Tow hitch for PHEV Niro - Page 2 - Kia Niro Forum
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 09:29 PM
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I just bought a 2018 Niro PHEV in Seattle. Manual said it should not tow but salesman said that it will take a class II (1.25" receiver) hitch and can pull 500 lbs. He said Uhaul will install. I hope Uhaul or our local Rack and Roll store ($$$) can install one. I guess we'll see if I have better luck than others here.

I have a Yakima trailer that is a bit less than 500 lbs fully loaded. It's not going to put much of a load on the car. I'd prefer a class III (2" receiver) hitch because it works better for bike racks, but would accept a class II hitch. I'll look into the Saris and Thule trunk racks too.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 10:35 PM
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There are some hitches made for the hybrid, but they have to fiddle with something to make it work for the PHEV. Something is different down there.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 11:28 AM
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I hauled 6 sheets of 1/4" 4' x 8' OSB 20 miles to my land over the past weekend. Mostly highway driving. 1 mile of off-road also.

I did not see any impact on MPG's or driving ability or really even knew that the trailer was attached. Oh, and it pulled through the deep sand with no effort at all.

Basically, I now know that there is a 4' x 8' blind spot behind the Niro.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 03:39 PM
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My Kia dealer just installed a CURT 13329 receiver hitch on my 2018 Kia Niro PHEV. This is a hitch that is made for the Niro, but requires a simple modification to fit the PHEV. The modification requires using an angle grinder, or some other cutting tool, to cut a small notch (1/2" X 2 1/2") in the right side (passenger) vertical flange. The notch allows for a fit around a channel that is peculiar to the PHEV. If you find the CURT website and plug in "Kia Niro" it matches with the CURT 13329 hitch. Scroll down the reviews for the hitch and you will find a discussion with pictures of fitting the hitch to the PHEV.

My dealer was initially reluctant to install the hitch.............because they had never before installed one on a PHEV. When I went back with the detailed instructions from the CURT website and the pictures from the reviews, they decided they could use my vehicle as their prototype. Modification of the hitch and installation time: 40 minutes. Charge: $58.

I will not be towing anything. Hitch will be used only for bike rack.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 11:51 PM
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@bikerjeb I don't see that review you mention... do you have a link? Was looking here: and at the other Q&A and such, it just says the PHEV fits, but nothing about special instructions.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 02:30 PM
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Meant to post this when i did it a couple months ago. The PHEV modifications mentioned were posted in a review on Amazon. I did the same.

2018 PHEV has a metal reinforcing piece, probably to support the 12v battery in the trunk on the passenger side. Leaves less than 1/2 inch of clearance beyond the bolt hole:

I trimmed 3/8 of an inch off the end with an angle grinder, filed the corners, and sealed it with enamel:

You'll also have to trim the driver side panel, this is mentioned in the curt instructions. I trimmed less than the recommendation so it could still be attached:

Before doing it i was slightly concerned about the strength and integrity of the hitch. After installing i have no concerns. There's 2 side bolts and one bottom bolt on each side of the hitch. Even if all the bolts are loose and the hitch is weighted, then the force on the bolt we trimmed near is in the opposite direction since it's the farthest back.

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-18-2019, 01:16 AM
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I made an appointment to have Rack and Roll store in Seattle install a Curt hitch with 2" receiver (much better for bike rack than 1.25"). They say they can do it but just need to trim a small piece. They are more expensive than Uhaul but I just have a better feeling about the store. I will post after the installation. One downside it that it will reduce ground clearance. Robert
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE: After reading some of the "mods" made by other purchasers, I'm happy to report that I gave it another go and was able to install the Curt class III hitch from I used an angle grinder to cut the notch out of the passenger side of the hitch, and after that it went in fine. I also didn't trim the plastic piece on driver side as the instructions state; I just trimmed a little from the side and used some washers and nuts I had to re-install it over the hitch bolts. So, not exactly installed as Curt intended, but if you can roll with things a little and have the tools, then it's possible to get yourself a hitch on the PHEV Niro.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:23 PM
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rkdjones - Can you post after the installation, as you posted you would? Interested in any details. Thanks.

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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 08:26 AM
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I did some modifications to the muffler heat shield which the Curt hitch instructions say to remove when mounting the C13329 trailer hitch. Number 1 because I'd like to have the heat shield, but more importantly because it kinda looked like crap and "unfinished" from behind without the flat black head shield on there :-P's before -- progress and after pics.
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