All-new electrified Kia Niro SUV starts from £27,745

Kia’s smaller family SUV starts from under £30k, with Niro Electric models starting from £34,995

  • Second-generation Niro features a striking new design
  • Three levels of engine electrification
  • Available to pre-order now

The all-new Kia Niro is now available to pre-order from £27,745. This revised version of Kia’s compact family SUV offers three levels of engine electrification – ‘self-charging’ hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric – along with cutting-edge technology and a clean sheet design.

The first customer deliveries are expected to begin in early Autumn. The new Niro will re-enter a fiercely competitive segment, rivalling popular family SUVs like the Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai, as well as fully electric SUVs such as the Skoda Enyaq iV and MG ZS EV.

2022 Kia Niro Hybrid SUV: pricing and specs

Kicking off the revised Kia Niro range is the ‘2’ trim, which starts from £27,745 as a hybrid and £32,775 in plug-in hybrid form. Despite its ‘entry-level’ status, this car comes with a long list of standard equipment including 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps, a reversing camera, adaptive cruise control and an eight-inch touchscreen with DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The mid-level Kia Niro ‘3’ will likely be the most popular choice in the range. In addition to the features found in ‘2’ trim, ‘3’ cars benefit from larger 18-inch alloy wheels, seats partly upholstered in artificial leather, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, reclining rear seats, a wireless phone charger and a more advanced 10-inch central touchscreen with built-in sat-nav. This starts from £30,495 for the hybrid and £35,525 when specified in plug-in hybrid guise.

Topping off the Kia Niro Hybrid range is the ‘4’ trim, which will set buyers back £33,245 and £38,775 for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid respectively. Kia seeks to justify this model’s higher price tag with plenty of luxurious features such as a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, supplemented by a projected head up display. These cars also get full artificial leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats with memory function, as well as heated rear seats, an automated tailgate and an opening panoramic sunroof. In addition, Kia Niro ‘4’ models can also be configured with a unique contrasting C-pillar design in either grey or black.

2022 Kia Niro Electric SUV: pricing and specs

Meanwhile, the new Kia Niro Electric starts from £34,995. Just like the hybrid models, the electric variant of the Niro is available in three distinct trim levels. The entry-level model is once again the ‘2’ trim and this benefits from 17-inch aerodynamic alloy wheels, LED headlights, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a reversing camera and an eight-inch touchscreen. All models of the Niro Electric feature an 11kW on board charger and can be charged from 10-80% in as little as 45 minutes when plugged into a compatible public fast-charger.

Moving up the range, the mid-level Kia Niro Electric ‘3’ starts from £37,745; this model boasts part-artificial leather upholstery, heated front seats, plus a heated steering wheel, reclining rear seats, privacy glass, a wireless phone charger and the larger 10.25-inch touchscreen. These cars also benefit from V2L (Vehicle-to-Load) capability which enables you to use your EV as a power source for plugging in electrical items. A heat pump is available for an additional cost to provide greater efficiency.

Finally the Kia Niro ‘4’ trim sits at the pinnacle of the range and starts from £40,495. This gets artificial leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats, plus heated rear seats, a Harmon/Kardon sound system and an automated tailgate. Cars specified in ‘4’ trim also get enhanced safety and driver assistance systems with forward-collision-avoidance and semi-autonomous motorway driving capability. Just like on the hybrids, Niro ‘4’ models can be specified with a bi-tone C-Pillar.

Design, dimensions and practicality

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The exterior of the new Niro has been given a complete redesign influenced by the 2019 Kia Habaniro concept car. The nose features Kia’s signature ‘tiger face’ grille design, headlights mounted lower than before complete with an angular LED daytime running light design, and a large lower air intake. It also features a sculpted ‘clamshell’ style bonnet with a raised centre section.

The design makes the car look wider and this is complemented by black bodywork cladding and silver accents on the lower sections of the car, together with a pair of new alloy wheel designs. Other design touches include a black contrasting rear C-pillar, which features a new boomerang shaped vertical tail light design mounted at the top of the panel and an angular rear hatch.

