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I honestly don't have any negative things to say about the Kia Niro. I think it's a good alternative to the Honda Insight if you don't want a sedan.
 

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I honestly don't have any negative things to say about the Kia Niro. I think it's a good alternative to the Honda Insight if you don't want a sedan.
We drove the Niro PHEV and I had the Niro EV for a week. It's barely an SUV, definitely not like a RAV4 or CR-V even, more like a slightly jacked up Ioniq. That said, it's a lot easier to get into and out of than the Insight, but that's the only major advantage I see in the hybrid version aside from the warranty. Biggest downsides were the ride, handling and overall performance. Very choppy and even less road feel and more feeble acceleration. Also, the cargo space with the back seat in use is only a little more than a laugh. I'd take the Insight trunk any day. Of course, you can fold the rear seats in the Niro making it better. Plus, Niro was more expensive to get comparable safety systems. All that said, the plug-in version was nice and that swayed the other factors to make it a tough choice, we nearly bought a similar Ioniq PHEV if it hadn't been for dealer issues.
 

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Kia and Hyundai price advantages drop dramatically since they both hide a lot of automation and advanced safety features behind paywalls. Once you add all the stuff their cars are a bit pricey by comparison.
 

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I honestly don't have any negative things to say about the Kia Niro. I think it's a good alternative to the Honda Insight if you don't want a sedan.
I agree the Niro is a good alternative and I much prefer its hatch and raised ride height (so easy to get in/out), but it’s one HUGE negative is the DCT transmission. The only reason I didn’t seriously consider it or the Ioniq. I briefly owned a Sonata Eco with a similar DCT and it was awful for around town driving. I took a huge hit trading it in because I just didn’t feel completely safe with that transmission. It hated rolling starts. It was particularly dangerous when turning left or pulling out of a side street. The clutches would drag, the revs would race as if it was neutral and the tranny would be confused on whether it should be in 1st of 2nd. Meanwhile, your car has moved into oncoming traffic but your not going anywhere fast. At the last second, it would choose 1st and take off more aggressively then you really wanted. Caused many pucker moments for me. Early 2016 Tucson’s ran into even more serious problems with the same tranny (some would go into overheat limp mode), so much so that Hyundai issued a programming fix. While the 6 speed seems to have less issues then the 7 speed, I just could never trust owning a DCT again. I hope Hyundai switches to CVT or direct drive on their next hybrid.
 

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I agree the Niro is a good alternative and I much prefer its hatch and raised ride height (so easy to get in/out), but it’s one HUGE negative is the DCT transmission. The only reason I didn’t seriously consider it or the Ioniq. I briefly owned a Sonata Eco with a similar DCT and it was awful for around town driving. I took a huge hit trading it in because I just didn’t feel completely safe with that transmission. It hated rolling starts. It was particularly dangerous when turning left or pulling out of a side street. The clutches would drag, the revs would race as if it was neutral and the tranny would be confused on whether it should be in 1st of 2nd. Meanwhile, your car has moved into oncoming traffic but your not going anywhere fast. At the last second, it would choose 1st and take off more aggressively then you really wanted. Caused many pucker moments for me. Early 2016 Tucson’s ran into even more serious problems with the same tranny (some would go into overheat limp mode), so much so that Hyundai issued a programming fix. While the 6 speed seems to have less issues then the 7 speed, I just could never trust owning a DCT again. I hope Hyundai switches to CVT or direct drive on their next hybrid.
By the time the Niro debuted for the 2017 model year, its infotainment interface — while user-friendly — was already starting to feel a little creaky. The new larger touchscreens should improve usability by a wide margin. However, the lack of significant upgrades means the Kia Niro's most glaring problems go unaddressed. That means you'll still have to deal with a clunky transmission, floppy steering and an abundance of hard plastics. https://www.edmunds.com/kia/niro/2020/
I noticed Edmunds does mention about the clunky transmission and floppy steering.
 

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I agree the Niro is a good alternative and I much prefer its hatch and raised ride height (so easy to get in/out), but it’s one HUGE negative is the DCT transmission. The only reason I didn’t seriously consider it or the Ioniq.
The main transmission annoyance I found with the Ioniq and Niro was the delay you'd get while backing when you switched from reverse to drive. Also, the paddles actually shifted gears, hardly useful in an Ioniq lol, I much prefer the regenerative braking paddles that are somewhat useful.
 

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I had a DCT in my previous car and I hated it. It was the reason that I took the Niro off my list of potential new vehicles. I miss having a hatchback, but whatever.
 

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Yeah, I forget which reviewer tried to paint that transmission as an advantage because of the clutch and shifting. Ok, maybe if it's done like an exotic sports car, but not at the price point of Prius and Insight that have pretty solid transmissions... I didn't find it to be a deal breaker, but it definitely wasn't a positive.
 

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Yeah, I forget which reviewer tried to paint that transmission as an advantage because of the clutch and shifting. Ok, maybe if it's done like an exotic sports car, but not at the price point of Prius and Insight that have pretty solid transmissions... I didn't find it to be a deal breaker, but it definitely wasn't a positive.
Just curious, but was it from a discussion in this forum (maybe here?) or was it different/online review source?
 

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The main transmission annoyance I found with the Ioniq and Niro was the delay you'd get while backing when you switched from reverse to drive. Also, the paddles actually shifted gears, hardly useful in an Ioniq lol, I much prefer the regenerative braking paddles that are somewhat useful.
This is interesting to know for future test drives. I don't think I would've noticed or thought to check the reverse-to-drive shifting on a test drive; I'm usually just forward/drive-focused.
 

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Just curious, but was it from a discussion in this forum (maybe here?) or was it different/online review source?
Pretty sure it was an online or video review. I read or saw it before a test drive thinking it might indeed be a plus, but was disappointed.

This is interesting to know for future test drives. I don't think I would've noticed or thought to check the reverse-to-drive shifting on a test drive; I'm usually just forward/drive-focused.
Only happens from my garage or maybe a parking spot, and while a couple seconds sounds insignificant, you notice it EVERY single time. I'm sure you get used to it, like the push-button shifter on the Insight.
 

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I had a DCT in my previous car and I hated it. It was the reason that I took the Niro off my list of potential new vehicles. I miss having a hatchback, but whatever.
Eventually I think they will get better or be replaced. I remember HATING CVT transmissions in the 2005-2010 era. Last spring I drove a 2017 CRV, with the CVT and only noticed it once when I decided to punch it after a toll booth, and wasn't even annoyed with it.

I've intentionally avoided CVT's in the past, but think they aren't a dealbreaker anymore. Same thing with DCT transmissions. I won't ever own a budget one, but in a Corvette or similar "performance DCT" category I think they can be amazing, and eventually they will become reliable in every price point.
 

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I don't think I'd buy a Kia. Possibly a Hyundai, but can't imagine the Kia has the quality of a Honda.
 

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I don't think I'd buy a Kia. Possibly a Hyundai, but can't imagine the Kia has the quality of a Honda.
After my wife's experience with her last Sonata, we will never buy a Hyundai again.
 
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