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Car With Best Gas Mileage – Competition improves breeds. And that’s what Kia Niro brings to hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Prius Prime.
Compared with Prius, Niro is higher and wider. Probably for the sake of it, it looks like a small crossover SUV, though only with front-wheel drive, it’s not the type of SUV.
It offers the advantages of crossover from easier access, better foresight on the road, and a more natural and upright sitting position. That’s especially true in the back, where a higher seat makes access easier and more space.
Best of all, even with its tall, boxy shape, it gets tremendous mileage. More than 46 miles just riding on gasoline (reducing all the miles of electricity we use), we use only 0.58 gallons of gas, for a gas-only mileage reading of 79.3 mpg.
It extinguished the EPA EPA rating of 46-manufacturer Niro Plug-in Hybrid, though it was recognized in the short term that did not involve much traffic or high speed.
We drove mostly in rural byways almost ideal to maximize fuel economy. Still.
Instead we avoid accelerating to the highway or never stopping at traffic lights and starting again. We drive about a quarter of that distance at a speed of 70 mph on the freeway.
Even more impressive, perhaps, is the range of electricity. The EPA estimates that Niro can make it 26 miles on its 8.9-kwh lithium-ion battery. With a single pay by driving around the city, that’s what we get.
On a second charge, with a mixture of freeways and backroads, mostly with five passengers in the car, Niro went 36.1 miles before the batteries ran out. We keep wondering how many miles still show on the dashboard’s electric range indicator.
We were unable to verify the correct charging time, but 2.5 hours claimed by Kia on a Level 2 charger is approximately accurate.
The Niro uses a 104-horsepower, 1.6-liter inline-4 paired with a 60-hp electric motor. This combination gives 139 total hp and 195 lb-ft of torque.
Unlike most hybrids and other plug-ins, Hyundai and Kia support both propulsion sources with a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. Sometimes it seems odd for a car to shift when driving electrically, but without the sound of a gas engine, it’s less thundering than hearing a shift in a conventional car.
In electric mode, of course the Niro Plug-in Hybrid is almost silent. Even the gas engine is muted, and Niro is a very fun car just driving as a hybrid.
By charging the battery, the driver can switch between Hybrid and Electric mode with a button next to the shifter. This is effective for preserving the electrical range, though quite meaningless in electrical mode.
Providing a quick kick, a firm kick will start the gas engine, but the kick must be very strong. The car was so delicious using electricity.