2017 Kia Niro
It also carries an EPA rating of 51 mpg in the city and 46 mpg on the highway.
On the Road
Pre-Niro, there was a class divide among hybrids. The fuel-efficient and affordable ones -- like the Prius C -- didn't move.
Whatever you saved at the pump you paid for on the road with pedal car acceleration accompanied by lots of unhappy noises coming from the overtaxed engine and straining electric motor. And the ones that could move either cost too much or drank too much.
The Niro is interesting because it bridges this gap.
It is also very quiet. Many hybrids make you very conscious of their hybridness because of the noises made by the hybrid drivetrain or the feel of the drivetrain. The Niro sounds and feels like a normal car.
At the Curb
The Niro's crossover SUV layout allows for 19.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the second row compared with 17.3 cubic feet for the smaller Prius C. With its second row folded, the available space opens up to 54.5 cubic feet, more than the Ford C-Max hybrid's 52.6 cubic feet, which is the same size.
The regular Prius has slightly more space -- 19.4 cubic feet behind its second row and 54.5 cubic feet with the seats folded flat. But it's also a much longer and larger vehicle -- 178.7 inches bumper to bumper versus the Niro's 171.5 inches.
You sit higher up and higher off the ground in the Niro. The Kia has 6.3 inches of ground clearance, an inch-plus more than the Prius C, the regular Prius or the C-Max.