My brother has about a 4 yr.old C-Max bought new. He still likes it. My impression having ridden in it, the comfort is good, but I absolutely can't stand the design. They tried an "edgy" design, with jagged numbers, and a small tunnel for the speedo cluster, like it was a sports sedan. The vents are layed out weird, and the dash controls are curved away from driver. Also the display is above the dash top. I couldn't have one for that reason alone. I like a simple layout, which the Niro has. I also don't like the CVT, which I've had in rental cars.
The C-Max does have quite a bit more HP, at a cost of MPG. But interestingly the Niro has more max torque, at a lower RPM. I think that must be the Sport mode.
My brother did get a super deal on the C-Max, it was after the fallout from the terrible SYNC system. The Kia system is one of the better ones out there, so another reason for me because I'm not a tech geek- it has to work. I remember him saying he was getting ~42/43MPG.
The outside is too snubish looking for me, like between a tall mini van and a wagon. Of course some people think the Niro looks kind of guppyish, but I like the more wagonlike shape. At least theyre both not Prius cheese-wedge or new Buck Rodgers styling.
Another big selling point to me over C-Max was a much better/longer warranty.
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