Not sure about your area but I now have 2 months Niro buyer/driver experience. I live in Northern NY, right on the Canadian border, we have mountains and valleys. The Niro's dual clutch transmission is basically an "automatic standard/manual" transmission really, without the clutch pedal. In ECO "drive" mode, i.e. "automatic" it can struggle up hill in mountains, BUT, if you switch it to "Sport mode" i.e. standard/manual, you will be able to downshift for easier hill climbing and to also utilize "engine braking" on down hill so you wont have to brake as much. However, remember, light intermittent braking will first utilize the regenerative braking system and not the brake pads and rotors, though those DO get used in extreme braking situations. Using the regenerative braking system whenever possible (slow gradual stops in city driving when feasible, and works in higher speed highway situations downhill as well) will throw a good charge current to your hybrid battery, while the gas engine will be OFF and you wont be using hybrid battery power either to propel the car, battery will be used of course for any lights and accessories powered on, in this situation you are getting a great charge, driving gas free, and racking up the MPG's. I did a TON of research on hybrids, mainly the Prius, Niro and Ioniq and learned the technology, tips and tricks, starting about 3 months before we actually bought the Niro, our first Hybrid. Being a research geek, this really helped me during the "new" phase and learning hybrid driving techniques that can really beef up your MPG's. Techniques such as "hypermiling" , throttle control of forcing electric "EV" mode, better braking techniques etc. Our Niro EX has gotten substantially BETTER MPG's than rated, we have hit 57.7-60.00 mpg HIGHWAY, and city ranges 49-52 mpg. I did learn that using high octane non ethanol gas gave the best results and 87 octane 10% ethanol really dragged the MPG's down to the 40-42mpg range. I don't care what all the "experts" say about not needing high octane or non ethanol unless your manual states that you do, I find that it DOES indeed make a HUGE difference! Best of luck on your Niro purchase and feel free to pick my brain, I've learned a lot and have more to go as I plan on putting on 4 snow tires in the next month or so. I will be very interested in seeing how this impacts overall MPG's. P.S. I gathered from your question about downshifting that you may not be familiar with "dual clutch transmission". Yes, it's "automatic" but not like the torque converter based automatics that are the "norm", these do have 2, (dual) clutches, so it's really an automatic shifting manual transmission. On a hill at an upward incline, after removing your foot from the brake, after 2 seconds in which the vehicle is held there for you (HSA > hill start assist) the car WILL roll backward the same as a "standard/manual" with a clutch pedal. What makes this DCT/dual clutch transmission so nice is you dont need a clutch pedal, you can shift while driving without taking foot off gas, you can switch between auto and manual shifting at will even when moving at 55mph or faster, and best for last, you can shift through all 6 forward gears, not just D2 and D1 like regular automatics.
Last edited by eddarrah; 09-17-2017 at 07:06 PM.