How are driving to get the most MPG? - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2019, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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How are driving to get the most MPG?

So everybody's been posting about how much MPG they're getting, city/highway %, and speedimit they're following but there's not as much post about throttle control, braking, or whatever other tricks people are using.

I have a 18 Niro EX with premium package (stock 16" rims) and I've been averaging 48 MPG with good amount of highway driving but I see tons of posts claiming they've achieved 55+ MPG with large amount of highway.

So I figured I'd start a thread asking, how are you driving? what do you recommend to maintain high MPG?

Few info recommendations:
1) state your year and trim
2) state your rim size
3) your typical MPG, city/highway %, and those type of info
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2019, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jihyungchun View Post
So everybody's been posting about how much MPG they're getting, city/highway %, and speedimit they're following but there's not as much post about throttle control, braking, or whatever other tricks people are using.

I have a 18 Niro EX with premium package (stock 16" rims) and I've been averaging 48 MPG with good amount of highway driving but I see tons of posts claiming they've achieved 55+ MPG with large amount of highway.

So I figured I'd start a thread asking, how are you driving? what do you recommend to maintain high MPG?

Few info recommendations:
1) state your year and trim
2) state your rim size
3) your typical MPG, city/highway %, and those type of info
The PHEV probably calls for different driving techniques, but when I drive my son-in-law's 2018 Ioniq HEV (almost identical drivetrain to the Niro HEV) I generally accelerate smoothly, brake smoothly but also attempt to maximize regen. To do that I might coast longer than normal before starting to brake, so I can brake more heavily for stronger regen. Driving this way, I would get about 60 MPG on my work commute. This includes climbing hills in both directions. My Outback with a 6 cylinder engine would get about 20 MPG on the same route. Of course, my PHEV Niro can do almost the entire route under EV power so 999 MPG probably doesn't count.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-04-2019, 09:04 PM
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The more you use cruise control (preferably standard), the better your economy will be. It spends more time in EV in the city, and accelerating on freeway ramps - I cannot reproduce these real and repeatable results with foot control - must be a difference in CC versus manual in the algorithms designs. My use is apparently 90% eco and 10% normal - I'm not sure if this includes CC use (which I'm in over 90% of the time) or not but it won't display driving style at all while CC is in use so I seldom see this screen. My main use of foot control is getting up to the speed limit in the city - I try to get to 40 mph (in a 35 mph zone) fairly briskly, as there is an upshift that happens around 38-39 mpg and the instant mpg gauge jumps at that point. In city conditions at the beginning and end of most trips, I baby the car like crazy and that makes a real difference. I don't think much of anything matters at highway speeds - unless you use ACC in heavy traffic: then you are mirroring the speed of the idiot in front of you which always results in more speed changes than closely monitoring standard CC and making smaller adjustments.

Removing the roof rails is good for at least 2 mpg. Get the roof trim for the FE if you want to go this route. It will fit your car.

For my 2018 HEV LX with 16" wheels and stock tires, my mpg maxes out at 59 mpg over a full tank topped off driving per above with a max highway speed of 65 mph and no AC, in 80 degree plus weather, without adverse wind or inclement weather.

At conditions worse that than, less and not really worth talking about as there will be no way for someone else to reproduce the exact conditions to compare driving styles or efficiency. But my bottom last winter was 49 mpg (plus or minus a quarter mpg) over a full tank topped off. That included some of that Arctic weather we had, but not so many miles at zero or below so it didn't affect the full tank mpg by very much. I don't drive every day.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 12:10 AM
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jihyungchun, that's a really good question. I regret that I'm probably not the best person to answer it. My own driving habits (in a 2018 PHEV) are such that I can go for weeks or months without starting the ICE. When I go on a long trip that exceeds my EV battery range, my overall economy is boosted by the 26+ "free" miles from the battery, but even so, if the trip is several hundred miles, I generally come in somewhere between 52 and 56 mpg. The PHEV is expected to be a bit worse on gas than the HEV, due to the extra battery weight (maybe also the electric motor weighs more?).



atc98092: interesting theory that harder breaking might be beneficial for regen: it's something I've wondered about too. We know that at some point, harder breaking engages the conventional brake pads, turning kinetic energy into friction and heat rather than electricity, but if I see a red light a half mile away and I start coasting, the "Charge" indicator on the instrument cluster just barely moves into the Charge position, and if I brake more aggressively at the last minute, it moves much further into the Charge position (albeit for a shorter period of time). So I've wondered, if my battery is close to fully charged and I'm coasting and just getting a mild charge indication on the instrument cluster, is any energy really being moved into the battery?



