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The Niro is almost spot-on the same size as the failed Ford C-Max, which couldn't find enough buyers because it looks a minivan/wagon with unremarkable MPG. I wonder if the Niro's crossover styling will be the key to sales success...

Kia Niro
Wheelbase (est.) 106.3 in.
Length (est.) 171.5 in.
Width (est.) 70.9 in.
Height (est.) 60.4 in.

Ford C-Max wagon / minivan / MPV
Wheelbase 104.3 in.
Length 173.6 in.
Width 72 in.
Height 63.9 in.

 

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I think the C-Max just came at the wrong time and just didn't appeal to anyone much since you could just get a CUV which is just as good.

Now there seems to be a growing trend of vehicles proportioned like this, I have a feeling Kia will have good luck. They're typically good with getting in on industry trends when the time is right.
 

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That car is very dated. Looks like the design is from last decade in stead of this one.

Both Kia and Ford went with such a non-offensive and conservative design but Kia's feels new while the Ford looks a bit department store.
 

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Failed because it was a van and the non hybrid crossovers in 2013-2014 had pretty good mpg numbers so why pay more for a hybrid? Also, they had that problem with the mpg rating and people complained and filed lawsuits because Ford overstated it.
The Kia Niro looks better and it's expected to hit 50 mpg combined fuel economy rating.
 

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Well the C-Max came out a while ago, if anything its near the end of its cycle, so it's expected to look dated. Kia just showed off the Niro.
 

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Still, you're comparing a hybrid van to a crossover. If you're going to do that, may as well use the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as a more recent model.
 

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I just test drove the Niro today and was impressed. I've been driving a C-Max for the past 4 years and love it. I'm in the market for a new car and the Niro is on my short list. I'm impressed with the near 50 MPG on the Niro. I average only 43 MPG year over year with my C-Max. The one thing I'll say regarding my test drive was the slow acceleration in the Niro. With only 139 hp combined it wasn't nearly as spunky as the C-Max which has 188 hp combined. I did like the 6-speed transmission. The jury is still out for me. I'll wait to see what people experience before I consider buying.
 

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I'm hoping the Niro and Ioniq are both as unpopular as the 4th gen Prius that sits unloved and unwanted in Toyota dealerships with huge discounts on the hood. However, I don't think they will be. The Ioniq outperforms the Prius in everything and looks much better. The Niro has a more popular form factor with greater overall utility than the Prius and isn't that far down on FE.
 

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I'm hoping the Niro and Ioniq are both as unpopular as the 4th gen Prius that sits unloved and unwanted in Toyota dealerships with huge discounts on the hood. However, I don't think they will be. The Ioniq outperforms the Prius in everything and looks much better. The Niro has a more popular form factor with greater overall utility than the Prius and isn't that far down on FE.


ON top of that I heard Hyundai and Kia dealerships have great service. Last I recall Hyundai was working on further refining the dealership experience. Anyone who has dealt with vehicle problems before will know how important that experience is come time to get those issues resolved!
 

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I see this is kind of an old thread.

I just recently went through the car buying experience and was in "EXTREME CAR RESEARCH" mode....when I finally figured out that a PHEV was what I wanted, I had it narrowed down to about 3-4 vehicle contenders, but the Niro and the C-Max were really my top two contenders.

It was the rumors of the C-Max being discontinued that made me take it "out of the running". It was a nice car, but I don't want to be paying through the nose for parts in 5 years if it comes to that. I would like a car is doing well and will be on the market for a while so that parts are readily available.
 

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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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Well the C-Max is discontinued (along with most other Ford cars) so the point is soon to be moot unless we are talking used. Certainly the rough shape was appealing to me as a PT Cruiser owner, but I never so much as bothered looking inside one. Ford's underperformance on the EPA ratings turned me off. So the Niro was super appealing when it came along.
 

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May the C-Max rest in peace. I never hated my leased one, but as soon as I found that Ford was bailing on it, I was out. I wouldn't even consider a used one. The platform is based on the EU diesel model and parts may start to cost down the road as US supplies dwindle. Since I never tracked my C-Max with Fuelly and finding the Niro onboard computer to be off by 3-4 gallons my CM probly only averaged 40 ish mpg...with the onboard comp saying 43 mpg over 2 years. I just filled up my Niro Touring after a hilly road trip up the coast from LA to Santa Ynez valley, and I got 44.2 on Fuelly ... not shabby and the Touring really earns its name on a trip like this...smooth, quiet and has enough punch (tho not as peppy as the C-Max) to get around traffic issues as they come up. This factor is definitely better than the Ford was. There are some things I miss though...I liked the foot swipe option to open the back hatch and the body proximity lock and hand swipe of the inside door handles was cool too. Considering the wheelbase isn't much different the CM was a bit buckboard like and I'd say harsh over bumps. They have 17" alloys and decent tires compared to my Touring 18" which shouldn't be that big a deal so I think it comes down to the superior Niro suspension.
 

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For model year 2013 with 12 million miles reported, Fuelly says average mpg is 39. It looks like high 40's is possible for little old lady driving. Maybe I should have taken it more seriously and considered buying one back in the day.

If you live in a four season area that would benefit from winter tires, consider buying 16" wheels for the other three seasons. Big improvement in comfort and mpg (lower replacement cost too). Small loss in handling and braking but this is not a sports car.

Perhaps not if you live in LA. But consider 16" anyway. Should be easy to sell your 18" wheels.
 

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For model year 2013 with 12 million miles reported, Fuelly says average mpg is 39. It looks like high 40's is possible for little old lady driving. Maybe I should have taken it more seriously and considered buying one back in the day.

If you live in a four season area that would benefit from winter tires, consider buying 16" wheels for the other three seasons. Big improvement in comfort and mpg (lower replacement cost too). Small loss in handling and braking but this is not a sports car.

Perhaps not if you live in LA. But consider 16" anyway. Should be easy to sell your 18" wheels.
39 seems correct for the C-Max...still better than some early Prius owners I know. They tell me they actually only get mid 30's on their old P-Dawgs. The 18's on my Touring stay since it's a lease, and I like the way they look and feel anyway. My Niro mpgs are much improved over the Ford and those Prius owner friends. At the end of this lease I'll see where KIA is at in the development curve and decide if I stay in the game. A good friend just got himself a PHEV Niro so I'll have some real world stats to watch closely. Happy to say he was impressed enough with my Touring that he pulled the trigger.
 
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