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My 18 PHEV is in the shop for lower control arm replacement when they found out they could not complete the required alignment until next week. Until then, they gave me a 18 HEV, much lower trim level. However, this one did have the fancier wheels and also Blind Side monitoring.

The shock of a lot of missing features really put a bad taste in my mouth. However, the important thing here is how does this work compared to my PHEV. Many on this forum have complained of a "lurch". I did not experience that at all. The only thing that was slightly noticeable was the transition for EV to gas engine, something that is almost completely transparent in my PHEV. Certainly something I can live with, and later on did not even notice.

Next, I was surprised at how well it adapted to highway driving. Slowing to a stop, of course it charged the battery, but as soon as I started it almost immediately switched from EV to gas. However, to my surprise, cruising down the highway a few miles later, it went for a relatively long time in EV mode.

The dash is completely different than mine but on the next day I remembered I could look at the fuel mileage and also track instantaneous mileage. The car had 2200 miles on it and I don't know when, if ever, the fuel mileage was reset. I was surprised that it showed 53 mpg! I reset it and have since averaged just under 50 mpg. It also seems a little peppier than my PHEV, probably because the my PHEV has a heavier battery/electric motor and more options. I almost never see the "Power" band used when I drive.

A significant note about Blind Side Monitoring on this vehicle. It works significantly WORSE than it does on my Niro. On my Niro, it give me plenty of warning/clearance for both vehicles approaching from the rear and then passing me on the front. On this one. a semi was well within my rear quarter panel before the warning sounded. Same for the front, the warning quit well before the semi cleared the front.

On the the BSS issue, my conclusion is that the HEV version is a mighty fine vehicle. Without he US Federal Tax Credit (which brings price parity between the HEV and PHEV), the added cost of the PHEV would not make any economic sense (at least for me).I could certainly be happy with it.
 
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