Kia has rolled into the Big Apple with two new refreshed models making their public premiere: the 2023 Niro crossover SUV and 2023 Telluride full-size SUV.

Both models feature updated looks, new tech and trims, and will be available for consumers to inspect at the New York International Autoshow, April 15th-24th. The Niro, however, has seen the most changes, touting a series of new powertrain options-- a hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric option.

All Niro models are carried by a front-wheel drive system, incorporating a six-gear, dual-clutch automatic transmission in the HEV and PHEV models.. The HEV model will utilize a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a 32kW permanent magnet synchronous electric motor. Together they are capable of a max 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Targeted efficiency is approximately 53 miles per gallon combined and a total of 558 miles of range. The PHEV utilizes the same 1.6-liter engine, now mated up to a 62kW electric motor for a total system output of 180 horses and 195 lb-ft of torque. That motor draws power from a 11.1kWh lithium battery pack, full-chargeable in under three hours when paired to a Level 2 charger. The all-electric range of the PHEV is esteemed at 33 miles when fitted with 16-inch wheels-- a 25 percent improvement over the outgoing model.

Then there’s the all-electric Niro EV, which is powered by a 64.8kWh battery feeding a 150 kW battery. Together, they put down 201 horses-- torque is yet to be disclosed. Standard outfitted with DC fast charging architecture, the Niro EV is capable of Level 3 fast charging to replenish 10-to-80 percent charge in under 45 minutes (at a max charging capacity of 85kW). Current range targets put the EV at 253 miles; an optional heat pump and battery warmer will help preserve some of those miles in colder climates.

The new Niro features a bold design harkened back to the 2019 HabaNiro concept, built with Kia’s “Opposites United” philosophy in mind. Upfront, new upswept daytime running lights lead the way, bookending the automaker’s signature tiger nose grille. Flanking the vehicle are a pair of boomerang-shaped LED taillights. Niro HEV and PHEVs will be signified by black door cladding and wheel arches, whereas the Niro EV is set apart by Steel Grey or black exterior trim-- a possibility determined by the consumer’s choice of exterior lacquer.

Of course, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and Kia was sure to fill the Niro with a host of standard tech and safety. The 2023 model will see Forward Collision Avoidance with Pedestrian Detection Capability, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Following Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance and Assist, Safe Exit Warning and Rear Occupant Alert. Other features, like Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Navigation-based Curve, are available on the Niro lineup.

Other interior accouterments include an optional heads up display and wireless phone charger; however, smartphone integration-- no matter which color bubble you text-- is standard on all models. Said integration is run through the center infotainment, available as a panoramic dual 10.25-inch display (one of which is utilized as a digital instrument panel). All this tech is surrounded by a sustainable, animal-free interior-- like a headliner made of recycled wallpaper. Front seats can be optioned out with heating and ventilation.


2023 Kia Telluride

After three years of popularity, Kia has brought forth the updated model of their Telluride SUV. Having been designed specifically for the US market, the new Telluride has undergone slight exterior adjustments for the new model year. Those adjustments include reinvigorated vertical headlights, new bumpers, a new grille, updated taillights, and three new exterior colors: Midnight Lake Blue, Dawning Red and Jungle Wood Green.

The interior remains the three-row eight-seater we’ve seen since 2019; however, now updated to include an optional curved dual 12.3-inch displays for infotainment and driver’s instrumentation, a redesigned dashboard and trimmings, a new steering wheel, and additional interior colors. Already a competent cabin, the inside carries over standard smartphone integration, available wireless charging, Quiet Mode (cutting audio output in the second and third row so only the front occupant’s audio choices are heard in that row), and up to six USB charging ports (two in each row).The heads-up display has been upgraded from 8.5-inches to 10-inches, adding in turn-by-turn navigation, speed, smart cruise control and blind-spot warnings (available).

You may be wondering why we’ve waited to discuss the powertrain, and that’s because Kia has little reason to tamper with it. In fact, it was said that the major mechanics of the vehicle remain “virtually unchanged.” As such, the 2023 Telluride is powered by the Atkinson Cycle LAMBDA II engine, a 3.8-liter V6 GDI capable of 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. That dances along with an 8-speed automatic transmission, ultimately stepping out to the standard front-wheel drive system or available active on-demand all-wheel drive.

It Tellu-rides atop independent suspension at all four corners, assisted with an available self-leveling rear suspension. With this option, ride height is automatically calibrated depending on vehicle load to optimize stability and control. Selectable drive modes allow operators to tailor the driving experience to the situation at hand, be it Smart, Eco, Sport or Comfort; all-wheel drivers can also select a Snow and AWD Lock mode for extra confidence.

Two new trims enter the Telluride’s portfolio, each of which gravitate towards a more adventurous lifestyle and aesthetic: the X-Line and X-Pro. These two models are standard all-wheel drive.

The X-Line, which replaces the Nightfall Edition, features bespoke parts including the grille, roof rails, body-color door handles, 20-inch wheels and specific X-Line badging; the interior is embossed with the X-Line name on the upper backrests and ultimately finished in exclusive color packages. The real action includes a +10mm higher ground clearance, improved approach and departure angles and an upgraded Traction Control System. An optimized towing mode has also been included.

Building off of that is the X-Pro, which downsizes those dub’s to 18-inch black wheels wrapped with Continental all-terrain tires, appropriately swapped X-Pro badging, and an increased towing limit from 5,000 pounds to 5,500 pounds. The X-Pro also adds a 110-volt inverter outlet in the rear cargo area.

We’re excited to check out these latest offerings from Kia; stay tuned to MotorWeek for more updates!