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The 2023 KIA Niro is a whole new breed of eco-focused futurism

Seoul Mobility Show: KIA Niro debuts representing the brand’s new built-from-the-ground-up electric wing under their ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy.

The KIA Niro is one of those car launches you mark on your calendar, and this isn’t just the case in India, but globally too. For 2022, the brand has built this model up from scratch and its design and tech are testaments to that. We can’t deny that we see a few cues from 2019’s Habaniro concept here which takes a bit of a detour from KIA’s signature design language and what we usually see in a KIA. However, the real magic is under the hood, or well, under the car. The KIA Niro arrives in three variants – Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and Battery Electric vehicle (BEV), certainly a first for the brand in India.

KIA Niro electric SUV: Price in India, engine variants, specs

KIA Niro

On the inside, the Niro focuses on sustainability as much as it does on futurism. It uses recyclable materials such as organic polyurethane and textile fiber made from eucalyptus leaves being used in the headliner and seats. Another eco-friendly touch, the Niro offers a “GreenZone” driving more, where the driver can switch from hybrid to electric. Interestingly the dashboard sort of cocooning the seats. Under which, there’s one rectangular screen that stretches together as both, the infotainment screen as well as the control panel. Just like the car’s engine specs, the interior too is a cool hybrid of touch-sensitive controls and buttons. I think it’s always great to have that balance for ease of use. KIA also said that they’ve integrated a lightweight seat mechanism that contributes to more room.

KIA Niro

The KIA Niro is undeniably handsome. More so, the color options and the materials used are all inspired by nature, as the brand says. Also, is it just us or do we get some serious crossover vibes here? Most prominently, the car’s tiger-nose grille has been majorly redesigned with this model. The ‘heartbeat’ LED daytime running lights (DRLs) is also a major talking point here. The Niro’s rear has been particularly designed to enhance aerodynamic efficiency and reduce drag, the vertical taillight design plays a key role here.

KIA Niro

When it comes to the engine, we see three main sections here keeping up with their new sustainable alter-ego – Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and Battery Electric vehicle (BEV). To add that extra touch, the Niro boasts a ‘Greenzone Drive Mode’ which transfers the (P)HEV to EV drive mode, as mentioned earlier Remember the ‘futurism’ we spoke about earlier? Here it is – The Niro’s AI will automatically use electric power based on navigational routes and previous driving history. More so, it keeps a note of the driver’s most frequently visited spots while some can be marked as ‘home’ or ‘office’, which the car will flag off as ‘green zones’.

So far, KIA hasn’t commented on price but is expecting the KIA Niro to reach the market by the latter half of 2022 or early 2023.

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All images: Courtesy brand

Mikhail Gomes
Features Editor, Lifestyle Asia India & Contributor - Augustman
A watch aficionado, Mikhail also enjoys learning about fine whiskies, and one day hopes to establish his own menswear label. At Lifestyle Asia India, he writes on watches, menswear, auto and tech.