Kia reveals all-new Niro SUV

25th November 2021
Bob Murray

Kia has unveiled its new Niro with three different electrified engine choices and a fresh take on compact crossover design, inheriting the distinctive two-tone body treatment from Kia’s Habaniro concept. The Nissan Qashqai rival arrives in UK showrooms next year.


First sight says Niro Mk2 is a lot more compelling to look at than the worthy but conventional old model. The new face is modern and distinctive, and there are some interesting things going on with the shape of the LED lights front and back, and also with the chunky black sill cladding. But this car’s design calling card is surely the wide and deep C-pillar finished in a contrasting colour.

For Kia, it’s the latest take in the company’s “Opposites United” design language and while not as radical as the butterfly-doored concept, the two-tone look remains an effective way to give what is otherwise a high-riding hatchback a design USP along with the tough SUV cues that people like so much.


And what about that interior? The asymmetric dash has a very swoopy, integrated look that makes a welcome change from the normal our-screen-is-bigger-than-yours approach. It’s still all digital and screen-based, just more interestingly designed. The gloss black centre console with rotary transmission control lends a classy touch. It should be as practical a compact five-door as the old one but Kia says there is more of a feeling of space thanks to slimline seat design.

The outgoing Niro offered a range of electrified powertrains and the new model continues in that vein – for now. The entry model will be a mild hybrid; the next up is a plug-in hybrid with ability for electric-only running; and then there’s the full battery-electric Niro. A neat trick with the plug-in hybrid version is an ability to switch automatically to electric running in sensitive areas, outside schools for example, in what Kia calls the “Greenzone” drive mode.


Kia is pushing sustainability to the top of its agenda with the new Niro, and not just with the electrified powertrains: materials too get an eco-friendly, inspired-by-nature makeover. Recycled materials include headlining made from recycled wallpaper and seats with the added ingredient of… eucalyptus leaves. Should smell nice!

  • Kia

  • Niro

  • Hybrid

  • EV

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