The 2022 Kia e-Niro was officially unveiled on November 25, 2021, at the Seoul Mobility Show in South Korea. With the 2022 e-Niro, Kia has introduced a new design for one of the UK’s popular zero-emissions crossovers. Kia will offer multiple powertrain options with the new Niro, as with the current generation model. The next-gen Kia e-Niro, which should launch in the UK in the second half of next year, promises to be a compelling proposition for anyone shopping for a simple electric SUV.
2022 Kia e-Niro Exterior
The exterior of the e-Niro is unmistakably similar to the Kia HabaNiro concept that the brand showcased at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. In terms of styling, Kia has refreshed the 2022 e-Niro with quirky looks, imposing road presence and a new version of the brand’s ‘tiger face’ grille.
The upper grille of the e-Niro runs across the width of the EV’s bonnet and is slimmer, sharper and aesthetically imposing. At both ends of the front bumper sit the refreshed all-LED vertical headlights with ‘heartbeat’ LED DRLs, as claimed by Kia. When the headlights and the upper grille and combined with the larger lower grille, the front fascia of the e-Niro strikes an imposing look and adds to the stoic persona of the crossover. The e-Niro also comes with a charging port integrated into the fascia.
On the side, the standout feature of the 2022 e-Niro is the chunky contrast C-pillar that adds to the car’s aesthetic appeal and enhances the airflow and improves the overall aerodynamic efficiency.
At the back, the C-Pillar houses the boomerang-shaped LED taillights. The raked rear windshield, chiselled rear bumper and a few cuts and creases impart an edgy and aggressive style to the 2022 e-Niro. The license plate mounting has also been changed from the first-gen e-Niro and is set on the tailgate.
2022 Kia e-Niro Interior
Once inside the cabin of the 2022 Kia e-Niro, it is a whole new story. The asymmetrical centre console and dashboard stand out from the first moment you peek inside. Kia has been inspired by minimalistic styling cues, which have, in turn, freed up a lot of space for the passengers. The off-centre dash curves around the front occupants with horizontal and diagonal lines create a pleasant but irregular aesthetic.
The sleek panel on the front passenger side merges effortlessly with the touchscreen infotainment system and digital instrument cluster. The centre console blends well with the interiors and features a new dial-type electronic gear selector. The twin-spoke steering wheel borrowed from the EV6 contributes to a premium interior feel.
Kia has used several eco-friendly materials in the 2022 e-Niro. For instance, the headlining is made from recycled wallpaper, the seats are made from Bio PU with Tencel from eucalyptus leaves, and the doors are painted from BTX-free paint. All these elements minimize the impact on the environment and reduce waste. The rising door armrests go ahead to match perfectly with the dashboard and feature smaller switches to match the minimalistic aesthetic of the vehicle.
The infotainment system should get the latest version of Kia’s UVO Connect system, with features like over the air (OTA) software updates, on-demand Find My Car with surround-view monitor which can share pictures of surroundings of the vehicle using cameras, last-mile navigation for providing walking directions to the car, and cloud-based route calculation system. Kia has already updated the UVO Connect app with new icons, a new customizable home menu and a revised menu for settings. It should get more updates with enhanced graphics and menus in the e-Niro.
The 2022 Kia e-Niro won’t ride on Hyundai Motor Group’s next-gen Electric Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). Kia is likely to modify the existing platform with reinforcements in high tensile strength steel to knock off weight and maintain the rigidity. However, in the powertrain department, a shift to a 400-volt battery system for faster charging is expected, and a WLTP range of at least 300 miles (WLTP) should help keep the e-Niro competitive in its segment.
For reference, the current e-Niro packs a 64 kWh battery with a 150 kW electric motor delivering a range of up to 282 miles (WLTP combined).
The e-Niro is also available in some markets in a short-range form, packing in a 39.2 kWh battery pack with a total range of 179 miles. According to a report in Autocar Magazine, Paul Philpott, President and CEO, Kia UK and Ireland, suggested that the second-gen e-Niro may not have this variant, not in the UK at least and will position the Soul EV in its stead. This could be because 95 per cent of orders for the e-Niro are for the long-range variant in the UK.
Kia e-Niro owner expectations
UK-based ElectricVehicleWeb follower Gill Nowell, who has been using an e-Niro for more than a year now, offered her expectations on the new generation model. She claims to have driven her e-Niro 8,000+ miles to date and is impressed with the space, build quality, driving dynamics, and real-world range of around 270 miles.
If I had to improve this car, it would be via virtuous tweaks, rather than any wholesale adjustments. For example, I’d prefer the Auto Hold to be ‘opt out’ rather than ‘opt in’, to avoid risk of parking up and the handbrake function not being active. And let’s assign the button itself a green / red light, rather than the words ‘Auto Hold’ appearing rather randomly on the dashboard screen.Gill Nowell, Kia e-Niro owner from Chester, UK
Transitioning from Sports Mode (hold onto your hats!) back to Drive Mode always feels a little clunky, as you need to move down to Eco Mode first. It would be great to be able to switch from Sports directly to Drive Mode. On another driving note, the regenerative breaking capabilities are too mysterious for my liking. I play with the paddles, but where does it tell me how much or what level regen I’m actually using? More transparency here please, Kia.
And finally, when I’m fully charged and brake or take my foot off the accelerator, the message on screen talks about ‘recuperative braking’. It’s a great word, but surely it should be ‘regenerative’..? Overall, the e-Niro can be as high or low tech as the driver desires. I happily sit on the lower tech end, no doubt blissfully unaware of everything the Kia e-Niro has to offer.
Kia e-Niro sales nearly double in the UK
In the latest announcement on December 6 2021, Kia UK said that the Niro family continued to enhance its popularity in the retail and fleet sectors of the British market. The e-Niro ended the month as the second most popular electric vehicle month and year-to-date, with 1,261 and 11,701 units, respectively. Sales of the e-Niro have almost doubled this year compared to 2020, where Kia UK sold 6,540 units of the e-SUV.
2022 Kia e-Niro FAQs
What is the launch date of the 2022 Kia e-Niro?
The new e-Niro should reach the UK and Europe in the second half of 2022.
What are the rivals for the 2022 Kia Niro EV?
Rivals for the e-Niro include the Hyundai Kona EV, DS 3 Crossback E-Tense, Opel Mokka-e and Peugeot e-2008.
What will be the 2022 Kia e-Niro price in the UK?
The 2022 e-Niro should be priced between GBP 33,000-40,000.
Featured Image Source: Kia