The A4 has been the backbone of Audi's lineup and key in its resurgence in the post-Unintended Acceleration days. This car has managed to build up a successful following by being an alternative to the more popular BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class while being nearly as good, if not actually better, than the competition. Audi chose to stake a claim in simple clothes covering technology that was more intuitive than some, being different without being difficult.
But Audi is as much a part of the establishment as its big rivals now, so it's not getting any alternative breaks anymore. It's the young tech startup that's finally a grownup – and learned to dress like one.
Kia says its goal with the Niro is to provide a vehicle that doesn't behave or look like a typical gas-electric vehicle, and create a new segment by combining hybrid efficiency with a body that boasts crossover traits. The result is what the Korean automaker is calling a hybrid utility vehicle -- simply put, a small hybrid crossover. The Niro is based on a new dedicated eco-car platform, which will also underpin the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq, a Toyota Prius-fighting hatchback. The architecture uses high-strength steel in keys areas like the A- and B-pillars and roof rails, yielding a structure that is both strong and lightweight. In all, 53 percent of the Niro's bones are made from advanced high-strength steel.