Kia’s next-generation Niro turns up the crossover styling


The second generation of Kia’s eco-friendly Niro subcompact combines more robust crossover styling with a few concept car cues that stand out compared with the conventional styling of the current model.

The redesigned Niro is strongly influenced by the 2019 HabaNiro concept, incorporating a two-tone body, a wide pillar at the rear and boomerang-shaped taillights. It debuted at the Seoul Mobility Show late last month.

“The unique vertical taillight design highlights aerodynamics and technology,” Kia said. “It traces the vehicle’s wide and stable stance, with its strong shoulders and upright windows.”

The current-generation Niro has wagonlike styling that is appealing to some customers but goes against U.S. trends toward blocky crossovers. U.S. sales of the Niro tallied 23,744 through November compared with 48,315 for the Seltos, Kia’s other subcompact crossover.

A Kia America spokesman said there was no official announcement on whether the second-generation Niro will come to North America. Kia’s global website said it will be available in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric versions next year in some markets.

The Niro’s interior gets a modern update with the new corporate two-spoke steering wheel, simplified controls and side-by-side instrument and infotainment screens.

“The off-center dash curves around the front occupants with horizontal and diagonal lines opposing each other to create a calming, yet irregular aesthetic,” Kia said. “The stylish center console is easy to operate and features the electronic dial-type shift lever.”

The automaker also highlighted its use of sustainable materials, which has become a common theme at Hyundai Motor Group as it launches a series of electric vehicles, such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Genesis GV60.

“The all-new Kia Niro makes it simple to practice a sustainable lifestyle with its eco-friendly materials, advanced technology and electric powertrains, while it also fulfills the practical needs of customers,” said Kia CEO Ho Sung Song.

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