As electric vehicles continue to penetrate the market, automakers make small, subtle changes and improvements to their EV offerings. Kia America announced details on the 2022 Kia Niro EV, which includes some new looks and new technology.
Plus, Kia says the Niro EV will deliver an EPA-estimated 239 miles of range. This is significantly better than the recently announced Mazda MX-30 EV, which has a range of only 100 miles. While we previously talked about about ways Mazda is mitigating that small range, will it be enough when the Niro EV is aiming so much higher? Time will tell.
First, and most noticeably, the Niro EV sports Kia’s new badging. The artistic new logo for Kia has been met with mixed reviews. I noted on my Instagram that it looks like the band Nine Inch Nail’s logo, or at least has a resemblance to their NIN logo.
The new badging gives the Niro EV a refreshed look as that bold logo can be seen all over the vehicle, including on the front grille, the tailgate, steering wheel hub and wheel center caps.
Also new for 2022 is the10.25-inch touchscreen becomes standard. Bigger touchscreens are becoming common, especially in the EV world (thanks to Tesla who started this trend and others have followed). Adding to the infotainment system is an updated Harmon/Kardon premium sound system.
Kia’s UVO infotainment system continues to improve and add useful technology, including smart phone integration and in-car apps.
The 2022 Niro EV will have two trim levels, EX and EX Premium. Both feature a 356-volt motor with 201 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. The Niro EV has a wheelbase of 106.3 inches and a length of 172.2 inches. The curb weight of the 2022 Kia Niro EV is 3,854 pounds which includes the battery which weighs 1,008 pounds, alone.
The five-passenger Niro EV has 36 inches of rear legroom and 55.1 inches of rear headroom. Luggage capacity with rear seats folded is 53 cubic feet. Total cargo room is 96.6 cubic feet. There is no frunk for the Niro EV, however, as the motor is in the front, similar to that of the VW ID.4.
Charging times along with range anxiety continue to lead the biggest consumer questions when it comes to EVs. According to information provided by Kia, the Niro EV has a 7.2kW on-board charger. On a Level 1 charging station the charge time is a whopping 2.5 days. On a Level 2 station the recharge time drops to 9 hours and 35 minutes. On a DC fast charge, the time to charge to 80% capacity is only 1 hour and 15 minutes.
So, a Level 2 at-home chargers is probably going to be the best bet there, if an owner wants to get the most out of that range.
The Niro EV EX trim has an MSRP of $39,990 while the EX Premium has an MSRP of $44,650. There is a cold-weather package available at a cost of $1,100. This pricing does not include any applicable destination charges.
According to Kia, the Niro EV remains eligible for the $7,500 Federal tax credit along with any applicable state and local incentives. The 2022 Niro EV will be available later this fall.
The 2022 Kia Niro EV seems to have the right amount of range, especially when compared to the Mazda MX-30. It’d be good to see faster charge times in general, and certainly some less weight would help improve the the efficiency and range. However, it compares well to the Volkswagen ID.4 in both horsepower and range. And neither EV has a frunk, which seems like a negative to me.
While it’s fun to say “frunk,” EV consumers have grown spoiled, expecting that extra cargo area in the front. Otherwise, the 2022 Kia Niro EV’s refreshed looks are nice and this seems like a competitive vehicle within the growing EV crossover segment.