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2023 Kia Niro detailed: Hybrid confirmed with plug-in hybrid and electric car to come for safer Toyota C-HR Hybrid, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV and MG ZS EV rival

The alternatively powered Niro small SUV is now in its second generation.

Kia has detailed the second-generation Niro small SUV, which is due in Australian showrooms in the second half of this year.

As reported, the new Niro was revealed inside and out last November, but now Kia has given us the rundown on one of its three powertrain options: the ‘self-charging’ Hybrid.

Like its predecessor, the Toyota C-HR Hybrid rival combines a 77kW/144Nm 1.6-litre naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder engine with a 32kW front-mounted electric motor for a combined power output of 104kW. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is in tow.

While not yet unveiled, the latest Niro’s Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV-rivalling Plug-in Hybrid powertrain option is expected to use the same set-up, albeit with a more potent front-mounted electric motor and a larger battery, with the latter set to provide extended electric-only driving range.

That said, the pinnacle of zero-emissions motoring will come in the form of fresh Niro’s EV powertrain option, which is all but confirmed to carry over its predecessor’s front-mounted electric motor but with an increased battery size for longer distances in between charges, to better challenge the MG ZS EV.

The Korean brand has also let loose on the new Niro’s safety package, with advanced driver-assist systems expanding to include autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with intersection assist and pedestrian and cyclist detection, intelligent speed-limit assist, remote park assist and safe exit assist.

These add to lane-keep and steering assist, adaptive cruise control, high-beam assist, active blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention warning, rear AEB, a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors.

For reference, the Niro now measures 4420mm long (+65mm) with a 2720mm wheelbase (+20mm), 1825mm wide (+20mm) and 1545mm tall (+10mm). The relocation of its 12V battery has also increased its boot’s cargo capacity by 15L, to 451L.

Of note, the latest Niro’s central touchscreen and digital instrument cluster are both 10.25 inches in size, with the latter complemented by a windshield-projected 10-inch head-up-display.