It’s been a long time coming, but we finally have the specs of the 2023 Kia Niro at hand. The now defunct model was getting a bit long in the tooth, so a change was direly needed in this space, where Kia and Hyundai models proved to be quite successful over the years. The new Niro comes with a completely new design (inside and out) but keeps the specs of the hybrid model unchanged, at least for now.
Size wise you’ll notice a couple of differences. At 174 inches long, 71.8 inches wide, and 60.8 inches tall, the electrified crossover is 2.5 inches longer, 0.8 inches wider, and 0.4 inches taller than its predecessor. Furthermore, the wheelbase also went up by 0.8 inches, for a bit more space inside, reaching a grand total of 107 inches.
However, even though the new Niro is a bigger car, its drag coefficient remained the same, at 0.29, which means we should see good mpg numbers when the EPA gets around to testing it. That’s even more impressive when you think about the fact that you’ll also get more room inside for luggage (15.9 cu ft). Therefore, the new crossover is shaping up to be quite a practical choice.
The new model has a zero-emission mode called “Green Zone Drive” that may be enabled in certain locations such as residential areas, schools, or hospitals. Kia doesn’t state the EV range, but given the size of the high-voltage battery and the 12V battery under the back seats, we expect it to be limited. The battery can only be charged through regenerative braking or the internal combustion engine as is usually the case in a self-charging hybrid.
A 10.25-inch screen integrating the instrument cluster and infotainment, as well as a 10-inch head-up display, are included in the cabin. There’s a panel for the temperature control system, a wireless charging pad, Type-C USB ports, ambient lighting, and the already familiar round gear selector.
Advanced speech recognition, a motorized tailgate, a digital key, and built-in front and rear cameras are among the other technological features. Remote Smart Parking Assist, Highway Driving Assist, Navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, Safe Exit Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Junction Turning, and Junction Crossing are all included in the Kia DriveWise suite of safety systems.
As for the technical side of things, all models will be electrified to some extent. The base, full-hybrid version will have 139 HP at its disposal, thanks to a 1.6-liter four-pot that’s being helped by a small electric motor. The gear changes will be left to an automatic six-speed dual-clutch gearbox. For now, this will be only model that Kia will sell.
Later down the line, the Niro will also get a plug-in hybrid version as well as a fully electric one but no additional details were provided by the South Korean manufacturer. Considering the HEV version has the exact same specs as the outgoing model, we’re not expecting the other choices to be drastically different either. Most likely we’ll see the same 64 kWh battery offered on the BEV model, with power outputs up to around 200 HP. Sales are kicking off in South Korea this month but we should see the new Niro arriving in the US by the end of the year as well.