2018 Niro EX on ice test drive - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-21-2018, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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2018 Niro EX on ice test drive

Hi all, I test drove a 2018 Niro EX in Calgary Alberta on compacted snow/ice and some handling & traction problems

1) When the front wheels slipped It felt like the the traction control was cutting power to one of the 2 drive wheels, Then I think the remaining drive wheel then got more power which caused it to then immediately break loose from of whatever traction it had had.

2) Strange handling in skids. Normally in a fwd if your sliding or spinning on a circular axis you can give it a give it tiny bit of gas and the front wheels will pull you back into straight line so your at least not also spinning in a circle as you skid. The traction control 's power to only 1 wheel during a skid felt like it was adding to the circular spin rather than recovering from it.

3) Once I turned of traction control it handled better but I noticed another problem: The engine was unpredictability switching between gas and electric power which would would cause the front wheels to break loose at unexpected times. possibly this is something that can be accounted for once you get used to the gas pedal.

Putting it into sport mode didn't seem to help as much as I though it should have. but I might be confusing what settings I had enabled at this point in the test drive and I was in sport mode with traction control enabled, aka power 1 wheeling.

Has anyone else noticed these issues? Are there any solutions other than always driving in sport mode with traction control off?

Also does the niro it handle better with winter tires? I was pretty close to the base model so I'm pretty sure it had all seasons on. Stopping distance was decent evedn with all seasons, but cornering and emergency recovery has me weary of the Niro in a place where it's winter 4 months a year.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-21-2018, 09:17 PM
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Might I suggest studded snow tires. Chances are you are driving with the standard high efficiancy All Season Michelin tires that are not really a snow tire and as you said that you were driving on compacted snow that would be a challange for any car with those tires installed. I will agree that the car does take a bit of a mind shift onto how it drives. The Niro is not a regualr auto so trying to get it to drive like a regular auto and thinking it should act like one will just lead to disapointment.

My second car that I ever owned was a Volkswagon Fox. I hated that car as it drove really bad. I took it into the Volkswagon dealer as I found the engine idle was always just above stalling and it drove really rough. The tech person took it out and by my opion drove it really rough. Reved the engine up to almost the red-line and the car did respond with the engine not running as rough and the idle was fine. But as I tended not to drive that way, rather shifting much sooner, and not throwing it around as much, the design of how the car was made didn't match how I was driving and it showed. That might be the same with you and the Niro.

I want to get a bumper sticker for mine that says A!hole in Hybrid so the jerks who feel that I am not driving fast enough off the line, or tend to not accelerate to a red light will know before hand when following me that I really don't give a crap if they want to get there 3-5 seconds faster, I drive slow. The Niro is the perfect car for how I drive.

2018 Niro EX - Ocean Blue
GTA - Canada.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-22-2018, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by neonsmurf View Post
Also does the niro it handle better with winter tires?

We know that all Canadian cars comes with all season tires.! but if you ask me if it's better with winter tires!!

i have lived in Calgary in the 90's and i had winter tires on my car.. and all the others were in the ditch!

So, for your question, the anwser is YES! it's even a law in Quebec. Winter tires from Dec 15 to March 15...

Eric, The Canadian Guy !!

Kia Niro 2019 - PHEV SX - Snow White Pearl (15500 km)

Kia Niro 2018 - HEV EX 9000 km - Ocean Blue (Deep Cerulean) 6 months of pure pleasure.!!!

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 10:16 AM
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Traction control does not "cut power to one wheel". It simply cuts power, and it is way too abrupt for my tastes.

Example, pulling out onto a high speed highway and step down on the throttle to get moving quick due to traffic, if the inside tire spins (we got lots of sand around here), total power cut-off and no acceleration until you completely back off the throttle and start over. Not ideal, to say the least.

Another example, I own some back-woods land with a 1 mile sand (again, lots of sand around here) road. There are some really soft spots and you need momentum to get through. If the tires spin in the sand, the car just quits moving forward. I turn traction control off on that road, too easy to get stuck.

Wish it was more progressive or forgiving.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 10:58 PM
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The performance of any fwd vehicle on snow/ice is really a function of the tires. Get yourself a set of snow tires and your Niro should handle just as well as any fwd vehicle on the road today.

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