Any time I manually enter HEV mode, say for climbing a long hill, I switch to sport mode because I prefer to control which gear I'm in. In normal mode it will downshift when it's not really necessary. According to the manual, and based on my observations, it is only a charge sustain mode, and will not charge the battery. I've never seen any increase in range while running in Sport mode. The range might increase by a mile, but then it might go back down, so I never see any net gain in range.
My only experience driving a HEV is my son-in-law's Ioniq, and I have to admit the display is not as bright and visible as the Niro dash, so I might have overlooked how low the battery gauge has dropped. That's another reason I prefer my Kia over a Hyundai, the dash display is overall much nicer. Anyway, for my 65 year old eyes it's better.
2019 Kia Niro PHEV EX Premium
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