Kia Niro previewed, new hybrid crossover arriving in 2016

November 17, 2015

A new hybrid crossover from Kia will arrive next year, called the Niro. Some early sketches have been released to preview the new model.

Kia Niro sketch

The Niro will be a small crossover/SUV available as a hybrid vehicle only, making it Kia’s first hybrid-only model. A plug-in hybrid version will arrive later down the track as well, Kia says.

Power will come from a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine paired to a 1.56kWh battery system. The petrol engine produces 77kW while the electric motor adds 32kW. An official combined output hasn’t been mentioned, but the power will be directed through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

As for the design, well, it showcases Kia’s latest styling language with a “tiger nose” front grille, neatly bolstered wheel arches and rugged plastic cladding, and a conventional and practical five-door hatch layout.

Although it won’t be designed for proper off-road driving it is expected to offer a reasonably high ground clearance and some underbody protection. It’s unknown if it will be four-wheel drive. Kia CEO Hyoung-Keun Lee spoke about the new model in a statement, saying:

Dynamic Display Ad(Long Version)

“Our new model is designed to offer buyers everything they could want from a compact SUV in terms of practicality and styling, while providing the typically low running costs associated with a dedicated hybrid powertrain.”

The Kia Niro will go into production during the second half of 2016. Destined market regions are yet to be confirmed.

2016 Kia Niro sketch

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.