The Kia Niro has long been a staff-favorite here at Engadget. On Wednesday, the Korean automaker took to the NYIAS 2022 stage to show off its latest iterations of the popular compact sport utility, one for every kind of driver.
The second-generation, 2023 Niro will arrive in dealer showrooms in all 50 states later this summer, available as either as a hybrid-electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid, or battery electric vehicle. The HEV version pairs a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a 32kW permanent magnet synchronous e-motor producing a total 139 horsepower and 195 lb ft of torque with 53 mpg combined and an estimated 588-mile range. The PHEV doubles the size of the companion e-motor to 62kW, outputting a total of 180 HP and 195 lb ft of torque. Its 11.1 kWh battery refills completely in under 3 hours on a level 2 (home) charger and can propel the vehicle up to 33 miles on its own (a 25 percent improvement over last year’s model).
The full EV (which qualifies for the federal $7,500 tax rebate) will offer a 64.8 kWh battery powering a 150kW (201 HP) motor with a range of 253 miles. On a level 3 (DC fast charge) connection, it can replenish 10 to 80 percent in under 45 minutes, but only at a rate of 85 kW. On a level 2 charger, that same operation will take just under 7 hours.
For this model year, Kia is introducing a new drive mode as well. In addition to the standard Sport and Eco modes, the Green Zone setting automatically switches the HEV and PHEV into all electric mode when in residential areas or nearby schools and hospitals. Also new for this year, the Niro will feature the same V2L bidirectional charging found on the EV6.
The Niro is also growing. It’s wheelbase is longer in 2023, measuring 107 inches, with a total vehicle length of 174 inches. This translates into additional cargo space behind the rear seats — “8 more cubic feet of passenger cabin room and 50 percent more cargo room than the Tesla Model 3,” according to the company. The cabin is designed with sustainability in mind with a headliner composed of recycled wallpaper, seats covered with bio polyurethane and Tencel made from eucalyptus leaves, and BTX-free paint on the exterior door panels. And despite its larger size, the Niro boasts a .29 drag coefficient.
Similar to the EV6’s interior, the 2023 Niro offers “a tech-focused environment in all configurations and trims,” including dual 10.5-inch infotainment/instrument displays, an optional Head-Up Display, Apple CarPlay / Android Auto support, and all the ADAS features we’ve come to expect like forward collision warnings, lane keeping assist, and a menagerie of random warning alarms. An eight-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system is optional.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.