The new model, which is expected to hit the road somewhere in 2022 as a 2023 model, is heavily inspired by the HabaNiro concept unveiled at the 2019 New York Auto Show. In particular, the 2023 Niro gets this contrasting colored rear pillar that even has an aerodynamic function since there is an air passage between it and the vehicle’s skeleton. The parking light is also housed here, while the turn signals are installed directly in the rear bumper, a signature of some Kia products.
While the profile doesn’t change much from the outgoing model, the styling is closer to an SUV with an adventurous look, with the plastic molding extending over most of the doors. The nose is not left out with this complex arrangement of daytime running lights, fog lights and this two-level grill. Note that Kia also showed off the styling of the plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions with this hatch in the middle of the bumper.
A few photos of the interior were also revealed for this world launch, with Kia managing to integrate a driver-centric dashboard with a digital screen behind the steering wheel and a second, touch-sensitive one in the center of the dashboard. The manufacturer hasn’t confirmed this, but it seems that the climate control buttons are also touch-sensitive. We’ll have to wait for more details before confirming this. The center console is also very uncluttered with a knob as the gear selector and a few additional controls on either side.
Kia also wanted to emphasize the “green” side of its vehicle available in three flavors (hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric) by incorporating recycled materials like this headliner made of recycled wallpaper, seats covered in Bio PU with Tencel from eucalyptus leaves as well as BTX-free paint on the door panels to minimize the impact on the environment.
The automaker also adds a “Greenzone Drive Mode,” a feature that recognizes “green zones” such as residential areas or near schools or hospitals and switches the plug-in hybrid model to purely electric mode based on navigation cues and driving history. Even the workplace and residence are recognized as green zones where the vehicle will switch to electric mode if the battery energy is sufficient at least.
We should know a little more about the details of the Canadian model later this year or in 2022. The Kia Niro has had some success here since its introduction in 2017.