Kia has managed to inject some fun-to-drive spirit into the new 2018 Niro Hybrid. Unlike some small electrified vehicles the Niro never feels like a fancy golf cart or a pod without personality. Although it weighs 3,000 pounds, the Niro is athletic and feels light on its feet, with a welcome agility. Its steering feel is surprisingly satisfying. Its combined 139 horsepower won’t win any drag races, but there’s plenty of acceleration, especially in Sport Mode, which sharpens throttle response, tightens the steering and quickens the action of the hatchback’s smooth 6-speed automatic transmission. It also keeps the Niro’s 1.6-liter gas engine more involved for additional power. The complex powertrain is seamless in its operation, and once up to speed the Niro is quiet and comfortable. The Niro also performs well in the city, thanks to a tight turning radius, standard rearview camera, good outward visibility, and available rear cross-traffic alert.