Kia's five-passenger Niro marries good fuel economy with cargo versatility. This front-wheel-drive hybrid uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine which, in conjunction with the electric drive unit, puts out a combined 139 hp. This combo is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Because the lithium-ion battery is located under the rear seat, that creates a flat cargo floor when the rear seats are folded. We got 43 mpg overall, which is good but not as good as the Hyundai Ioniq or Toyota Prius. The handling lacks agility and the ride is a bit choppy. The optional power driver seat provides better support than the standard seats do. A suite of advanced safety features is available, including automatic emergency braking, smart cruise control, and blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning, but that tends to push the price to above $30,000.
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