Kia Reveals Refreshed Niro PHEV: Looks Like Newer e-Niro

FEB 28 2019 BY MARK KANE 6

It will not go further on battery power, but maybe it will sell even better

On March 5, Kia will unveil in Geneva updated versions of its Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid crossovers. The refreshed design aligns the HEV’s and PHEV’s appearance with the newer all-electric Kia e-Niro.

Since 2016, Kia sold more than 270,000 Niro, including 100,000 in Europe. Sales of the updated versions in Europe will start in Q2 2019.

Both Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid will be sold with 7-Year, 150,000-kilometre warranty as standard.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain/battery remains unchanged. So let’s take a look at what changed besides the look in the PHEV:

  • Refreshed exterior design in-line with new design language first introduced on e-Niro electric crossover
    • While the Niro retains its distinctive design and iconic ‘tiger-nose’ grille, new bumpers at the front and rear give it a more purposeful appearance and more confident stance on the road.
    • The standard projection headlamps have been redesigned, incorporating Kia’s unique ‘ice-cube’ design, while buyers can specify optional full LED headlamps. The bumper features new LED daytime running lights below the headlamps with a unique double-arrow layout, as well as optional LED fog lamps.
    • At the rear of the car, newly-redesigned LED lights give the Niro a more distinctive and modern light signature. The new bumper design is finished with a silver-painted skid plate and incorporates new light reflectors and rear fog lamps in the corners.
  • Newly-designed 16-inch alloy wheels with dark grey inserts, contributing to its unique stance and design
  • Fully revamped, high quality, upscale interior with optional colour customisation packs
    • The top of the dashboard is finished in high-quality soft-touch coating, while the dashboard and instrument panel feature elegant new gloss black trim with silver or satin chrome highlights.
    • The Niro range is now available with new customisation options in the form of two colour packs. Depending on vehicle specification and market, the Niro can be finished with Red-Orange or Plum colour packs, adding a dash of colour and flair to the cabin. The Red-Orange colour pack adds colour contrast stitching to all cabin upholstery in a warm shade of red, with matching red-orange dashboard trim. The Plum colour pack adds new plum-coloured perforated leather upholstery with warm purple stitching on the seats and throughout the cabin, a new plum-coloured arm-rest in the doors, and satin chrome dashboard trim.
    • The interior also engages drivers more with the adoption of wheel-mounted paddle-shifters to change gear (six-speed double-clutch transmission).
    • Kia is now equipping the new Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models with a new electronic parking brake, accompanied by larger rear brakes to improve stopping power in all conditions.
  • Functionality upgraded with advanced 10.25-inch TFT-LCD infotainment system and 7.0-inch TFT Supervision instrument cluster for the driver (option)
  • Advanced new UVO CONNECT telematics technology
    • Accessible via the optional 10.25-inch touchscreen and the owner’s smartphone, UVO CONNECT features a new Kia Live system, which uses its own SIM card to retrieve and update live data. This gives owners access to live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, fuel prices, and details of potential on- and off-street parking – including price, location and availability. Niro Plug-in Hybrid models also provide charging station information, such as location, availability, and connection compatibility.
    • The second element of the UVO system is the UVO App, designed for compatibility on Android and Apple smartphones. The app offers users peace of mind with a range of features to provide diagnostic data about their car and the trips they take. The app also enables owners to activate a range of remote functions and features remotely. Depending on country, users can remotely send route directions to their car before a journey, check the location of their vehicle, and access vehicle reports and diagnostic notifications.
    • The 10.25-inch touchscreen navigation system features with Bluetooth multi-connection (split-screen functionality) as standard
  • New safety technologies available
    • Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go follows the preceding vehicle, and can now bring the Niro to a stop if traffic slows to a halt, bringing the car back up to speed as the car in front moves off
    • Lane Following Assist (first introduced in e-Niro), operates between 0 and 180 km/h

Kia Niro PHEV spec:

  • 1.6-litre direct-injection petrol engine (104bhp and 147Nm) paired with a 44.5kW (60bhp) electric motor – Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED). System output is 139bhp, with 265Nm of torque. Drive to the front wheels is through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (6DCT).
  • 0-60mph in 10.4 seconds and has a top speed of 107mph
  • 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack
  • up to 36 miles (58 km) in all-electric range, 26 miles (42 km) according to EPA
  • potential fuel economy of well over 200mpg and CO2 emissions of just 29g/km
  • drag coefficient (Cd) of .30
  • 4,355mm long, 1,805mm wide and 1,535mm tall
  • curb weight to 1,594kg
  • luggage space – 324 litres

Press release:

Kia to reveal upgraded Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid crossovers in Geneva

  • Geneva Motor Show debut for upgraded Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid
  • More than 270,000 global Niro sales since 2016 – 100,000 in Europe
  • Refreshed exterior design in-line with new design language first introduced on e-Niro electric crossover
  • Fully revamped, high quality, upscale interior with optional colour customisation packs
  • Kia introduces UVO CONNECT telematics technology
  • Functionality upgraded with advanced 10.25-inch infotainment system
  • Upgraded Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid on-sale in Europe during Q2 2019 with 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty

25 February 2019 – Kia Motors has made a number of improvements to the Niro, its best-selling electrified crossover range of ultra-low emission vehicles. The upgraded Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models will make their global debut on 5 March 2019 at the Geneva International Motor Show.

