|The 2017 Kia Niro.|
Well, in its current generation, Toyota appears to have taken the "different" way too far. The radically re-styled Prius is selling in fractions of the numbers of its ancestors.
So is the time right for a car that delivers the mileage but looks like a conventional car?
|2017 Kia Niro.|
The Niro follows Kia's tried-and-true formula of offering a lot of features for a low price. Our tester was the base FE, priced at $22,890. Zero options. And it felt like any other manufacturer's middle trim level. For $23,785, when the $895 inland freight and handling is factored in.
|2017 Kia Niro interior.|
Take into account that the Niro FE is $1,300 less than the base Prius Two, is (subjectively) better looking, more versatile when it comes to carrying people and cargo, and offers dual-zone automatic climate control, power windows, door locks and outside mirrors, a solid audio system with a 7-inch touchscreen and rear camera, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, Bluetooth, a free three-month SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription, remote keyless entry, projector beam headlamps with LED positioning lamps, rear privacy glass and Kia's legendary 10 year/100,000 mile warranty and it's clear that Kia has made a compelling case for choosing a Niro over a Prius.
The only question is whether the people who would buy Priuses if Priuses didn't look so weird will buy a hybrid that doesn't look weird at all. And for that, we'll have to wait and see.