Following the market launch of the e-Niro, Kia is also revising the two hybrid versions of the model for model year 2020. The new versions of the Niro Hybrid and the Niro Plug-in Hybrid will make their debut at the Geneva Motor Show.
Hyundai had already presented a revised design for the hybrid and plug-in hybrid version of the Ioniq in January, so now it’s the turn for the Niro part-time electric vehicles. According to Kia, the exterior design has been revised in line with the new Niro EV, including new bumpers, alloy wheels and revised headlamps and tail lights. The larger differences to the predecessor models become clear on the inside. Kia speaks of “new high-quality materials and numerous optical changes”, such as accents in glossy black, silver or matt chrome.
Kia’s new Uvo Connect telematics system is also being introduced in the updated models. It will be introduced in Europe with the new Kia e-Soul, and will also be used shortly thereafter in the Niro Hybrid and Niro Plug-in Hybrid. The focus is on digital networking via touchscreen in the car and a Uvo app for the smartphone. Kia will also be technologically upgrading the hybrid versions of the Niro for the model year 2020 in the field of assistance systems.
From a technical point of view, both hybrid versions will have new shift paddles on the steering wheel, with which the standard six-speed dual-clutch transmission can now be “operated particularly dynamically”. Other innovations include an electronic parking brake instead of the foot parking brake and increased braking force thanks to larger rear disc brakes.
In Germany, the revised models will be introduced at the end of the second quarter of 2019 – including a 7-year manufacturer’s warranty, which also includes the battery. Anyone ordering the plug-in version will receive a part-time electric motor with a 1.6-litre petrol engine, 44.5 kW electric motor and an 8.9 kWh battery for an E range of 49 km (WLTP). The hybrid version also features a 1.6-litre petrol engine combined with a 32 kW electric motor and a 1.56 kWh battery.
Kia has sold more than 270,000 units of the Niro Hybrid introduced in September 2016 and the plug-in version launched one year later, of which more than 100,000 have been sold in Europe. Sales there in 2018 grew by 33 percent to over 45,000 units, including around 35,000 hybrids and 10,000 plug-in hybrids. “The Kia Niro is a major contributor to the growth of our brand in Europe and a cornerstone of our electrification strategy,” says Emilio Herrera, CEO of Kia Motors Europe.