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Both the Niro Plug-In Hybrid and the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available rear parking sensors.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Niro Plug-In Hybrid the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.
Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro Plug-In Hybrid 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid. Any repair needed on the motor, batteries, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked fourth.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 7 places higher in reliability than Ford.
On the EPA test cycle the Niro Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity (110 city/99 hwy vs. 109 city/97 hwy MPGe).
On the EPA test cycle the Niro Plug-In Hybrid running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid running its gasoline engine (48 city/44 hwy vs. 43 city/40 hwy).
For better maneuverability, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.5 feet).
The Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 to 850 pounds less than the Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid is 1 foot, 8.3 inches shorter than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid, making the Niro Plug-In Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has .9 inches more front headroom and 1.3 inches more rear headroom than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid (19.4 vs. 8.2 cubic feet).
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid has a standard rear wiper. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear wiper.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s headlights are rated “Poor.”
When the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Fusion Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
Insurance will cost less for the Niro Plug-In Hybrid owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Niro Plug-In Hybrid will cost $1215 to $1695 less than the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid over a five-year period.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Niro Plug-In Hybrid will retain 37.82% to 38.4% of its original price after five years, while the Fusion Plug-In Hybrid only retains 33.66%.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid will be $4270 to $9622 less than for the Ford Fusion Plug-In Hybrid.
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