Kia has confirmed its Niro compact SUV will come to Australia this year, with a choice of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric power.
It will join the upcoming hybrid and plug-in hybrid Sorento as the brand’s first electrically powered models offered locally.
Though it has been available overseas for several years, Australia will receive the updated version of the Niro.
It’s expected to first be seen at the Australian Open next month, ahead of order books opening in the second quarter of the year.
The electric version — dubbed the e-Niro — will do battle against other eco-friendly small SUVs such as the MG ZS EV and Hyundai Kona Electric, the latter of which the Niro shares its electric powertrain and battery configuration.
It will likely be offered in 64kWh guise — there’s also 39.2kWh offered overseas — which offers 150kW of power and a claimed 455km range.
The hybrid Niros pair an electric motor with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine will go up against the likes of the Toyota Yaris Cross and C-HR, and Subaru XV.
In overseas markets, the traditional hybrid claims fuel use of 4.7L/100km, while the plug-in can cover up to 58km on electric power.
Kia is also expected to reveal an all-new global EV some time this year, based on the Hyundai Motor Group’s recently unveiled E-GMP architecture.
The Niro’s arrival marks a big year for the brand in regards to SUVs.
The similarly-sized Stonic is also due in the coming months, as is an all-new Sportage.