The new all-electric Kia Niro goes on sale in its home market of South Korea ahead of its global debut at the Paris auto show in the fall.
It claims a class-leading long-distance driving range of up to 280 miles (451 km) and hopes to occupy a niche position as an all-electric CUV, sitting alongside the existing hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants of the model.
Kia also hopes the EV will add to the 200,000 Niro models sold globally since its 2016 introduction. The Korean automaker has received more than 5,000 pre-orders for the Niro EV in South Korea since the car was first revealed earlier this year. It is Kia’s second globally sold electric vehicle after the Soul EV and will go on sale in Europe by year’s end.
The Kia Niro EV employs a 64-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack which, when plugged into a 100-kW fast charger, takes 54 minutes to recharge to 80% of full capacity. A lower-specification 39.2-kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, with a range of up to 186 miles (300 km) from a single charge, also will be offered.
Power drives front wheels through a 204-hp motor producing 291 lb.-ft. (395 Nm) of torque from a standstill for acceleration from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.8 seconds. The battery pack is located beneath the trunk floor to achieve a low center of gravity for better stability and handling.
Advanced driver-assistance systems include forward collision warning with forward collision-avoidance assist, smart cruise control with stop-and-go and lane-keeping assist operating between standstill and 81 mph (130 km/h).
The cabin varies from other Niro models with features and design elements including a dashboard in light blue trim, while the center console has been redesigned to accommodate the car’s shift-by-wire drive selector – Kia’s first dial-style shift knob.
A new mood-lighting system illuminates both the center console and the shifter, and occupants can choose from six colors – white, gray, bronze, red, green and blue. A new infotainment system enables owners to locate nearby charging points and monitor the level of charge and range remaining from the battery pack.
The center console creates more storage space at the base of the dashboard for smaller items including a wireless smartphone charger. A light integrated into the top of the dashboard indicates whether the battery pack is recharging or fully charged when plugged in, allowing owners to see the car’s charge status at a glance from outside the car.