The second generation of Kia’s first dedicated electrified vehicle, the Niro, has been revealed at the Seoul Motor Show today. The crossover continues to be offered in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully-electric flavours, but the conservative design of the outgoing model has been replaced by something much more distinctive.

On the outside, the new Niro derives plenty of inspiration from the 2019 HabaNiro concept, albeit significantly toned down for production. At the front, you’ll find “heartbeat” LED daytime running lights, nestled in headlights that have been split from the rest of the front end. Kia’s signature “tiger nose” grille has evolved into a “tiger face”, with the slim, full-width upper grille and large lower grille forming the bone-shaped graphic.

The front bumper also has a two-tone colour scheme that leads into the front fender flares and side rocker panels. But the most radical part of the new Niro’s styling is the broad contrast-colour C-pillar that leads into the rear wheel arches and integrates the vertical boomerang-shaped taillights. This design is said to enhance the airflow, improving aerodynamics. A trapezoidal-stamped tailgate and a repeat of the “heartbeat” lighting signature round off the rear end.

Inside, the asymmetrical dashboard swoops around the driver and passenger and incorporates Kia’s curved display panel and a rotary gear selector. The slim, lightweight front seat design are said to improve comfort and roominess and features a coat hook behind the headrests.

Kia promises eco-friendly materials for the Niro’s interior, including a headliner made from recycled wallpaper and seats that use Tencel fibres from eucalyptus leaves. The paint on the door panels is also free from benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX) isomers.

Hybrid versions of the new Niro also comes with a Greenzone drive mode, which automatically switches into EV mode when driving in residential areas or near schools or hospitals based on navigation and driving history data. It will also recognise the user’s favourite places, such as a home or office registered in the navigation system, as a green zone.

Technical details have not been revealed just yet, but expect to know more closer to the Niro’s market launch next year. The electric version is of particular interest to us Malaysians as franchise holder Bermaz plans to introduce the car in 2022, according to an investor report.