The Niro, which combines crossover style practicality with ultra-low hybrid emissions, has been enhanced for 2019 with a new exterior design, a more upscale, high-quality interior, and new interior colour customisation options. The Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models also feature Kia’s advanced new UVO CONNECT telematics system, which brings additional ‘connected’ functionality to the car.

Since sales began in 2016, over 270,000 examples of the Niro have been sold globally, with more than 100,000 units sold in Europe. The Niro crossover was Kia’s fifth best-selling model in Europe in 2018, with sales growing 33% to 45,255 units – including 34,642 hybrids and 9,951 plug-in hybrids. The Niro range expanded at the end of 2018 with the launch of the fully-electric e-Niro.

Emilio Herrera, Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe, comments: “The Niro has become a key growth driver for Kia in Europe, and is a cornerstone of our electrified product strategy. Its cool crossover design, high versatility, and low emissions and running costs make it an attractive proposition for both private and business buyers. New enhancements to quality and design, and the adoption of our ‘connected’ UVO system, will make the Niro family an even more compelling proposition.”

European sales of the upgraded Kia Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid start during the second quarter of 2019. Uniquely among all hybrid cars in Europe, the Niro is sold with Kia’s industry-leading 7-Year, 150,000-kilometre warranty as standard.

Refreshed exterior design

Retaining its stylish crossover design, the upgraded Kia Niro features a handful of design updates for 2019. The refreshed design aligns the Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants of the range with the appearance of the new all-electric e-Niro.

While the Niro retains its distinctive design and iconic ‘tiger-nose’ grille, new bumpers at the front and rear give it a more purposeful appearance and more confident stance on the road. The standard projection headlamps have been redesigned, incorporating Kia’s unique ‘ice-cube’ design, while buyers can specify optional full LED headlamps. The bumper features new LED daytime running lights below the headlamps with a unique double-arrow layout, as well as optional LED fog lamps.

At the rear of the car, newly-redesigned LED lights give the Niro a more distinctive and modern light signature. The new bumper design is finished with a silver-painted skid plate and incorporates new light reflectors and rear fog lamps in the corners.

The Niro Hybrid now provides more customisation options to buyers, offered with a choice of two 16-inch alloy wheel designs, as well as an all-new 18-inch dual-tone diamond-cut alloy wheel. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is available with newly-designed 16-inch alloy wheels with dark grey inserts, contributing to its unique stance and design.

Upscale interior atmosphere and new colour customisation options

Inside, Kia has introduced a series of visual and material upgrades, creating a more upscale atmosphere and enhancing cabin quality.

The top of the dashboard is finished in high-quality soft-touch coating, while the dashboard and instrument panel feature elegant new gloss black trim with silver or satin chrome highlights. Kia is also introducing an optional new 10.25-inch TFT-LCD widescreen for the main display, and 7.0-inch TFT Supervision instrument cluster for the driver. The car is fitted with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and 4.2-inch TFT instrument binnacle as standard.

The Niro range is now available with new customisation options in the form of two colour packs. Depending on vehicle specification and market, the Niro can be finished with Red-Orange or Plum colour packs, adding a dash of colour and flair to the cabin. The Red-Orange colour pack adds colour contrast stitching to all cabin upholstery in a warm shade of red, with matching red-orange dashboard trim. The Plum colour pack adds new plum-coloured perforated leather upholstery with warm purple stitching on the seats and throughout the cabin, a new plum-coloured arm-rest in the doors, and satin chrome dashboard trim.

The interior also engages drivers more with the adoption of wheel-mounted paddle-shifters to change gear. The Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid are both equipped with a slick-shifting six-speed double-clutch transmission, delivering more direct and immediate responses – and a more entertaining drive – than traditional electronic continuously-variable transmissions (e-CVT) found on other hybrids.

Kia is now equipping the new Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models with a new electronic parking brake, accompanied by larger rear brakes to improve stopping power in all conditions.

Kia launches innovative UVO CONNECT telematics system

The Niro is among the first Kia models in Europe to offer the brand’s innovative UVO CONNECT telematics system, connecting drivers to the world around to provide them with invaluable information during a drive.

Kia is introducing the UVO CONNECT telematics system to all Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants of the Niro range. The technology will be introduced to other European models in future.

Accessible via the optional 10.25-inch touchscreen and the owner’s smartphone, UVO CONNECT features a new Kia Live system, which uses its own SIM card to retrieve and update live data. This gives owners access to live traffic information, weather forecasts, points of interest, fuel prices, and details of potential on- and off-street parking – including price, location and availability. Niro Plug-in Hybrid models also provide charging station information, such as location, availability, and connection compatibility.

