Recycled wallpaper, bio-based polyurethane seats part of eco drive
The new Kia Niro crossover is due to arrive here in time for July sales. It will, initially, have hybrid and plug-in models with an EV version slated for August.
The company this week revealed details of the new car, which has been designed from the ground up.
It is based on the third-generation platform, with a larger body and a lot of interior room.
Three all-new electrified powertrains provide the core driving force: as you have already gathered there will be a hybrid electric (HEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and a battery electric (BEV) option. Powering the HEV and PHEV models is the 1.6-litre petrol engine.
The 4cyl engine manages a max 105PS. When combined with the 32kW electric motor, the hybrid model generates 141PS. The engine works in tandem with a second-generation six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
With a design based on its ‘Opposites United’ philosophy, the look of the car is heavily influenced by the 2019 HabaNiro concept. The front-end wears the latest Kia signature Tiger Face, while a skid plate and cladding are designed to emphasise its ‘rugged’ character.
Along with other design measures, the Niro benefits from a drag coefficient of 0.29.
Inside, Kia claims, are high-quality materials and textured surfaces and an off-centre curving dashboard (and the ambient mood lighting has no fewer than 74 colour combinations).
A 10.25in panoramic digital display screen integrates the instrument cluster and infotainment elements.
The system has been designed for ease of use, with sharp graphics and a
“highly intuitive” layout.
Below the centre screen is an integrated infotainment and climate control system that is clutter-free. There is no need, Kia says, to scroll through multiple menus to use important controls.
As mentioned, the Niro is bigger: It is 4,420mm long (+64mm), 1,825mm wide (+20mm), 1,545mm tall (+10mm) and has a wheelbase of 2,720mm (up 20mm).
Creature comforts include a special relaxation front passenger seat which can recline to lying posture; the front seats have rear-mounted coat hangers.
Boot space is up 15 litres to 451 because the 12v battery has been repositioned: out of the wheelhouse and integrated alongside the high-voltage battery at the bottom of the rear seats.
Also interesting to note is that the headlining is made from recycled wallpaper, and the seats from Bio PU with Tencel from eucalyptus trees.
There is a Green Zone Drive Mode that automatically activates the electric-only drive operation to ensure zero-emissions in certain environments and situations (when driving in green zones such as residential areas, or near schools and hospitals).
As you’d expect, there are a number of energy regeneration levels. KIA says the system can calculate the amount of regeneration required using radar and road gradient information. The system also allows the car to harvest energy from the brakes while bringing the vehicle to a gentle halt.
Other areas of note:
*There is a new suspension and steering system.
*There is a wide spread of safety elements as part of the DriveWise intelligent Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). And there is also a 10in head-up display system.