If you’ve never heard of the Kia Niro, you’re probably not alone. Despite being classed in the small hatchback/CUV segment currently popular, the Niro was Kia’s least sold vehicle for 2021, not counting the discontinued K900 and Cadenza. Since the Niro is offered as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric model, the problem isn’t a lack of choices. We think the current model’s lackluster appearance inside and out has more to do with the ho-hum sales.
That being said, it seems the company was alert to the apathy because the redesigned 2023 Niro is as striking in its appearance as the current model is bland! The second-generation Kia Niro is all-new from the ground up for the 2023 model year and comes with styling inspired by the 2019 “HabaNiro” Concept Vehicle of 2019. With its bold new look, the 2023 Kia Niro in Albuquerque, NM will add some coolness to its environmentally friendly character.
The new Kia Niro has the same overall shape as the previous model but with blockier details and more exciting flourishes. It got a bit larger in dimensions, with the length increasing by 2.6 inches, a 0.8-inch increase in both width and wheelbase, and almost a half-inch in height. Not to be solely described as nice-looking “for a hybrid,” the new Niro is a genuinely captivating small crossover. It has a broader stance than before, a wider hood, new angular headlights, and chunky cladding around the wheel wells and lower body. Key features that mimic the concept HabaNiro include the contrast-color rear pillars and panels that reach up each side of the body behind the back doors. Also taken from the concept car are the LED daytime running lights that look like an electrocardiogram, which Kia calls “heartbeats,” and the vertical tail lights that frame the hatchback.
Thanks to the bigger exterior size, the inside still has seating for four adults but is a bit roomier, with more cargo space and extra room behind the rear seats as the battery location was moved. Just like Kia’s EV6, recycled materials are used in the headliner, upholstery, and paint to show the company’s commitment to the environment. The seats are slimmer and have a lightweight feel to improve comfort and to create more spaciousness.
The dashboard has a sleeker look, is more driver-centric, and forms a long and gentle sweep from one side to the other. It keeps the simple layout of the prior model, with a refreshing lack of futuristic weirdness pervasive to the Toyota Prius, its main rival. However, there are some added curves and slants to spice up the aesthetics. Each door panel displays a long diagonal arc that blends into the dash and houses the window controls. A 10.25-inch touchscreen and digital gauge cluster integrate into the air vents using diagonal lines for a sleek and seamless appearance. Ambient lighting on the dash helps create a welcoming and more modern interior.
Like the previous model, the 2023 Kia Niro in Albuquerque, NM will likely be powered by a hybrid powertrain made of a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder paired with a 32-kW electric motor. A front-wheel-drive, 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission will be standard in all models. The powertrain for the PHEV model has yet to be announced, but the company may keep the same setup as the current model. It’s like the regular hybrid but with a larger battery to provide all-electric driving capabilities. Currently, the Kia Niro delivers up to 53 city/48 highway/50 combined MPG.
While we don’t anticipate the 2023 Niro to arrive until the last quarter of this year, there are plenty of other outstanding Kia vehicles that deserve your attention. If you’re shopping for a new car, you owe it to yourself to stop by 7400 Lomas Blvd NE in Albuquerque anytime during business hours to check out what we have to offer!