Kia first hinted at an upcoming fully electric Niro compact crossover with a concept at CES, and just a few months later, it’s showing the production model. Unsurprisingly, it looks pretty much exactly like the normal hybrid models on sale now, eschewing some of the show car bits such as the grille with a message screen. It does have differences, though, such as the blocked-off, body color grille, which also houses the charging ports. It also has extra faux grilles on each end of the front bumper that have LED fog lights. They’re mirrored by additional faux grilles on the rear bumper.
» Top New Products
Loading the page...
Another difference from the show model is the estimated range. Using the WLTP estimate, Kia says the Niro EV with the 64 kWh battery will go about 280 miles on a charge. The concept shown at CES with the same size battery was estimated to have a range of 238 miles. We suspect that the latter number may be closer to the range on the U.S. test cycle. This is because the Hyundai Kona Electric with the 64 kWh battery the U.S. will get was rated for 292 miles on WLTP, but only 250 on the U.S. cycle.
Also like the Kona Electric, the Niro EV will be offered with two battery choices. In addition to the aforementioned 64 kWh battery, a 39.2 kWh battery will be available providing about 236 miles of range on the WLTP cycle. If the Niro EV follows in the footsteps of its Hyundai cousin, we predict the U.S. will only get the model with the higher-capacity battery.
There are still some details that have yet to be revealed, such as power, torque, and what the interior looks like. It will probably make the same 201 horsepower as the CES show car, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the same electric motor as in the Kona Electric, since the power is the same and the battery size is the same. As such, it will probably produce 291 pound-feet of torque. Also, considering how much the exterior looks like the standard Niro, the interior will likely look basically identical, but perhaps different colors and perhaps a few extra premium features, again, a la Kona Electric. We should have all the details at the car’s official debut in Paris.