Kia Niro 2

Kia’s upcoming B-segment crossover, the Kia Niro, has been spotted again – this time in the Austrian Alps. Our European spy photographers told us that the car was undergoing braking and cooling tests, but we believe there’s more than that.

There’s not much changed from when we last saw it, although quite a lot of the front end disguise has been removed (there’s still a lot of camouflage pattern applied, however). Here, we can more clearly see the new Sportage-inspired face – with a more aggressive lower air dam and BMW Air Curtain-inspired intakes ahead of the front wheels – although it’s some ways off the original concept‘s avant-garde look.

Interestingly, the Niro appears to be pulling a Picanto up the mountain pass, suggesting that the engineers are testing the towing capacity of the new crossover. Kia’s entry-level A-segment hatch weighs around 930 kg, so perhaps the new car can pull at least a tonne – that would more than its rival the Honda HR-V (800 kg) can muster, although it wouldn’t be able to match the Mazda CX-3 (1,200 kg).

Kia Niro 7

Under the bonnet, the Kia Niro should share powertrains with its China-only sibling, the KX3 – a 1.6 litre Gamma four-pot in both 123 hp/151 Nm naturally-aspirated (with a six-speed auto and manual gearboxes) and 200 hp/264 Nm T-GDI (with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission) flavours.

We’ve seen the turbo mill before, as it’s also featured on our Hyundai Veloster Turbo and the upcoming Kia Cerato Koup. Diesel engines should also be available for the European market.