Kia Niro Electric Spy Shots Surface

1 week ago by Eric Loveday 45

Kia Niro EV

We spied the Kia Niro EV out testing in Germany alongside its close cousin, the Hyundai Kona EV.

Along with the Kona EV, the Niro EV is one of the most highly anticipated electric vehicles coming in the near future.

Both will show up in 2018 (likely early in the year, or perhaps even at the very end of this year for the electric Hyundai) and there’s already talk of Hyundai-Kia putting them out in decent numbers too.

Kia Niro EV

These two electric cousins excite us not only because they’ll be volume vehicles. Range is expected to be decent too. Both the Kona and Niro are expected to be offered in two battery size: 39.2 kWh and 64.2 kWh. Range, with the bigger battery, will likely be in the 210-mile area, which is more than ample enough for most users.

These spy pics, the first of the Kia Niro EV, don’t reveal much, but we do get a sense of the size of the vehicle and a few other minor details. The spy photographer notes:

“The looks of the EV version will differ slightly with a charging port on the left side of the grille as we can see on the camouflage. We also notice that the fog lights have a new place and shape reminding of the fog lights of the Kia Stonic.”

Kia Niro EV

Kia Niro EV

Kia Niro EV

Images: Carpix

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45 responses to "Kia Niro Electric Spy Shots Surface"

  1. Murrysville EV says:

    I would totally buy a Niro EV over a mythical Model Y.

    1. eltosho says:

      Have fun with your 120 mile range….

      1. Terawatt says:

        What a pointless and unfounded comment! Why do you imagine it’ll only get 120 miles – from the 64.2 kWh pack?!?

        I doubt it’ll be as efficient as the more aerodynamical Ioniq, but it feels appropriate to point out Hyundai makes the most efficient EV in the world. I reckon they’ll get Bolt-like range and maybe even better.

        Plus, the range that really matters is highway range. Few people care that they’d run out after six hours of city driving… And highway range depends mainly on aero, not on mass. The Bolt is not particularly aerodynamical, so if the drivetrain of the Niro is more efficient and it has no more drag than the Bolt, it could even beat it. At any rate I think it’ll heat the Model 3 in base version (available late 2018 if things suddenly start happening according to plan for some reason).

        1. Paul Smith says:

          The Model 3 is delivering (in limited quantities) now, as opposed to the Nero EV that isn’t.

          1. R.S says:

            I don’t really know if it really matters to us customers, if the Model 3 is a production car, while the Kona/Niro isn’t, yet. You can’t have either of those two right now.

            And while the Model 3 will probably be available a bit sooner (hopefully), the base version might come out later than a comparably priced Kona/Niro

          2. Dan says:

            Are you talking about the employees who have to fork over their own cash for the products they beta test?

          3. Mrph says:

            Have you ever seen any M3?

            1. Bryan says:

              Yes, many on the roads in Santa Clara county.

    2. Steven says:

      Seeing as this won’t be sold in Pennsylvania, it’s going to simplify that choice for me.

  2. cab says:

    So many years after the Leaf and Volt hit the market and we are STILL waiting for a small SUV (the Bolt is CLOSE, but not quite there). I mean we just now seeing plug-ins like the XC60 T8, but beyond that???

    1. Kdawg says:

      These look Bolt EV size.

      1. Viking79 says:

        Bolt EV 164″ L x 70″ W x 63″ H
        Niro Hybrid 172″ L x 71″ W x 60″ H
        Rav4 184″ L x 73″ W x 68″ H

        So, yeah, not much bigger than the Bolt EV, a little shorter and a little longer.

        1. Ricardo says:

          I don’t think many people will care about the size though. If it looks more evesque than the Bolt (not difficult), they will buy it

          1. Ricardo says:

            Sorry, meant Suvesque

        2. EVShopper says:

          It’s not the outside dimensions that matter, but the inside.

          The Bolt EV is a ground up EV design. The Niro and Kona are ICE conversions.

          The Bolt could easily beat them on interior specs.

          1. Paul Smith says:

            The Niro and Kona were designed from the ground up to be gas, hybrid or EV, not ICE conversions.

          2. M3 - reserved -- Niro/Leaf 2.0/Outlander - TBD says:

            Poorly informed — They are cross platform based for all three: Hybrid; PHEV, and BEV.

            Niro has significantly more cargo space (at least the PHEV we saw) than Bolt. Even more than Leaf 2.0.

            Kona appears to be a little smaller but haven’t seen it in person yet

            1. Mrph says:

              not correct.

      2. Bruce Miller says:

        We packed my VW “Bug” very carefully for trips and were never uncomfortable for it.

      3. Knut Erik Ballestad says:

        The Hyundai Kona seems to have the same LG drivetrain and battery as the Bolt.

        64kWh gross battery capacity (~60 net)
        204hp engine

      4. Jason Carmichael says:

        This Niro EV looks exactly the same as the hybrid Niro.