Classic physics concepts about conservation of energy say "yes", in order for regenerative braking to work to decelerate the car, it has to either charge the battery or else generate heat, and I don't think it generates significant amounts of heat (but it probably generates some, which is why it isn't 100% efficient). My conclusion is that aggressive breaking doesn't recover any more charge than coasting, and it runs the risk of engaging the break pads and converting kinetic energy to heat instead of electricity, but I'll be interested to hear if anyone has a different take on this..


I tend to use the adaptive Cruise Control, but I think this works against my fuel economy because it accelerates and decelerates more aggressively than I would in the traffic conditions that I'm usually confronted with. Still, it feels safer to me, because it's a "second set of eyes" watching for the need to engage in quick breaking. I think I could get better MPG if I didn't use it at all, or used it without the "adaptive" feature engaged.



In response to your request: 2018 PHEV EX Premium, 16" rims, and typically about 54 mpg on a long trip of 1000 miles with only one full charge (26 free miles) at the outset. Some of that is mountainous, some is stop and go, and lot of it is flat highway around 70 to 75 MPH. I do have the impression that 65 MPH is about optimum for highway fuel economy.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 01:09 AM
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I have had as high as 60 mpg for a trip without plugging in (2019 PHEV), and that just comes from coasting, gentle acceleration, and knowing the area well enough to know when I will crest a hill. Until fairly recently, my driving style readout was always 0% aggressive acceleration and about 90% eco, despite having to get up to speed on an on-ramp to an 80 mph stretch of freeway on my way home from work (I often cheated by hitting cruise and pushing it up to 80).
I had to know, though, how it would do at higher speeds, so I took it up to 110 mph on a short stretch of freeway. Gas mileage plummeted, as expected, but I was pleasantly surprised that acceleration was smooth and nothing felt too loose or rattly. I may try again, just to see how the governor feels when I max it out.

Long story short, gentle acceleration, probably to around 65-70 mph, gives pretty good gas mileage. I do not try to get the heavier regen unless decelerating across a fairly short distance, since coasting and/or light braking has worked very well for me. Having the PHEV makes it hard to get exact gas mileage figures most of the time, but it does pretty well.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 09:29 AM
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I concur the cruise control can do a better job economy-wise than I can with my foot. In particular, the CC will hold a speed down a slope far more accurately than I can, and it seems to use the regen very smoothly and at maximum efficiency. My Subaru Outback had Eyesight, and it was no where near as smooth and accurate holding a speed. It would stay about +/- 3-4 MPH, where the Niro will just peg the speed on the nose. Since the computer is controlling the regen, it is always using the exact amount necessary to hold the speed, which also provides the maximum possible regen. Even on level ground, the CC is far smoother than the Subaru system.

I've never been able to tell when regen has maxed out and the physical brakes engage. That's also something that has been mentioned in car reviews. Kia has really nailed the transition between the two.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 01:54 PM
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I have found the best route back and forth to work which allows me to use the cruise control and long coasting to red lights. Have several small hills that allow me to coast down long ways too. Plus where I live off the highway lets me stay in EV mode the two miles to my house. I have been averaging 52 plus mpg per tank but last three tanks have hit over 60 several average. Also use driver only AC but not we are in fall just vent. Highway I drove from Ft Worth to San Antonio and back and got 46 mpg down and 48 mpg back with 75 mph speed limits.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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you know.... I only just realized that I typed the title of this post wrong.... fail

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by deltasmith View Post
atc98092: interesting theory that harder breaking might be beneficial for regen: it's something I've wondered about too. We know that at some point, harder breaking engages the conventional brake pads, turning kinetic energy into friction and heat rather than electricity, but if I see a red light a half mile away and I start coasting, the "Charge" indicator on the instrument cluster just barely moves into the Charge position, and if I brake more aggressively at the last minute, it moves much further into the Charge position (albeit for a shorter period of time). So I've wondered, if my battery is close to fully charged and I'm coasting and just getting a mild charge indication on the instrument cluster, is any energy really being moved into the battery?
If the battery is fully charged, like at 99%, then no, there's little energy being sent to the battery because there's nowhere to put it. However, even at 98% it still sends power back, so yes that small indication into the charge section is sending some regen back to the battery.

I'd also like to clarify my braking statement. While I might delay heavier braking until closer to the reason for stopping, I am not still using the throttle to maintain speed. I too will begin coasting in anticipation of a complete stop. Even with that low level of regen, I have seen the range gauge increase while coasting. I have to say, I honestly cannot tell when I run out of regen and the conventional brakes apply. Kia really nailed that transition.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by atc98092 View Post
To do that I might coast longer than normal before starting to brake, so I can brake more heavily for stronger regen.
in slow and go traffic i set the acc to its slowest speed, 20 mph. then when i take my foot off the accelerator i get the stronger regen and more braking. i like it because it mimics one pedal driving, hopefully saves the brake pads, and will slow the car to around 5 mph before acc disengages. i typically donít bother in stop and go traffic because i would constantly have to resume acc after stopping.
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