The second element of the UVO system is the UVO App, designed for compatibility on Android and Apple smartphones. The app offers users peace of mind with a range of features to provide diagnostic data about their car and the trips they take. The app also enables owners to activate a range of remote functions and features remotely. Depending on country, users can remotely send route directions to their car before a journey, check the location of their vehicle, and access vehicle reports and diagnostic notifications.

The 10.25-inch touchscreen navigation system features with Bluetooth multi-connection as standard, enabling occupants to connect two mobile devices at once, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Its advanced split-screen functionality lets users control or monitor different vehicle features at the same time, customising the screen with a series of different widgets. This allows the driver to have a single display (such as navigation or powertrain information), or combine numerous elements on-screen at the same time. This means the driver can follow navigation directions or keep track of energy flow through the hybrid powertrain, while passengers can simultaneously choose their favourite songs or check the weather forecast. The Niro range is also offered with its existing 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

The technology has been developed to comply with the latest European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ensuring the highest levels of data privacy and protection.

New safety technologies available

The upgraded Niro range sees the introduction of a series of new active driver-assistive safety technologies. Already available with Smart Cruise Control, the upgraded Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid are now offered with additional Stop & Go functionality. Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go follows the preceding vehicle, and can now bring the Niro to a stop if traffic slows to a halt, bringing the car back up to speed as the car in front moves off.

Lane Following Assist, Kia’s ‘Level Two’ autonomous driving technology, is also available for the first time on Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models, following its introduction on the electric e-Niro. This technology tracks vehicles in front of the car in traffic, and detects road markings to keep the Niro in its lane on the motorway. The system controls acceleration, braking and steering depending on the convoy of vehicles in front, using external sensors to maintain a safe distance, while also assisting the driver change lanes. Lane Following Assist operates between 0 and 180 kph.

The Niro continues to be offered with a comprehensive suite of active safety technologies. Depending on specification, these include Forward Collision-avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist, Blind-spot Collision Warning,Rear Cross-traffic Collision Warning, and Intelligent Speed Limit Warning.

Practical, efficient and engaging to drive

With fully-independent front and rear suspension and a slick-shifting six-speed double-clutch transmission, the Kia Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid offer a fine balance between on-road comfort and driver engagement.

Its crossover packaging – unique among other hybrids at the same price point – means owners benefit from generous interior room and high cargo capacity with flexible storage space. Unlike many other hybrid models, the Niro offers an optional Towing Pack, enabling the car to tow loads of up to 1,300 kg in weight (braked).

The Niro is powered by an efficient 1.6-litre GDi (gasoline direct injection) engine, twinned with either a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack (Niro Hybrid models) or 8.9 kWh (for Plug-in Hybrid models). Carbon dioxide emissions for the Niro Hybrid are as low as 99.8 g/km (WLTP combined cycle), with emissions from Plug-in Hybrid models even lower at 31.3 g/km (WLTP combined cycle). The Niro Plug-in Hybrid can achieve pure electric city-driving range of up to 65 kilometres, or a WLTP combined cycle electric range of 49 kilometres*.

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6 Comments on "Kia Reveals Refreshed Niro PHEV: Looks Like Newer e-Niro"

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There are many people who don’t want to buy a fully electric EV model (yet).

It’s a good thing that these people can choose a PHEV model, because it will enable them to gain the experience of driving all electric (for a certain limited distance). That experience will then influence their next car purchase (after a certain number of years). And it will be more likely that they then will buy a fully electric EV model.

In that perspective the Kia Niro PHEV is a great car (among many other PHEV models).

Nice to see that the hybrid versions will now brake to a stop with the adaptive cruise control! Still no mention of a PTC heater though.

I have a co-worker who drives an Ioniq PHEV 120km every day and can’t empty the battery over that distance in cold weather because the engine always comes on for heat. Sad to see how much gas is being burned just because Hyundai/Kia are too cheap to install an electric heater.

There’s a small one. You have to dig real hard to find it but it’s not a main heater but just a boost for the regular heater similar to something you’d find on a VW diesel Golf….diesels notorious for not making enough heat. I can’t find it just now but it’s like 1kw or less. There’s also a heat exchanger on the exhaust so it recaptures extra exhaust heat. Also during this phase the engine just runs at a constant RPM of about 2000 rpm which runs as a generator then while warming up quickly. Doesn’t answer your issue, but it is certainly about as good as you can get for an ICE engine. Heat efficiency is very high. I just let the engine run as it wants during that first couple miles it’s warming up. Then the engine shuts off and the heater still throws heat until the water cools to a certain point. At that point the engine kicks on again and I just hit the off button on the HVAC and the engine turns off and stays off due to no heat demand. Unless it’s below zero out, that gets the rest of the way to where… Read more »

And better door handles?

OutsideEVs 😉

Bjørn Nyland has a video comparing the previous Niro PHEV to the EV. Let’s just say, it wasn’t his cup of tea so it’s good that KIA apparently has tried to fill up the gaps.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Qyza5APLbI

No larger battery in the PHEV -> disappointing !