2019 Kia Niro revealed ahead of Geneva with fresh design, new technology

Always-connected Hybrid and PHEV crossovers also gain uprated active safety systems from e-Niro.

By Tom Morgan, Autocar UK calendar 28 Feb 2019 Views icon8802 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Revised versions of the Kia Niro will debut at the Geneva motor show next week, adding greater connectivity and a tweaked exterior design to the hybrid crossover.

Both the hybrid and plug-in hybrid Niro receive new front and rear bumpers inspired by the electric e-Niro, with new LED daytime running lights as standard and Kia's 'ice cube'-styled projection headlights. LED headlights and foglights will be available as options. New paint colours and alloy wheel designs have also been added to the range.

Bigger changes can be found inside, where Kia has upgraded the dashboard with soft-touch materials and added red-orange and plum colour trim packs. The manual handbrake has been replaced with an electronic parking brake, while the steering wheel gains paddle shifters to take manual control of the six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system can now be upgraded to a 10.25in widescreen, and the 4.2in instrument cluster can be exchanged for a larger 7.0in Supervision display. Kia's UVO Connect telematics system has also been added to the range, providing always-connected functionality such as live traffic information, fuel prices and charging station information through an integrated SIM card. 

The updated Niro can also now be optioned with stop and go cruise control and active lane keep assist functionality for the first time.

“The Niro has become a key growth driver for Kia in Europe, and is a cornerstone of our electrified product strategy,"  Emilio Herrera, Kia Europe CEO, said. "New enhancements to quality and design, and the adoption of our ‘connected’ UVO system, will make the Niro family an even more compelling proposition.”

Both Niro models are powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine, paired with a 1.56kWh battery pack in the hybrid and an 8.9kWh pack in the plug-in hybrid. It is now one of Kia's best-selling European models, with almost 13,000 hybrid and PHEV models sold in the UK alone since its introduction in 2016.

The facelifted Niro is expected to go on sale by the summer, with prices set to be confirmed after its debut next week.

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