New Kia Niro replacement hits the road for the first time

Next-generation Kia Niro hybrid likely to get petrol engine from the Ceed

  • All-new styling
  • Will offer multiple powertrains again
  • May not launch until 2023

The Kia Niro SUV is set to be replaced in the next couple of years, judging by these new spy shots. It’s the first time we’ve seen the next Niro testing but it’s possible to make out some clear styling changes despite the heavy camouflage. When it goes on sale, it’ll be a rival to the Toyota C-HR and the brand-new Nissan Qashqai.

It looks like few, if any, of the current car’s body panels will be carried over. The front end features lower-mounted headlights and will likely take inspiration from the 2019 Kia Habaniro concept, with pointy LED daytime running lights, grey cladding and wide grilles. Other touches from the concept that will make production include a full-width ‘clamshell’ bonnet and new pillar-mounted rear lights. They’re positioned underneath the rear windscreen on current cars.

This prototype has an exhaust pipe visible, so it’s clear that hybrid versions with petrol engines will still play a part in the Niro lineup. Both the hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines are likely to use the new 1.5-litre engine fitted in the Kia Ceed, and the latter will get a larger battery to enable a respectable electric-only driving range.

It means the new Kia Niro will probably use the same platform as the current one, not the electric-only platform that will underpin Kia’s CV concept and the Ioniq 5. The Niro may benefit from some of the technology used on the new architecture, in order to improve efficiency.

There will be a fully electric Kia e-Niro model again, which should get a few tweaks to enable a 300-mile range. At the time of writing, the 2021 Kia e-Niro is top of our list of best electric cars.

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

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