Kia’s new player in the compact SUV market, the Niro, is starting to take shape, with the Korean carmaker offering up more previews of what buyers can expect.
Following a pair of teaser sketches late last year, Kia has now released another pair of images that show the SUV’s styling lines, headlamps, tail lights and more.
The Niro appears to be a ‘shrunken’ although not identical version of the larger Sportage wearing Kia’s current corporate ‘face’, with styling hints also borrowed from the Rio and new Cerato.
Kia calls it “practicality and aesthetic allure”, in a new model the carmaker prefers to label a “Hybrid Utility Vehicle” (HUV) over the more common ‘SUV’ tag.
The teaser images reveal that the production Niro will feature LED taillights and defined wheel arches, while styling has stepped away from the concept of the same name unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Kia has confirmed that previous rumours of a petrol-electric hybrid powerplant in at least one Niro variant were correct, and rumours suggest this powerplant will be shared with Hyundai’s new Ioniq hybrid model.
To that end, Kia says the Niro’s CO2 output will be below the 90 g/km mark but a combined fuel figure and other data for the hybrid model is yet to be confirmed.
An official unveiling for the 2016 Kia Niro is scheduled for next month’s Chicago Auto Show.
Whether or not the new small SUV will be seen in Australian showrooms is unclear, but Kia’s local office will likely be pushing hard for a model to compete against the likes of Mazda’s CX-3, Honda’s HR-V and the Mitsubishi ASX.
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