The second-gen Niro will arrive as a larger and more efficient compact CUV with the very latest infotainment and safety features. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – April 13, 2022 2023 Kia Niro PHEV-33 The all-new second gen 2023 Kia Niro CUV made its debut at the New York International Auto Show. And unlike the first gen - it took a while for the 2018 PHEV and 2019 BEV to be introduced after the 2017 Niro HEV was, the 2023 Niro will launch with the HEV, PHEV, and all-electric BEV available nationwide at launch this fall. 2023 Kia Niro Exterior Design The 2023 Niro exterior offers the same drag coefficient as its predecessor at 0.29. New is a reflective strip along the entire top of the front fascia just below the hood edge, angular undercutting DRLs with projector headlamps to the sides of a larger, more standard looking grille, and all pulled together under the new KIA logo. The HEV and PHEV profile can be identified by black rocker panel cladding and wheel arches while it sits on a slightly longer 107.1 in. wheelbase, up almost an inch from the current first gens 106.3 in. The 23’s length of 174 in. is up 2.5 in. providing increased cargo volume from 19.5 to 22.5 cu. ft. The bold aero blade is a highly distinctive shape that aids airflow underneath and into the rear. The Aero Blade can be painted in body color or in a variety of contrasting colors. At the rear, boomerang-shaped LEDs taillamps are a standout while rugged looking skid plate cladding protects the lower edges. 2023 Kia Niro Interior Design Upscale touches abound inside the 2023 Niro with animal-free textiles, premium seating surfaces, and soft touchpoints. The headliner is composed of recycled wallpaper. The slim seats include integrated coat hangers and covered by high-quality bio polyurethane and Tencel made from eucalyptus leaves. BTX-free paint, which is free from benzene, toluene, and xylene isomers, is used on the door panels to minimize the impact on the environment and reduce waste. The off-center dashboard curves around the front occupants, with opposing horizontal and diagonal lines leading to a calming yet daring aesthetic. An available panoramic, dual 10.25-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment system are modern and great looking. Ambient mood lighting in a multitude of color combinations is also available. An eight-speaker Harman/Kardon premium sound system is also available. The front seats, which feature optional heating and ventilation, offer standard USB ports on the side and optional seat memory positions on some trims. Smaller cargo volume of the PHEV is shown. 2023 Kia Niro Technology Approaching the vehicle, the heartbeat-inspired DRLs and available power-folding mirrors beat and open to greet you. Once inside, the optional memory seats recall the driver’s position. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, while a wireless Qi charger are optional. The 2023 Niro EV is available with the same vehicle-to-load (V2L) onboard generator functionality used in the EV6. On the safety front, the 2023 Niro arrives loaded with the following: Forward Collision Avoidance (FCA) with Pedestrian detection Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) Lane Following Assist (LFA) Driver Attention Warning (DAW) Blind Spot Collision Avoidance (BCA) with Parallel Exit: Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance-Assist (RCCA) Safe Exit Warning (SEW) Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Navigation-Based Curve is available across the Niro lineup Optional for the first time on Niro EV is Highway Driving Assist II, which integrates the functionality of Lane Change Assist, FCA with Lane Change, and Smart Cruise Control with Machine Learning. Kia Connect advanced in-vehicle connectivity accessible through the Kia Access App is standard on Niro EX and Touring. Additionally, the driver can unlock the 2023 Niro’s doors through new Digital Key 2.0. Sharing Digital Key 2.0 is as simple as sending a text. Over-The-Air (OTA) updates ensure that maps and the infotainment system are updated automatically. Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Immobilization offers peace of mind for owners, with the capability to assist law enforcement agencies to recover a stolen vehicle. Smart Speaker Integration lets customers use Amazon-Alexa or Google-Assistant enabled smart speakers or devices to remotely control certain vehicle functions, such as remote start. Additional functionality, including 911 Connect and Roadside Assistance, are also part of the Kia Connect feature set. 2023 Kia Niro HEV, PHEV and BEV The all-new Kia Niro will arrive with three distinct powertrain configurations: the HEV, the PHEV, and the all-electric BEV. All Niro models are FWD. A 6-speed DCT is standard in HEV and PHEV. The 2023 Kia Niro HEV features a 1.6L I4 coupled with a 32kW electric motor, for a combined output of 139 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, the same as the first gen. What is new is the 2023 Kia Niro HEV is expected to return 53 mpg combined up 3 mpg from the first gen. The Niro PHEV pairs the 1.6L I4 with a larger, 62kW electric motor, for a total system output of 180 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. When it is connected to a Level 2 charger, the Niro PHEV can refill its 11.1 kWh Li-Ion polymer battery in < 3-hours. Fully charged, the all-electric range (AER) of the Niro PHEV is estimated at 33 miles when fitted with 16” wheels: an improvement of 25 percent over the first gens 26-mile rating. The 30-mile barrier is also the cutoff for California state tax rebates and HOV lane access, so Kia knew what to target. The all-electric Niro BEV is powered by a 64.8 kWh battery and a 201-hp motor with DCFC capability that can replenish the pack from 10 to 80 percent in < 45 minutes with a maximum charging capability of 85 kW. This low charging rate capability was a mistake. The 11kW onboard charger helps recharge the Niro EV in under seven hours. Targeted AER for the Niro EV is 253 miles. An optional heat pump and battery warmer help preserve range in colder temps. In addition to Sport and Eco drive modes, the all-new Kia Niro introduces Green Zone Drive Mode, which automatically transfers Niro HEV and Niro PHEV into EV drive mode in residential areas, and nearby schools and hospitals. The Niro automatically uses electric power based on navigation cues and driving history data, and recognizes favorite places, such as home and office set in the navigation system. 2023 Kia Niro HEV Early conclusions? Of all the HEV and PHEV CUVs available, this one stands out with passenger volume equivalent to the RAV4 Prime and the best-in-class interior functionality and gorgeous displays. The HEV and PHEVs 6-speed DCT continues to concern me but as always, pricing will be key.