Which fuel-sipping people-hauler would YOU rather live with, the new Kia Niro or Ford’s older C-Max?
Both of these crossover-esque offerings are impressively economical, sipping fuel while driving around town or bombing down the interstate, but one is significantly thriftier than the other.
Age before beauty, we start with the Ford. Introduced several years ago, the C-Max features a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine that delivers 141 horses on its own. Teamed with a permanent-magnet AC synchronous motor and a 1.4-kWh lithium-ion battery, total system power measures 188 ponies.
An electronic continuously variable transmission (eCVT) changes ratios and maximizes efficiency. The C-Max’s top speed while running solely on electrons is 62 miles an hour.
As for fuel economy, Dearborn’s offering stickers at 42 miles per gallon city, 38 highway and 40 MPG combined. On their own these figures are nothing to scoff at, until you see how efficient the Kia is.
Under its hood, the Niro features a drivetrain that’s similar to the Ford’s, though some things are dissimilar. For starters, its internal-combustion engine displaces just 1.6-liters and delivers 104 horsepower. Also, instead of a CVT this Kia uses a more traditional stepped-gear transmission, a dual-clutch unit with six ratios.
The Niro battery is also of the lithium-ion variety, though it’s slightly larger than the C-Max’s, measuring 1.56 kWh. Thanks to all this advanced technology, the Kia is supremely efficient. According to the EPA, it should deliver 51 miles per gallon in city driving and a whopping 46 on the highway. Combined, it averages a claimed 49 MPG. These figures are significantly better than what the Ford can muster, despite the fact that the Niro has a longer wheelbase and slightly more overall cargo space (54.5 cubic feet vs. 52.6). Of course, having to haul around 534 fewer pounds also helps.
That’s a quick look at the Ford C-Max and Kia Niro. Which one would YOU rather own? Well, if necessary you can do more research here. And don’t forget to vote in our poll! Please? Seriously, just click on one of the vehicle images below…