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Redesigned 2023 Kia Niro Debuts in New York

Redesigned 2023 Kia Niro Debuts in New York

More space and even better fuel economy on tap

  • All-new exterior and interior design
  • Some of the best fuel economy figures in the class
  • More space for passengers and cargo
  • Kicks off the second Niro generation for 2023

What is the Niro?

Fully redesigned, the 2023 Kia Niro will be offered in three flavors: hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric. Here we'll be talking about the regular hybrid; the other variants are reviewed separately. In addition to new styling, updated tech and even more space for people and cargo, Kia promises the new Niro Hybrid will be both better to drive and more fuel-efficient than before, though final EPA fuel economy figures haven't been released.

The outgoing Niro made its debut in 2017, and while there's still a lot to like with that car, it was feeling a bit bland compared to newer, more stylish rivals. This full redesign aims to fix that image, and if newer Kia models like the EV6, K5 sedan and Telluride SUV are any indication, the latest Niro should be plenty strong.

What's under the Niro's hood?

The 2023 Niro Hybrid uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a 32-kW electric motor. Altogether, the Niro Hybrid will send 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels, which is the same output as the outgoing 2022 model.

Kia says the new Niro has a new Green Zone drive mode that uses GPS data to put the car in EV mode in residential areas or in the vicinity of schools and hospitals.

How's the Niro's interior?

Like the exterior, the Niro's interior has been fully redesigned. It's not surprising that the Niro's interior draws a lot of influence from the larger and flashier all-electric EV6. The center console and dashboard aren't exactly the same, but a family resemblance is apparent. Two 10.25-inch displays dominate the dashboard. Even the seats appear to be the same as those in the EV6, and Kia says the Niro will use animal-free textiles, recycled materials for the headliner, and more environmentally friendly paint on some of the interior panels.

Kia has slightly increased the Niro's overall length as well as its wheelbase for this new generation. That means more space inside for passengers and cargo, the latter measuring 22.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats.

How's the Niro's tech?

As you might expect, the Niro is loaded with some of the latest in-car tech and driver aids that Kia has to offer. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard, though there are multiple USB ports you can plug into as well. Wireless charging is available, too, as is a head-up display that can project speed, navigation directions, media and more onto the windshield. Kia has a smartphone app that can connect to the Niro Hybrid remotely. If you have an Apple iPhone, an Apple Watch or a Samsung Galaxy, your phone can be used to unlock as well as start the car in place of a key fob.

There are a ton of standard driver aids on the Niro Hybrid, including forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Adaptive cruise control as well as enhanced versions of some standard driver aids can be added as optional features.

How economical is the Niro?

Kia says it's targeting an EPA-estimated 53 mpg combined with the updated hybrid powertrain. That's a few mpg better than the most fuel-efficient Niro Hybrid that's currently available.

Edmunds says

Even with more and more full EVs hitting the market, there's still a place for a compact yet spacious hybrid like the 2023 Niro Hybrid. If other recent Kias are any indication, there's going to be a lot to like once we finally get our hands on one.