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Having just picked up a Niro after pitting Ford and Kia against one another, I must say that a purpose-built hybrid is better. The Ford had some nice bits (programmable passenger seat, brake coach, code unlock on the door, built-in garage door opener), but the engine kicked on more aggressively and more quickly, the trunk was worthless, and the front seats were narrow.
Ride was pretty smooth and quiet in the Ford, but I take trips long enough that I need a comfortable seat and a trunk. Kia also gets the nod for having multiple trim levels in the PHEV vs Ford's model of offering it for a small markup over standard, but only with all the options.
 

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I test drove a Fusion Energi also because of their aggressive lease deals on the 19 year models. I thought it was a comfortable ride and I preferred their e-CVT transmission over the Niro's DCT, however, the Niro was much easier to get in and out of for me, plus there was zero trunk space in the Fusion, you might be able to get 1 22" roller bag in there and that would be about it. The Niro PHEV got more EV range, better gas MPG, and was just a much more practical vehicle for cargo and passenger space.
 

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I drove a Fusion HEV for 3 years before getting the Niro.

It is a fantastically comfortable car with all the bells and whistles and creature comforts that you need.

The CVT is absolutely fantastic, never had even one hick up with it in 50k miles.

Getting the best MPG's out of it was an exercise, but it could be done, you just had to pay attention to driving technique 100% of the time.

On the other hand, the Kia is a fairly comfortable vehicle with amenities that are not quite as refined as the Ford, not a knock, but Ford had a long time getting it right.

The DCT is itself a pretty remarkable transmission, but I really miss no jerking because the CVT didn't "change" gears.

Getting the best MPG's in the Kia is a no brainer, just drive it normally.

Both are great, the Fusion is a refined car that had a hybrid powertrain added to it, the Niro is a purpose built hybrid car, just not as refined.

P.S. No storage space in the Fusion as the battery was in the trunk...part of that car-that-had-a-hybrid-stuck-in-it thing.
 
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