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Kia Niro EV Feels Like It’s From the Future

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2019 Niro EV

The new Kia Niro EV feels like it’s from the future in several ways. Sure, its range and relative affordability for an electric vehicle will usher in a new age of EVs, but it also sports some futuristic aesthetics. Let’s be honest; half of our excitement for future cars is how cool they’ll look, and Kia tries to deliver.

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The Niro EV’s exciting design is in the cabin. It includes desirable features like a leather-stitched steering wheel and heated seats, but those don’t differentiate it from other modern-day cars. The center console, however, is a floating sci-fi looking design above a small storage area.

Since electric cars don’t need a mechanical gear shift, the Niro EV’s center console floats above the space traditionally reserved for the gear shift. Instead of a stick, the shift is a kind of knob ringed with red lights. There’s no need for multiple transmissions, so you have the standard choices of rear, neutral, and drive. This part of the console hangs over a storage area where you can place gloves or your phone within easy reach.

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Despite the novel design of the interior, the Kia Niro EV’s outer design leaves a little to be desired. For the most part, it looks like most other compact crossovers on the market and doesn’t scream “car of the future.” The only exception is the snazzy electric blue accents on the front and rear bumpers. Electric cars are still trying to break into the mainstream market, so Kia probably wants the new Niro to fit in with its non-EV peers.

This glowing red gear knob might not seem like a big step, but it shows that automakers are experimenting beyond the bounds of traditional design that were limited by mechanical engine designs. There’s also no rear bump in the legroom between the two back seats because the battery is placed flush with the floor.

In the near future, we could see more car designs that move the gear shift to a different place entirely than the center console. We look forward to it and all the edgy new designs, except for the return of suicide doors. We’re still scratching our heads on that one.

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