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2020 Kia Niro gets styling, tech updates

Both the standard Niro hybrid and plug-in version benefit from these upgrades.

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2020 Kia Niro

The Kia Niro is only offered with electrified powertrain options.

Mike Cutler/Roadshow

The Kia Niro is an attractive little package. Offered exclusively with hybrid powertrains -- or as a full EV -- the Niro is as comfortable and functional as it is fuel-efficient. None of that's changing for the 2020 Niro, it's just a bit fresher than before.

Making its debut Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2020 Niro gets a slightly redesigned front fascia. The most obvious bit of newness is the pair of chevron-shaped LED running lights on either side, which make the Niro look a bit more like its all-electric counterpart. New wheel designs round out the 2020 model-year visual updates.

Move inside, and the Niro gets better infotainment tech. An 8-inch touchscreen is standard, running the automaker's Uvo multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 10.25-inch screen with navigation is available on higher trim levels, not unlike the setup seen in the redesigned 2020 Soul.

The Niro's driver-assistance suite also gets a small boost for 2020: Lane-following and lane-keeping assist are added to the available Kia Drive Wise safety roster, as are automatic headlights.

Powertrain options are unchanged for 2020. The standard Niro uses a 1.6-liter I4 engine and 1.56-kilowatt-hour battery to produce a combined 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The Niro plug-in hybrid uses the same 1.6-liter engine but ups the battery size to 8.9 kWh. Total system output is unchanged between the two models, but the PHEV can travel as much as 26 miles on full-electric power, according to Kia.

Following its debut at the LA Auto Show, the 2020 Niro will go on sale early next year. Pricing information hasn't been released as of this writing, but given how largely similar the 2020 Niro is to the 2019 model, we don't expect its MSRP to increase all that much.

2020 Kia Niro
Mike Cutler/Roadshow