Local pricing and specs for the 2021 Kia Niro have been released ahead of its imminent release in Australia. Priced from $62,590 plus on-road costs for the electric version, the Niro will also be offered with hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains – much like the related Hyundai Ioniq. The first of Kia’s part/full-electric products to be offered locally, the Niro will be followed by the new EV6 within a year, as well as hybrid variants of the Sorento SUV.
“Kia is thrilled to start its electric vehicle journey in Australia with the new Niro,” Kia Australia Chief Operating Officer Damien Meredith said.
“The technically advanced and fun to drive Niro range demonstrates Kia’s research and development in this area is second to none and along with the recent announcement of the exciting EV6, these products are just a hint of what else Kia will be offering when it comes to zero-emissions driving.
Under the bonnet of the 2021 Kia Niro EV lies a 150kW/395Nm electric motor – like the Hyundai Kona EV – that’s fed by a 180kWh battery pack for a range of 455km on the WLTP real world test regime. Both AC and DC chargers can be used to charge the Niro EV, which can be done (0-80 per cent) in as little as 54 minutes on a 100kW DC fast charger – a 7.2kW AC charger will take around nine hours to fully charge and charging through a regular socket could take up to 29 hours, something we struggled with during our time with both the Hyundai Ioniq EV and Hyundai Kona EV.
Both the hybrid and plug-in hybrid use the same 77.2kW/147Nm 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that uses a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The hybrid mates that engine to a 32kW/170Nm electric motor that’s fed by a 6.5kWh battery pack – the plug-in hybrid ups that to 44.5kW/170Nm and uses a 24.7kWh battery pack for an EV-only range of 58km. Total output for both models is 104kW/265Nm. The hybrid is rated at just 3.8L/100km, and the PHEV just 1.3L/100km.
Measuring 4,355-4,375mm long, 1,805mm wide, 1,545-1,570mm tall and with a 2,700mm long wheelbase, the 2021 Kia Niro is sized similarly to the Kia Seltos SUV. It features bootspace of between 324-litres (PHEV) and 351-litres (EV) with the seats erected and with the seats folded, between 1,322L and 1,405L.
Standard equipment for the 2021 Kia Niro range includes 16-inch alloy wheels (17s for the EV), dual-zone climate control (EVs have single-zone), automatic projector lights and wipers, an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio, half cloth/leather seating, automatic windscreen defogging, heated and auto-folding mirrors, a leather steering wheel and gearknob, silver roof rails, rear air vents and a speed limiter.
EVs feature blue exterior highlights, a push button transmission selector, keyless entry and push button start, paddle shifters for the regenerative braking and an auto-dimming rear view mirror.
Safety kit includes seven airbags, auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keep assist with lane follow assist, tyre pressure monitoring, driver attention monitoring, adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera with rear parking sensors and rear occupant alert.
Sport models add faux leather trim, LED headlights, auto high beam, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen with inbuilt satellite navigation (that reverts the smartphone mirroring to wired), paddle shifters, an auto-dimming mirror for hybrid and PHEV models, keyless entry and push button start for the PHEV.
The hybrid Sport uniquely features 18-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, while PHEV Sport models uniquely add interior mood lighting and the EV Sport uniquely features an eight-speaker JBL sound system.
2021 Kia Niro pricing (plus on-road costs):
Hybrid S: $39,990
Hybrid Sport: $43,890
PHEV S: $46,590
PHEV Sport: $50,490
EV S: $62,590
EV Sport: $65,990
Premium paint: $520