. The system can calculate the amount of regeneration required using radar and road gradient information, and it can allow all Niro models to harvest the maximum amount of energy from its brakes while bringing the vehicle to a gentle halt.
Approaching the vehicle, heartbeat-inspired DRLs and available power-folding mirrors act as a driver greeting. Once inside, available memory seats on some variants recall the driver’s position, and programmable mood lighting sets the scene. An available Head-Up Display (HUD) projects directions, active safety warnings, vehicle speed, and current infotainment directly in the driver’s line of sight. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are standard, and a wireless phone charger is optional.
The 2023 Niro EV is available with the same vehicle-to-load (V2L) onboard generator functionality pioneered by the EV6.
Standard ADAS technology on the 2023 Niro includes:
- Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) with pedestrian detection capability: Warns if there is risk of a collision with a pedestrian in front of the vehicle while driving and may automatically assist with braking
- Lane Keeping Assist (LKA): Helps detect lane markings and provides steering inputs to help prevent the vehicle from leaving the lane while driving
- Lane Following Assist (LFA): Helps detect lane markings and vehicles ahead and provides steering inputs to help center the vehicle in the lane
- Driver Attention Warning (DAW): Analyzes the driver attention level and provides a warning if a break is recommended. It may also provide a leading vehicle departure alert if the leading vehicle departs from a stop and the driver does not react within a certain time period
- Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (BCA) with Parallel Exit: May help avoid collisions with rear-side vehicles when exiting a parallel parking spot by automatically assisting with braking
- Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist (RCCA): Helps detect approaching cross traffic when in reverse. When approaching cross traffic is detected, the system alerts the driver and may apply brakes
- Safe Exit Warning (SEW): Provides a warning when a vehicle is approaching from the rear-side while someone is exiting the vehicle
- Rear Occupant Alert (ROA): Provides a warning to the driver to check the rear seat before exiting the vehicle
- Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Navigation-Based Curve is available across the Niro lineup, as is FCA with Assist-Junction w/ Cyclist & Junction Turning. Optional for the first time on Niro EV is Highway Driving Assist II10, which integrates the functionality of Lane Change Assist, FCA with Lane Change, and Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning.
Kia Connect advanced in-vehicle connectivity, which is accessible in-car or through the Kia Access App, is standard on Niro EX and above. Additionally, the driver can unlock the 2023 Niro’s doors through new Digital Key 2.0, which facilitates opening and starting the Niro using an Apple iPhone, Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy smartphones. Over-The-Air (OTA) updates ensure that maps and the infotainment system are updated automatically. Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Immobilization offers peace of mind for owners, with the capability to assist law enforcement agencies to recover a stolen vehicle.
Smart Speaker Integration lets customers use Amazon-Alexa or Google-Assistant enabled smart speakers or devices to remotely control certain vehicle functions, such as remote start. Additional functionality, including 911 Connect and Roadside Assistance, are also part of the Kia Connect feature set.