Kia has released first images of the facelifted Kia Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid, which will debut at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show next week.

Improvements include minor styling changes, a more upscale and high-quality interior, and new interior colour options, Kia says. The Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Niro (a full EV joined the range last year) also feature Kia’s new UVO Connect telematics system, which brings additional ‘connected’ functionality.

We start with the visual changes. This facelift aligns the Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants with the appearance of the e-Niro full EV, also known as the Niro EV. The brand’s ‘tiger nose’ remains, but it’s more prominent now thanks to the deletion of the black outline and a funky grille insert.

More obvious are the new bumpers, which house new double-arrow LED daytime running lights and optional LED fog lamps. These are located at the edges of the face, where vertical vents used to sit. Kia says that the standard projection headlamps have been redesigned with the brand’s ‘ice-cube’ design, but the pics here show the optional full LED headlamps.

At the back, the crossover gets new LED signatures and a fresh bumper – the latter sports arrow-like elements on the sides that mimic those in front, and a wider skid plate. The Niro Hybrid now comes with more variant options, and is offered with a choice of two 16-inch wheel designs and a new 18-inch dual-tone diamond-cut rim. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is available with new design 16-inch alloys with dark grey inserts.

There are no accompanying interior pics, but Kia says that the Niro’s cabin has seen upgrades in visual and material terms for a more upscale atmosphere. The dash top is now soft-touch, and there’s new gloss black trim. Two colour packs – Red-Orange and Plum – are new options for a dash of flair. Red-Orange adds contrast stitching and dash trim, while Plum comes with perforated leather and satin chrome dash trim.

Kia is also introducing an optional new 10.25-inch widescreen for the main display, and a 7.0-inch TFT Supervision instrument cluster for the driver. The standard items are an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 4.2-inch TFT instrument binnacle. Steering-mounted paddle shifters for the six-speed DCT, and an electronic parking brake (accompanied by larger rear brakes) are the other changes.

Safety wise, the latest Niro adds Stop & Go functionality to the Smart Cruise Control. Lane Following Assist is available for the first time on the Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid, following its introduction on the Niro EV. It works up to 180 km/h.

Forward Collision-avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist, Blind-spot Collision Warning, Rear Cross-traffic Collision Warning, and Intelligent Speed Limit Warning are all carried over.

No changes to the powertrain, which combines a 1.6 litre Kappa GDi engine with a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack (Hybrid) or an 8.9 kWh unit (Plug-in Hybrid). The ICE puts out 105 PS and 147 Nm, while total system output is 141 PS and 265 Nm. Kia claims that the PHEV can achieve 65 km of pure electric city driving, or a WLTP combined cycle electric range of 49 km.

With a regular compact SUV shape (as opposed to a unique green car body), the Niro has caught on pretty well in Europe. More than 270,000 units have been sold globally since 2016, and 100,000 of those were in the continent. Unique among hybrid cars in Europe, the Niro is sold with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty as standard. European sales of the facelift start in Q2 2019. Would this work here?

GALLERY: Kia Niro Hybrid, pre-facelift