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Arriving in Category A, the all new Niro Hybrid promises better efficiency in its aerodynamic sheet metal, while boasting even more modern features than before.

22 Sep 2022 | Local News : Singapore

Five years after making its first landfall, Kia's first-ever full hybrid model, the Niro, has returned to Singapore. Notably, the Niro's second coming is slightly different in that it no longer holds the title as the sole hybrid from Kia: Singapore has also gotten the gargantuan Sorento Hybrid in the interim.

The original Niro Hybrid was expressly crafted not to alienate buyers with its crossover-design (vis-a-vis the teardrop shapes of other hybrids), and the second-generation car likewise follows this philosophy. Nonetheless, you may have noted that Kia's design department has loosened up in recent times, and the all new Niro Hybrid is resultantly a significantly evolved machine from a visual standpoint  - even as a 'conventional' Kia SUV. 

Airflow is directed through small gaps underneath the Niro Hybrid's Aero C-pillars 
The latest iteration of Kia's rounded Tiger Face, which extends from the hood to the fenders below, gives the crossover a futuristic look without yielding to the large central grilles typical of cars today. The car's clean design continues all the way to the rear, which is flanked by boomerang-shaped vertical LED taillights.

But what will likely catch one's attention most are the Niro Hybrid's Aero C-pillars (especially if specced in a contrasting colour from the body), which are meant to direct airflow underneath them. Combined with the other aerodynamic-inspired design elements of the car’s sheet metal, the Niro Hybrid boasts a drag coefficient of 0.29 cD. 

The steps up from its predecessor are also apparent the instant one steps into the cabin, which is roomier than before as a result of the car's slightly larger dimensions and longer wheelbase. 

An all new panoramic curved display houses both screens for the driver's display and infotainment
Held together in a panoramic curved display on the car's off-centre dashboard are a fully-digital Supervision Cluster for the driver (4.2-inches in the EX-variant, 10.25-inches in the SX-variant), as well as a 10.25-inch touchscreen for the car's infotainment system, with crisp and intuitive graphics. 

Most impressively, a delightfully novel LCD keyboard (finished in matte - thankfully) functions as a switchable controller that allows one to toggle between touch buttons for the infotainment, or for climate control. The Niro Hybrid notably also gets a pleasant-looking, chunky two-spoke steering wheel with multi-function physical buttons, reminiscent of that in the all-electric EV6.

An LCD keyboard intelligently switches between functions for infotainment and climate control 
Given the car's green credentials, the Niro Hybrid's interior design was also heavily motivated by simultaneous considerations for passenger comfort and eco-conscious manufacturing practices. More than 50% of the vehicle's headlining is made from recycled plastics, while its multi-use cargo screen is largely made out of recycled fibres. 

The Niro Hybrid's seats are also made out of vegan leather from eucalyptus trees. Kia says that it has managed to arrive at an 'optimal firmness' for them with its combination of bolsters and contours, all while making them slimmer to maximise head and legroom within the cabin. As we've come to expect from Kia, the front seats are also ventilated (on the SX trim), and come with integrated USB-C charging ports for rear passengers.

The all new Niro Hybrid is driven by a more efficient system using Kia's new Smartstream engine
Similar to its predecessor, the Niro Hybrid is driven by a 1.6-litre petrol engine, paired to a 32kW electric motor (drawing power from a 1.32kWh lithium-ion polymer battery), to produce 128bhp at 5,500rpm, and 144Nm of torque at 4,000rpm.

This is also mated to Kia's second generation six-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is lighter than before. However, the crossover now uses Kia's all new Smartstream engine - rather than the Kappa engine in its predecessor - for both better driving performance and fuel efficiency. 

Despite the Niro Hybrid's increase in size, Kia is claiming an impressive fuel consumption figure of 25km/L (or 4.0L/100km). The crossover is sold with a Category A COE, and qualifies for a $15,000 rebate in Band A2 of the VES, thanks to the power output and clean credentials of this hybrid set-up.

Twin 10.25-inch screens on the curved panoramic display greet the driver in Niro Hybrid SX
The Niro Hybrid is being offered in Singapore in the entry-level EX, and more premium SX trims, but customers can already expect a generous array of features should they opt for the former. 

16-inch alloys, 60:40 split folding rear seats, automatic headlights and rain sensors, and Wireless Connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered as standard. In terms of safety, an eight-airbag system, Lane Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, and a Brake-force Assist System are also already found on the crossover in EX-trim. 

The SX variant of the Niro Hybrid, however, comes with the full course of Advanced Driving Assistance System (ADAS) technologies, including adaptive cruise control and Kia's Safe Exit Assist, which prevents possible collisions with a rear side vehicle when an occupant opens the door to exit the car. The feature is currently available only on higher-end models in Kia's range, such as the Carnival MPV.

One will find a rotary knob for changing gears in the SX-variant of the Niro Hybrid, rather than a lever
The Niro Hybrid SX also comes with a powered tailgate, electronically adjustable driver's seat, fog lamps, and a sunroof. Another significant difference is that the conventional gear lever is done away with in favour of a rotary knob in this more premium variant.

Seeing that the arrival of the all new Niro Hybrid coincides with a fresh era of digital connectivity for Kia Singapore, customers can delight in the fact that both trim levels of the Niro Hybrid are currently being offered with a two-year complimentary subscription to the brand's connectivity app, Kia Connect Lite

The app allows drivers to remotely access various functions in the car, such as pre-setting the climate control before getting into the vehicle. In addition, drivers can access real-time diagnostic data for the car, and track and arrange servicing appointments with distributor Cycle & Carriage.

Sgcarmart can confirm that there are currently no plans to bring the plug-in hybrid Niro into Singapore - although a fully-electric Niro is on the near horizon.

Car model Prices as of press time (inclusive of COE)
Kia Niro Hybrid 1.6 EX (A) $153,999
Kia Niro Hybrid 1.6 SX (A) $168,999

Keen to see more of the Niro Hybrid? Come along with us as we take a first look at the crossover!

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