Even Kia thought it was hard to improve a winning formula.
Kia has officially unveiled its updated 2020 Niro hybrid at the 2019 LA Auto Show and though it is not a complete redesign, this mid-life refresh does a nice job of adding much-needed exterior styling improvements, one of the biggest complaints with the 2019 Niro. Kia focused specifically on giving this popular compact hybrid crossover new projector-type headlights and fog lights, a new diamond-pattern grille, and dual chevron-shaped LED daytime running lights.
It's a bolder look than before though the Niro's overall silhouette and exterior dimensions remain unchanged. At the rear end, however, you'll find new LED lights with what's described as a "more technological appeal than before." Notice that the rear faux skid plate is wider and more pronounced than it was previously. There are also new 16- and 18-inch alloy wheel designs.
The interior features a new display Kia claims is now more streamlined. It includes an updated 7-inch instrument cluster and an 8-inch touchscreen. Navigation with a 10.25-inch screen and a Harman/Kardon premium audio system are optional. For those who desire them, paddle shifters can be optioned as well, which Kia says will offer a sportier driving experience.
Active regenerative braking control, electronic parking brake, and mood lighting with a total of six unique colors for a groovy-looking interior are additional options. Safety remains a top priority, so Kia continues to equip the Niro with its full safety suite of Kia Drive Wise Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
For 2020, two more features have been added to that: Lane Following & Lane Keeping Assist and High Beam Assist. What has not changed is powertrain, as the 1.6-liter inline-four connected to a hybrid system returns, as does the six-speed automatic transmission which sends power to the front wheels. The 2020 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid, however, will apparently debut at a later date, but the automaker claims it will receive the same exact changes as the Niro Hybrid. Nothing was mentioned about the Kia Niro EV.
Both the 2020 Kia Niro and 2020 Kia Niro PHEV will go on sale in early 2020. Pricing will be announced at around that time.