The first details and preview images of the new 2016 Kia Niro compact SUV have been released. It’s expected to be launched in the first half of next year.
The sketches and technical details offer the first look at what we can expect from Kia’s long-overdue small SUV.
As previous reports have suggested, the Niro range will be headlined by a hybrid model. It is likely, however, that Kia will introduce regular petrol and diesel options, ensuring maximum sales potential in the hugely popular small-SUV market.
The sketches reveal that the production Niro’s styling will share very little with its 2013 three-door concept, limited largely to a vaguely similar headlight shape and the familiar ‘tiger nose’ grille worn by both.
Instead, the Niro appears more clearly inspired by the Chinese market’s new Kia KX3.
The Niro’s design is most obviously related to the big new Sorento, skipping almost any connection with the mid-sized 2016 Sportage revealed only three months ago.
In hybrid form, the Niro will be driven by the Hyundai group’s new direct-injected 77kW/147Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine, matched to a 35kW electric motor, a six-speed dual-clutch auto and a 1.56kWh battery pack.
This same arrangement is expected to provide power in Hyundai’s new Prius-fighting hybrid, known for now as the i-oniq — with even more efficient EV-focused plug-in hybrid models expected to appear later in both ranges.