Buyers will be able to personalise the new Niro in a choice of nine exterior colours, including the distinctive Cityscape Green shade seen here. Those opting for a car in top-spec ‘4’ trim can also choose from two bi-tone C-pillar finishes as well as optional Steel Grey body cladding.

The new car is also larger than the outgoing model, measuring in at 65mm longer, 20mm taller and 10mm wider. It also features a 20mm-longer wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels), which now measures 2,720mm. As a result of the increased dimensions, the brand says the new Niro is more spacious than before. Boot space has also been improved, increasing to 451 litres in the hybrid model, an improvement of 15 litres over the old car. A front stowage area will be available on the fully electric variant, bringing the total storage space to 495 litres.

Interior and technology

The dashboard shares plenty of design cues with the EV6, with a similar two-spoke steering wheel and dashboard design. The centrepiece is the dual-screen set-up, which merges the digital dial cluster and central infotainment into a single housing to give the appearance of a single ultrawide screen. In higher-spec models, this set-up will comprise a pair of 10.25-inch screens, which will feature sharper graphics designed to make the system more user-friendly.

Beneath this is a touch-sensitive control panel featuring a pair of rotary dials, together with a circular gear selector, an adjustable cupholder and a smartphone charging pad. The Niro EV will also feature a KIA Connect system that shows charge status and enables route planning to consider potential charge stations along the way. There are diagonal air vents in the upper section of the dash, along with ambient interior mood lighting capable of displaying up to 74 colour combinations.

The interior uses an array of recycled materials, including headlining made from recycled wallpaper, Bio PU (faux leather) seat upholstery derived from eucalyptus leaves and a water-based paint finish on the door panels, with a choice of seven upholstery finishes. Elsewhere, the front seats feature a new lightweight mechanism making them slimmer than the current car’s, which helps improve interior space, as well as USB sockets and rear-mounted coat hangers. Kia has also incorporated what they call a ‘special relaxation’ setting into the front passenger seat, which can fully recline it into a lying posture at the touch of a button.

A raft of safety features are to be included from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA). In addition a system to detect junctions means improved awareness of potential risks.

Powertrains

As previously mentioned, Kia has introduced three levels of electrification to the Niro engine line-up. It claims this will ease the process of shifting to a sustainable mobility future. The simplified line-up means customers will have the option of hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full electric without variation in each. Both the hybrid and the plug-in hybrid will feature KIA’s 1.6 litre GDI petrol engine producing an identical 104bhp. This figure is increased to an overall 139bhp for the Hybrid and 180bhp for the Plug-In Hybrid. The entry level variant will be assisted by a smaller battery pack used to optimise efficiency and power. The plug-in variant will be quicker, with more assistance from its larger battery, and be able to cover up to 40 miles of range on a single charge. 

A six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox is standard, along with front-wheel drive. Kia’s smart-regenerative-braking system will also feature, and is capable of maximising the energy recovered from the battery using onboard radar and road gradient information. Reverse gear has been removed from the transmission on all models – instead, the Niro is powered backwards by the electric motor, even on the entry Hybrid model, saving weight and cutting emissions.

Both the hybrid and PHEV models boast a new EV setting called ‘Greenzone Drive Mode. This works via the car’s sat-nav system and can automatically switch the car to electric power in preset ‘green zones’, such as residential areas or near schools and hospitals. The system also recognises the owner’s home and office locations as green zones too, once they’re registered in the navigation system.

The fully electric Niro is the quickest of all three options and offers 288 miles of range from its 64.8kWh battery. Unlike the hybrid versions that mount the batteries under the rear seat area, the BEV model will have them mounted centrally underfloor. KIA has utilised the new architecture for the Niro’s design so the BEV can benefit from a lower centre of gravity to deliver better performance.

Read our guides to the best electric SUVs and the best hybrid family cars.

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