Kia is bringing its revitalized electrified Niro compact SUV lineup to North America for 2023 with new cover styling and more interior space.
In addition, the company is debuting the three latest Niro models at the New York International Auto Show in the coming week: the plug-in hybrid Niro PHEV, the hybrid Niro HEV, and the fully electric Niro EV.
After that, Kia plans to unleash them nationwide, including the fully electric Niro EV that previously could only be purchased in select states.
The Niro’s all share dark-colored door cladding and an “aero blade” profile panel that gives the car a swoosh-like appearance. New daytime running lamps and a “tiger-nose” grille embellish the front, while the rear taillights are now boomerang-shaped and no longer cross with the hatch. The changes allow a new low drag coefficient of 0.29 to create these front-wheel-drive CUVs even more efficient.
The new fully electric Kia Niro EV has an enhanced range, now 253 miles over the earlier model’s 239. Previously, the Niro EV had an opportunity for a smaller 39 kWh battery, but now, it will only come in a more effective 64.8 kWh pack alternative.
The battery doesn’t obtain in the way of space, though; you fetch eight more cubic feet of passenger space and a sizable 22.8 cubic feet of cargo area — though it’s less than the Tesla Model Y’s at 30.2 cubic feet.
The Niro EV also includes the vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability that the Kia EV6 has, letting you run appliances off of the Niro EV’s battery pack. But this uses an older platform instead of the EV6’s Hyundai-developed E-GMP platform that enables up to 350 kW DC fast charging.
So instead, the Niro EV will max out at 85 kW DC fast charging, which is sufficient to get you from 10 to 80 percent charge state in about 45 minutes.
The recreated Niro EV has not been priced, but the earlier model started just skittish at $40,000 — which is not significantly more affordable than the sportier Kia EV6’s base price of about $42,000. But if you like the glimpse of cars that don’t try to stand out too much and enjoy the practicality of a modern CUV, then the new Kia Niro EV might gleam.