Following a teaser released at the beginning of the week, Kia has taken the wraps off the second-generation Niro at the 2021 Seoul Mobility Show. Unfortunately, technical specifications are still not available at the moment of writing, other than the availability of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and EV versions as was the case with its predecessor. Once again, it rides on a platform originally intended for cars with combustion engines, as opposed to the EV6 which rides on a dedicated electric architecture.
The new Niro takes inspiration in terms of design from the 2019 HabaNiro, a funky concept car from which it has inherited the two-tone body paint with the C-pillar finished in a different color for a contrasting effect. It also borrows the boomerang-shaped taillights from the concept, along with the unusual LED daytime running light signature at the front.
The similarities don’t end here as even the Y-spoke design of the alloy wheels is derived from the HabaNiro, along with the general shape of the tailgate and the roof-mounted spoiler. Of course, the production model has eschewed the concept’s scissor doors and side cameras in favor of traditional front and rear doors along with old-school mirrors.
Stepping inside the cabin, it’s another revolution since the 2022 Niro is entirely different on the inside compared to the model it will replace. It uses Kia’s latest screen setup with two large fully digital displays sitting next to one another, serving as the instrument cluster joined on the right side by the infotainment in the same vein as on the latest Sportage.
It has a fancy new two-spoke steering wheel proudly carrying Kia’s revised corporate logo, while the bulky gear lever of the old Niro made way for a much more compact dial surrounded by traditional buttons. The HVAC controls have (thankfully) not been integrated into the touchscreen as you still have a separate module in the middle of the center console.
The interior has been conceived with sustainability in mind by using Bio PU with Tencel from eucalyptus leaves for the seat upholstery along with recycled wallpaper for the headliner. Not only that, but the 2022 Kia Niro uses BTX paint (made without toluene, benzene, and xylene isomers) for the door panels. A nifty little feature is the coat hanger on the back of the front headrests, which both feature a slim design to make the cabin feel more spacious.
The next-gen Niro is scheduled to go on sale next year, with technical specs to be disclosed closer to its launch.