Kia reveals redesigned 2023 Niro EV, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid


Kia on Wednesday, at the New York auto show, revealed a completely redesigned lineup of 2023 Niro models—including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and EV versions. 

Niro Hybrid models have a 1.6-liter inline-4 engine paired to a 32-kw electric motor that’s packaged with a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. That combination makes 139 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, and Kia expects to earn 53 mpg combined. 

Plug-in hybrid versions gain a 62-kw electric motor and a combined output of 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, as well as an 11.1-kwh lithium-ion battery pack that will allow an EPA-estimated 33 miles in some versions, which Kia says is a 25% improvement over current Niro PHEVs.

2023 Kia Niro EV

2023 Kia Niro EV

2023 Kia Niro EV

2023 Kia Niro EV

2023 Kia Niro EV

2023 Kia Niro EV

The Niro EV gets a 64.8-kwh battery pack and 201-hp electric motor. It can now charge its 64.8-kwh battery pack from 10% to 80% in less than 45 minutes—at up to 85 kw—or to full in less than seven hours at the peak rate from its 11-kw Level 2 charger. It will return a targeted 253 miles of range—versus 239 miles for the current version—and an available heat pump and battery warmer should help some achieve that in less than ideal conditions.

Kia has also added a Green Zone Drive Mode for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions, allowing them to automatically prioritize electric driving near schools and hospitals. And an intelligent regenerative braking system uses radar and road information. The whole Niro lineup remains front-wheel drive. Its 6.3 inches of ground clearance keep it closer to a car than a utility vehicle, although Kia adds a skid plate in back

2023 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

2023 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

2023 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

2023 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

2023 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

2023 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

The exterior of the new Niro draws from the look of the HabaNiro concept revealed at the New York show three years ago. Kia says that the drag coefficient of the Niro is 0.29—impressive for the somewhat boxy, upright shape. It takes on an evolved version of the contrast-color rear pillar behind the rear door—only in black instead of orange. More cladding around the vehicle has been shifted from chrome to black, while the front styling is framed with sharp LED running lamps and rear the rear gets an upkick with Boomerang-style LED taillights. Niro EV models replace the black cladding with Steel Gray in some versions. 

Kia says that the new Niro family is larger inside than the current version—with 8 more cubic feet of passenger space, Kia claims—even though it’s about the same size on the outside. It’s 174 inches long, on a wheelbase of 107.1 inches. Cargo space is a good 22.8 cubic feet. 

2023 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

2023 Kia Niro plug-in hybrid

Kia has described the aesthetic of the dash itself as “calming, yet irregular,” with the design of the doors fitting into an arc that rises over the gauges and interface. Kia appears to have emphasized gloss-black surfaces—and, unfortunately touch surfaces—but it’s kept the metallic cues to a minimum. The family syncs up with Kia’s Plan S for more electric and electrified vehicles, and its drive to upgrade its interiors with sustainable yet premium materials. Here, that includes a headliner made with recycled wallpaper, seat upholstery made from bio polyurethane and eucalyptus leaves, and paint that it claims is free of benzene, toluene, and xylene. 

2023 Kia Niro EV

2023 Kia Niro EV

Kia hasn’t yet detailed trim-level feature differences for the 2023 Niro lineup, but it says that it will offer a panoramic roof, heated and ventilated front seats, ambient mood lighting, eight-speaker premium sound, adaptive cruise control, a Digital Key system, a head-up display, and dual 10.3-inch screens covering instrument-panel and infotainment duties—with over-the-air updates for maps and more. Kia says that the system has both wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, plus a wireless phone charger. A full suite of active-safety items now includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, driver attention warning, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, and a safe-exit system to help with parking on busy roadways.

2023 Kia Niro EV

2023 Kia Niro EV

Previously, the Niro has been offered in hybrid form in all 50 states, with the plug-in versions limited to 12 states. The Niro EV is an efficient and pleasant-driving vehicle, and it was a runner-up for our Best Car To Buy 2020, and we suggested it might have won had the model been widely available. The brand started to expand availability of those models last year, and Kia now plans to offer all three versions in 50 states—just like the new EV6 electric crossover. 

Kia says that the full lineup of Niro models will reach dealerships starting in fall 2022. 



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