2023 Kia Niro Debuts With Sharper Design, Eco-Friendly Cabin

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【Summary】The second-gen Niro made its debut at the Seoul Mobility Show and is a much bolder subcompact SUV than the one it replaces.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jan 04, 2022 4:00 PM PT
2023 Kia Niro Debuts With Sharper Design, Eco-Friendly Cabin

The subcompact Kia Niro arrived in 2017 as a tiny SUV with impressive fuel economy figures. While the Niro launched as a hybrid, Kia introduced a plug-in hybrid model and an all-electric configuration since the SUV came out. After six model years, Kia is ready to replace the current-gen model with an all-new, second-gen SUV. While Kia isn't ready to provide all of the 2023 Kia Niro's specifications yet, the automaker revealed the SUV at the Seoul Mobility Show.

Outlandish Design

The Niro was due for a full redesign, so Kia's all-new model couldn't have come at a better time. While the Niro will, presumably, continue to be an electrified vehicle, it takes some inspiration from a rugged concept that Kia showcased a few years ago. The concept was called the HabaNiro and it made its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show. That funky, futuristic concept was clearly used as inspiration for the new Niro, especially for the SUV's rear end.

Styling was also one of the current Niro's weak points, which has been fixed with the upcoming 2023 model. The SUV wears the brand's newest "Tiger Nose" front-end design with a slim grille opening, a thin trim piece that runs the full width of the SUV, and LED running lights with a unique "heartbeat" design. The front end is definitely more distinct than the current model on sale, but the rear end is even more outrageous.

Just like the HabaNiro concept, the C-pillar is a different paint scheme than the rest of the body, giving the SUV a unique two-tone paint job. In a rugged touch, the Niro has black body cladding around the bottom part of the body. The vertically oriented taillights are shaped like a checkmark and follow the curvature of the C-pillar. On the outside, the 2023 Niro is far cooler than the model that's currently on sale.

Focusing On The Environment

The interior follows the same overall design as the majority of Kia's current cars. That's not to say it looks drab in any way. The infotainment screen is integrated directly into the instrument cluster in a stylish manner. The angular and tall door panels flow into the dashboard for a clean look. In the name of the environment, the 2023 Niro features eco-friendly materials on the inside. The headliner features recycled wallpaper, water-free paint is located on the door panels, and the seats utilize a textile made from eucalyptus leaves.

Kia didn't provide any powertrains for the Niro, but we expect the SUV to be available with a wide range of options. A hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric model should be available. Powertrains could be shared with the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.

With Kia focusing on bolstering its lineup of electrified vehicles, we expect the brand to introduce all three versions of the Niro simultaneously. The SUV should arrive sometime next year, but we should receive more information on the U.S. model before it goes on sale.

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