Kia unveils new Niro revamped from the ground up with sustainability in mind

As anticipated, Kia Corporation has debuted its redesigned Niro, complete with new features focused around efficiency and sustainability. As either a hybrid, PHEV, or fully-electric model, the new Kia Niro represents the Korean automaker’s growing focus on lowering emissions.

The Niro debuted as a new hybrid vehicle in the 2017 model year. It has since been joined by a PHEV version, as well as a fully-electric model that debuted in 2018, sharing a powertrain configuration with its Hyundai Motor Group cousin, the Kona EV.

This past June, we covered the news that Kia was announcing its 2021 Niro EV, albeit with minimal changes compared to its 2020 predecessor. Kia is now advertising the 2022 Niro EV on its US website.

Despite that fact, Kia Corporation began teasing images of a completely new Niro earlier this week, set to debut at the 2021 Seoul Mobility Show. Well, thanks to a 17+ hour time difference, we now have the first images of a completely new Niro designed from the ground up.

  • new Kia Niro
  • new Kia Niro
  • new Kia Niro

New Kia Niro debuts with new face and sustainable materials

In a press release out of Seoul, Kia officially unveiled an overhauled Niro, designed from ground up with its 2019 HabaNiro concept in mind. This is apparent in the Niro’s redesigned front end that embodies Kia’s signature “tiger face” that now extends from the hood through the lower fender, accented by “heartbeat” LED daytime running lights (DRL).

A major focus relayed by the Kia team at the debut was sustainability and a cleaner future for transportation. The automaker presented this commitment via the interior of the new Niro, which features headlining made from recycled wallpaper, seats made from bio-based polyurethane, and Tencel (textile) made from eucalyptus leaves.

Lastly, the door panels were painted with water-based, BTX free paint to minimize environmental impact and waste. Kia president and CEO Sung Song spoke at the event in Seoul:

Kia continues to take steps towards a more sustainable future, inviting everyone to join the movement into the new mobility era. The all-new Kia Niro makes it simple to practice a sustainable lifestyle with its eco-friendly materials, advanced technology, and electric powertrains while it also fulfills the practical needs of customers.

The PHEV version of the Niro will come with a new feature called “Greenzone Drive Mode,” which automatically switches to electric power during opportunities for more efficient mobility based on navigational cues and driving habits.

For example, green zones can be residential areas, nearby schools, or even hospitals. The vehicle can also recognize a driver’s most visited places and register them as green zones.

No further specs are available at this time, but it’s not unreasonable to believe that Kia America will make its own debut announcement for the US version of the Niro, and will hopefully provide more details of battery capacity, range, and price… you know, the stuff you readers always ask about.

For now, all we know is the 2nd-generation Niro will be available sometime next year. There will be certainly more to come.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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