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Kia unveils next-generation Niro; hybrid first, PHEV and BEV to follow

Kia has revealed the all-new next-generation Niro. Based on the third generation platform, the new Niro benefits from a larger body that realizes class-leading interior space and storage capacity.


The all-new Niro features a trio of state-of-the-art electrified powertrains, including hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric (BEV) options. PHEV and BEV models will be revealed at a later date, closer to market launch.

The HEV features Kia’s highly-efficient Smartstream 1.6-liter GDI gasoline engine. The four-cylinder unit produces a maximum output of 105PS along with 144 Nm (14.7 kgf.m) of torque, while improved cooling, friction and combustion technologies ensure maximum fuel efficiency. When combined with the 32kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor, the HEV model produces a combined maximum power output of 141PS.

The 1.6-liter GDI engine is mated to the second-generation 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (6DCT) that has been carefully engineered and optimized to increase efficiency and reduce weight.

The Niro comes equipped with Kia’s Green Zone Drive Mode that automatically activates the electric-only drive operation of the car to ensure zero-emissions mobility in certain environments and situations. For example, when driving in green zones such as residential areas, or nearby schools and hospitals, the Niro HEV model automatically uses electric power based on navigation and driving history data. The driver can also set dedicated green zones into the navigation system to reduce pollution in areas such as near their home or place of work.

Kia’s smart regenerative braking system enables drivers to choose from a series 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. The system allows the car to harvest the maximum amount of energy from its brakes while bringing the vehicle to a gentle halt.

A new suspension and steering system have been optimized to ensure a comfortable and harmonious driving experience. At the front, the all-new Niro benefits from a MacPherson strut type suspension, while the rear gets a four-link type set-up. The front and rear geometry have both been tuned for improved responsiveness, stability and ride comfort, while an optimized steering gear ratio and a new tilt-type strut bearing reduces friction to improve steering feel. Additional insulation and padding have been inserted around the vehicle’s structure to help combat unwanted engine and road noise.

Sales of the all-new Kia Niro HEV will commence in Korea this month, with sales in selected global markets due to follow later this year.

The all-new Niro’s dimensions have grown over its predecessor, with a length measuring 4,420mm, a width of 1,825mm, a height of 1,545mm, and a wheelbase of 2,720mm, up by 65mm, 20mm, 10mm and 20mm respectively.

By repositioning the Niro’s 12V battery out of the wheelhouse, and instead integrating it alongside the high-voltage battery at the bottom of the rear seats, trunk load capacity for the Niro HEV model reaches 451 liters (VDA), up 15 liters over its predecessor.

Advanced safety. Safety has been a top priority during the development of the all-new Niro. As a result, the vehicle’s high-strength lightweight body features a multi-load front impact structure to ensure passengers benefit from outstanding levels of safety in the event of a front-end collision.

The second-generation Niro includes a full complement of Kia’s DriveWise intelligent Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) that are designed to avoid potential hazards and improve confidence and convenience behind the wheel.

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) warns the driver if the risk of a collision is detected with other vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists. The system’s Junction Turning and Junction Crossing functions provide maximum preventative safety when navigating junctions. If the all-new Niro’s turn signal is activated, the system will warn the driver if there is a collision risk with an oncoming vehicle. Similarly, a warning is provided if there is a risk from vehicles approaching from the left or right when the driver is travelling straight across a junction. If either risk increases, the system will warn the driver before automatically applying the brakes to avoid a collision.

Using information from the new Niro’s front view camera and navigation system, Intelligent Speed Limit Assist (ISLA) delivers a warning and adjusts the speed if the driver travels over the speed limit. Once parked, Safe Exit Assist (SEA) provides a warning when a vehicle is approaching from the rear-side when getting out of the vehicle, with the electronic child lock preventing rear seat passengers from opening the rear door.

Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) is a feature that enables the vehicle to park itself autonomously, whether or not the driver is in the vehicle. It enables drivers to move their car out of a front-and-back parking space remotely with their key fob.

Other ADAS features include Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), High Beam Assist (HBA), Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control (NSCC), Lane Following Assist (LFA), Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Rear View Monitor (RVM), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Reverse Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist (PCA-R) and Front/Rear Parking Distance Warning (PDW-F/R).


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