It’s been a while since we last saw a car premiere in which no technical specification was shared. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. That’s what Kia did with the official presentation of the all-new Niro. It seems the company wants all attention to be focused on its unusual design, hoping that customers will dig it.
All the company cared to share is that the new Niro will still offer HEV (hybrid electric vehicle), PHEV (plug-in electric vehicle), and EV (you got the point) derivatives. We have no idea if it is bigger, more powerful, more efficient, or roomier than the previous one. Although it will only be put for sale in 2022, it would be nice to know more about it than that it follows the Opposites United design philosophy – whatever that means.
Kia seems to be proud that the new crossover has a thick C-pillar painted with different colors than the rest of the body. With that, the car no longer has a D-pillar, which may make its interior darker. It is indeed an original interpretation of the two-tone painting, which includes the same color on the wheel arches, a bit of the outer sides of the front bumper, the whole lower part of the front doors, and half of that same region of the rear doors.
The front end now presents a new tiger signature. It is so unique that we have no idea what happened to it. Kia says it “now extends from the hood, right through to the rugged fender below.” However, we were only able to see that on the Niro EV, which has a large charge port right in the middle of the front grille that makes it look more like a beaver or another large rodent – perhaps a capybara – than a tiger.
The interior is elegant and minimalist, but not to the point that you have to learn again how to do simple stuff such as adjusting the rear-view mirrors or turning on the climate control. When Kia discloses the technical specification and prices, we’ll have a better idea about how it will fare against its competitors. Right now, we can only say that it has an unusual design: that may be good, that may be bad.