Kia had previously revealed its redesigned Niro crossover, but it had not provided information about the technical changes it has applied to the model. It finally did so today and the pure-electric version isn’t significantly improved, as different as it looks to the old model, although its specs were already very competitive, so Kia didn’t have to make major changes.
Changes were made, though, the most noteworthy being a drop in torque, from the pre redesign model’s 291 pound-feet (395 Nm) to just 188 pound-feet (255 Nm). We don’t know how this impacts performance, but with the same 201 horsepower peak output, the new electric Niro’s claimed sprint time to 62 mph (100 km/h) stays the same at 7.8 seconds, as does top speed, which is the same 104 mph (167 km/h).
Gallery: Foto - Kia Niro 2022
The battery pack also seems to be the same, with a 64.8 kWh net capacity. The claimed WLTP range does go up slightly, increasing from 455 km (282.2 miles) in the previous model to 463 km (287.7 miles) in this new one. Just like before, the vehicle has navigation-based battery conditioning that preheats the battery when you select a fast charger as a destination.
Even the plug-in hybrid version of the Niro gets a bigger upgrade than the EV, with a new and bigger, going up from 8.9 kWh in the old model to 11.1 kWh in the new one. This larger pack gives the Niro PHEV a decent electric only range of 40.3 miles (65 km), although only for vehicles equipped with the smaller 16-inch wheels.
Charging the electric Niro from 10 to 80 percent can be done in 43 minutes, which is about the same as before, suggesting that the maximum charging speed has not gone up from the previous 77 kW. However, you can now store your charging cables under the electric Niro’s hood, because this new model gets a small frunk.
It is on the design front that Kia has really changed the Niro, giving it styling inspired by the aggressive HabaNiro concept. The exterior is completely different and far more modern than before, and the same can be said of the interior which looks very similar in design to the inside of the EV6 and now has some recycled materials, making it more sustainable.
Kia also says this new Niro has received suspension and steering improvements and that it should deliver a more enjoyable and responsive driving experience than before. This is good news given that it already handled really well, although we’ll have to wait and experience it in order to see what the drop in torque will do to its dynamic abilities.