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An Old Kia Niro Is Better As a Camper

Available in Korea with accessories like camping chairs, a table, and a sleeping mat, this is a smart way to repurpose the old Niro.
car with open tailgate and chairs nearby
Hyundai Motor Group

The 2023 Kia Niro EV is good, but a Kia Niro Plus with camping accessories might be even better.

In April, the Korean automaker unveiled the Niro Plus as a purpose-built vehicle intended for taxi operators and ride-hailing services. Thanks to our friends at Motor1, now we know the Niro Plus has an alter ego as a multi-use vehicle suitable as a daily driver and a weekend camper. And Kia is offering a plethora of options for it, including a sleeping mat, table, fold-out chairs, camping bag, and a set of curtains to secure passengers inside their temporary dwelling. YouTuber Asian Petrolhead offers a full review below, sans some of the camping add-ons.

While the second-generation 2023 Niro was introduced earlier this year, the old Niro remains as Niro Plus overseas. The Plus is bigger than Kia’s first-generation Niro EV by several measures. It’s taller by 80mm (3.1 inches), which means more head room when you’re driving and more space overall. Even the seats are larger–in front, the seats are about two inches bigger and the back seats are nearly 2.5 inches larger than before.

But the highlight of the Plus is the ability to transform it into a home on wheels by flattening the seats and adding a few amenities.

On the Hyundai Motor Group site, you’ll see the a connection port to use battery power for appliances and accessories. It’s also equipped with a slot for the camping table (which is stored in the underfloor), straps for things like phones and flashlights along the sides, and several storage areas. On the same page, Kia’s single-seater Ray (which the company calls a van) is shown with festive lights, a movie screen, and a tray laden with food and drink. The person who camps solo with all of that gear is surely a fascinating character; maybe they meet up with other Ray owners and camp out next to each other. It beats a cramped shared tent, that’s for sure.

While the Niro Plus is only available in Korea presently, I’d love to see this in the U.S. With gas prices on the rise, a small camping vehicle seems much smarter than a large RV anyway.

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