Well guys, it's been 1 year and two weeks now since I first used the Niro for Escorting. After 93,800 miles, I'm very comfortable and so far pleased with this vehicle.
Original tires and brakes but I did have to replace a cracked and severely etched windshield and drivers headlight due to work conditions. The headlight was struck by a wood wedge from the load. What is interesting is that the clear lens didn't brake but the plastic parts inside cracked and shattered. The bulb continued to function for about two weeks. I replaced both bulbs and all is good.
I ended up with 88,852 miles on May 15, 2019. I stay current with recall items. I've followed Kia's 7,500 mile interval maintenance schedule and I've only had one minor issue during this time. Driving at 55 mph, the engine ran rough for about two minutes and cleared up, it coded but never duplicated. Other than that, the rear spoiler mounting hardware nut fell off and is still floating around inside of the lift-back door. Simple fix.
Today, I received a new set of tires to be mounted and balanced on Monday. I'm staying with the Michelin Energy 205/60R16 92H OEM tires. They've lasted to my current miles which is WAY beyond the 65K warranty. I attribute that to strict rotate and balance intervals, Florida driving conditions, highway driven mileage, driving style....apparently good equipment helps too. BTW, there's still reasonable tread left but I want that warm fuzzy on those 1100 mile days.
Issues.. The Apple Carplay is buggy but works pretty good most of the time with my 6S. I still hate the cruise control and want some one-on-one time with the guy who finalized it's factory settings...just saying. The front passenger seat belt warning started randomly going off around 75K. Aside from the mileage, most everything is as you'd expect on a one year old car. Low speed braking is less than graceful. It gets knochy and grabby....like it can't decide if you're stopping or going. It's definitely manageable, just annoying at times.
I wish there was a HOBBS meter on the engine that the info center can show. For all those miles, there are many days sitting and waiting for various reasons. 2-4 hours a work day with some days being 16 hours or more. Unless I'm home, I rarely shut the Niro off while working. My oil always looks good at service time. Although, the cabin air filter gets gnarly very quick Escorting diesel powered equipment. I've learned to deadhead with the vent open and circulate when behind a load. It helps.
I wish I could remote video to the Niros screen when in Park.
I love the air conditioner too. I'm a polar bear living in freakin Florida and this unit delivers! It's been in the low 100's this week and still chilling. Great job to those cool cat engineers.
Miles per gallon varies greatly with speed. While drafting a load at 65 mph, I typically get 65 mpg. My best tank was Escorting a 130 ft concrete pole from Claxton, Ga down to Fort Myers, Fl. It's 530 miles there, where I drove another 100 miles to collect a check and had 40 miles remaining when I topped off the tank. That's 670 miles on one tank of gas. 51 mpg stops after 70 mph normal driving.
Hey drive-train guys, what's going on at around 83 mph?
Overall, I'd buy another Niro to discover it's end of life limits. It's got range, reasonable comfort for a 300 pound 5'11" driver, cheap to operate, DEPENDABLE, and $21K is cheap for a new hybrid. Untill something better comes along anyway. My alternate vehicle would be a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid but that's a $45K vehicle. The rigs that I Escort all have sleepers, the Pacifica would be my sleeper. Although, I prefer to be home every night.