Highway Driving Really Drops MPG - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Highway Driving Really Drops MPG

Having the Niro Touring for a few months now, the MPG really takes a hit on the highway. I tend to drive 10 over the posted limit, so 80 in a 70. At that speed the MPG is hard to get to 40. Around town is the best. Coast as often as possible, slow acceleration (people following me must hate me), speeds in the 25 - 45 mile range and we can get it to 50/60. Love to get enough charge in the battery to go full electric and watch the mpg on the dash pin 75. Don't know how those guys traveling across the US set a record of 70. The Touring gets less but they must have kept their speed under 45/50. Did they give an average speed?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 01:11 PM
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My guess is 55. I think that's the speed the epa tests.

How fast you drive is up to you but the slower you go on the highway the better mileage.

Also, you should calculate your times savings to see if it is worth it to go that fast. The longer you are driving the more time you save by going faster, but if you are only a short distance say going 5 miles, you probably aren't saving very much time. Try one trip at 70mph (oh and try to stay in the right or middle lane out of courtesy. I'd say if you are going 70 stay in the middle lane so you aren't constantly switching lanes to pass.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 06:49 PM
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Hereís the detail on the 5 EPA tests. They briefly touch 80 in their high speed tests but thatís far from the average:
https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

Hypermiling is definitely low top speeds and very mild acceleration.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 10:45 PM
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It might help if everyone states the mileage they're at because this could be something that plays right into the break in mileage. Hopefully that's actually the case and not something we will be living with.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 11:41 PM
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My average mileage on my 30 mile commute to work is 57mpg. I tend to drive between 55 and 65 mph on the highway. The weather here is in the high 30s low 40s. I drive an FE. About half my drive is suburban driving and half highway.

The dealer has overinflated my tires and I haven't reduced the pressure. The tire pressures are about 45psi. I've been driving a hybrid for about 15 years so I may instinctively be hypermiling at times. I don't do anything drastic like some hypermilers do. I just drive gently and don't go overly fast on highways.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 12:35 PM
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I drive 30 miles one way on my commute. The speed limit is 55 and I set the cruise for 62 (it rarely stays there, but that is a different discussion). My average MPG range is 42 - 44 by the vehicles computer and right around 45 by my Ultragauge. Mine has the touring wheel/tire combo, so it drops the economy about 10 mpg. I did have the tires set to 42 psi, but the garage I went to for a slow leak reset the pressure to 38. I will pump it back up to 40 or so later today.

Speed takes power. Power takes energy. All hybrid energy comes from gasoline. Cant get around that.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 03:31 PM
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When I do a about a 200 mile road trip here in southern california. I set cruise at 65; PSI usually 36-37 at start; usually no traffic there and very little back. I get 48-49MPG on a touring. When I've lent my parents the car for the same trip they usually get 42-45mpg because my dad tends to drive 74-80mph.

It all depends on the profile of the trip. I've done a 230 mile round trip with 4k change in elevation. I got 39 mpg.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 11:31 AM
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Car and Driver has a 200 mile interstate round trip with a GPS verified 75mph run on cruise control. Result was 45mpg.

There is zero advantage to a hybrid system at high highway speeds. It is all about aerodynamics. The Niro has a Cd of .29, not bad for such a boxy shape. CdA (coefficient of drag times frontal area) is a better metric but manufacturers don't report that. Cars such as the Prius and Ioniq with a lower Cd of .24 and get much better high speed mileage. A number of hybrids get worse real world highway mileage than the best of ordinary cars.

The similarly shaped PT Cruiser for example has a Cd of .45. The manual transmission PT I own has a lifetime average of 27mpg (some hypermile techniques), but at the 75mph I did earlier this week for 3,000 miles varied from a low of 21 mpg to a high of 27 mph between fill ups, which was readily correlated to wind speed and direction, and temperature. Likely I would get 24mpg in a test similar to Car and Driver's round trip.

I'd be a happy camper if my negotiations for a 2017 Niro come off and I start getting 45mpg plus!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 12:42 PM
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I would agree the Drag coefficient is critical, one advantage not to overlook with a hybrid drive is the Atkinson engine is much more efficient than the Otto engine due to the compression ratio being smaller that the expansion ratio. This design and helps achieve mid 40's mpg on the highway.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-10-2017, 09:33 AM
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Touring by reports runs lower MPG. As far as Hwy, I have had only a few trips (100 to 400 miles day trips) for the near 10,000 on the car and saw very little difference on my EX.

I drive near speed limit, seldom over 70 MPH.

COMMENT: Roads would be a lot safer for all of us if everyone stuck to the speed limit (I reckon).


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