Since the electric motor is going through the DCT on the PHEV (and likely the HEV as well), I can understand where it doesn't work as well as a CVT. My only complaint about the PHEV drivetrain is running out of EV power when climbing a hill while also attempting to accelerate. One example would be an uphill freeway on ramp, while another is just climbing the hill I live on from a dead stop at the bottom (3 way stop). I often notice the DCT changing gears attempting to keep the power flowing, but it's often shifting later than it should. A CVT would most likely be able to match the available motor power to the demand and stay out of the ICE more often.
My experience with a CVT was the Subaru Outback I traded for my Niro. Since it had the 3.0 six, not the 4 cylinder, the CVT was silky smooth and rarely revved the engine excessively. When I test drove the Honda Clarity, that CVT was particularly annoying if the ICE had to start.
2019 Kia Niro PHEV EX Premium
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