        I test drove the Bolt last week. The bolt has gone into trinket land with the bizarre dash.

        What makes the Niro so desirable is that the interior is no different than any other Kia. It is a car and all the controls make sense and it is pretty much perfect.

        For the size of the Bolt. It feels rather awkward, the front feels nearly the same as a Niro, but rear roof slopes down, so it’s more like the Ionic.

        It drives very nicely, but the ergonomics of the dash are a 3, vs the 9 or 10 of the Kia/Hyundai.

  3. Derek says:

    I believe Nio is bigger than Kona which is Bolt sized.

    1. Murrysville EV says:

      The Niro is very roomy inside.

  4. Bruce Miller says:

    Will Aluminum and lightweight structure give these cars more range? Will frequent fast charging station compensate? Heating concerns for Canadian Winter driving?

  5. Benz says:

    Will the Kia Niro EV and the Hyundai Kona EV be sold in China as well (in 2018)?

  6. Is the driver in the first picture flipping the bird?

    1. DJ says:

      I believe he “was keeping up foreign relations”. Haha, good catch.

      Maybe it’s just me but spy shots of the Niro EV are pretty much pointless. You wanna know what it looks like? Go to http://www.kia.com and look at the Niro page and you’ll get a shocking good idea!

      Here, I’ll help ya out! – https://www.kia.com/us/en/content/vehicles/upcoming-vehicles/2018-niro-plug-in-hybrid

      I thought the Niro EV was going to get the Ioniq pack (32 kw??) for the lower range so 40-42 is definitely a nice bump up and probably necessary due to the lower efficiency.

      1. Jason says:

        No, the Niro will be getting the pack from the Soul EV and Optima PHEV, just boosted.

  7. Terawatt says:

    Hyundai Norway informed KONA reservation holders 5 days ago that the latest indications are that the smaller pack will be slightly larger than this (which matches what Hyundai said previously): 42.7 kWh. The larger one concurs – 64.2 kWh.

    Hyundai stresses in the email that no specifications are final and the car is still in active development. But I doubt they’d deliberately set themselves up to disappoint, so I reckon they are pretty confident they’ll achieve at least these capacities.

    1. protomech says:

      Interesting.

      Seems very late in the game to be waffling over capacity – tail end of 2017 seems unlikely, but perhaps early 2018 is possible.

      The larger battery is probably 50% larger exactly than the smaller battery.

  8. marcel says:

    The Niro’s extra 8″ of length doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a big difference in terms of usability of cargo space if you have a family. The Bolt’s is too small for strollers, or groceries or flat packs from Ikea, etc.

    I’m definitely going to have the Niro EV at the top of my list when the lease on my LEAF is up.

    1. marcel says:

      Forgot to mention that I’d probably be fine with the smaller battery, especially if it makes a difference on the pricing.

    2. Jason says:

      Makes a huge difference in back seat leg room as well.

  9. (■_■¬) Nolltronymous says:

    I wonder if they will have a CHAdeMO quick charge port (like my Soul EV), or will Kia/Hyundai join the CCS bandwagon?

    1. Liam says:

      Hyundai are already CCS it’s likely that Kia will also switch in the EU/US market.

    2. menorman says:

      I think they’ve realized that CCS is the emerging winner.

  10. Pretty interested in the Niro… but haven’t been able to find out anywhere if it will be AWD. I’m guessing not, since they aren’t trumpeting it anywhere. Unfortunately that would put it out of the running for us. There is a good reason my town (Nelson, BC) is full of Subaru’s and Toyota AWD vehicles!

    1. Bobby says:

      I agree with the importance of AWD, and, as far as I can tell, there is no AWD in the PHEV model. I’ve been watching this one for a while. 🙁

      1. Limbster says:

        The platform Kia Niro uses is not designed for AWD, so most likely you will have to buy something else if you need AWD.

        1. Jason says:

          You guys are correct. If AWD is of importance, go with the Soul AWD.

  11. Michael Soremekun says:

    If this arrives with dual motor and 200+ mile range before my Model 3 reservation number comes up for configuration, I’ll take this instead.

    1. Jason says:

      Plus, the model 3 is rear drive where the Niro is front drive with 6″+ of ground clearance. That tesla will be tough in the cold wet months with all of that torque.

  12. Mike I. says:

    Cargo Volume comparison with all seats in place, according to Edmunds.

    Chevy Bolt EV: 16.9 cuft
    Kia Niro: 19.4 cuft
    Toyota RAV4 EV: 36.4 cuft

    I’ll be keeping my RAV4 EV for the foreseeable future, thanks.

    1. Jason says:

      ….and 36mpg. That Rav is not saving anyone any money or fuel. LOL

      1. Paul Lemieux says:

        He mentioned the RAV4 EV, there is no gas duke.

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