New Owner Likes, Dislikes, and Questions - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Question New Owner Likes, Dislikes, and Questions

Hi all,

As of about two weeks ago, I'm the proud owner of a new 2018 Kia Niro LX with Tech Package in Deep Cerulean. I'm loving the car, but there's a few small things that bug me. And it's possible that some of these things can be fixed in the settings, but I haven't found a way to do it. So, in no particular order:

1) The buttons under the display. I love that there are physical buttons for many of the display functions. For example, if I'm using Apple CarPlay navigation, and I want to fiddle with the radio, I just press the physical radio button and do what I need to do. Great. But my problem is that there's no physical button to now get back to the CarPlay map. While on the radio screen, I can press the "Phone" button to get back into CarPlay and then press the Map icon on the screen to get back to the map. Or I can press the "Apps" button and then the "CarPlay" button on the screen to get back to the CarPlay map. But it would be nice to have one physical button that takes me right back to the CarPlay navigation screen I was already on.

2) This is the same question as above, but about the steering wheel buttons. It would be nice to do everything I want to do above using only steering wheel buttons, but I don't think this is possible.

3) The Adaptive Cruise Control and LKAS are both really nice. But I wish they were just a little bit smarter. And since this is the only car I've ever driven that has had these features, I don't know if these are problems that exist with these features on all cars, or if these are specific to Niro or to Kia.

3a) First, Adaptive Cruise Control. This works really great, but I wish it was smart enough to just coast sometimes. If I'm slowly coming up on a slower driver ahead of me, my car will apply the brakes to slow down. It would be nice if, instead of doing that, it just let off the gas to slow down. Similarly, if I have the follow distance set to one car length, there have been many times where my car will just stay at the speed i set it at until it gets within that one car length and then it will start braking. But if I'm set for 60mph, and the guy in front of me is stopped, this is a very harrowing situation! Since we know the car has the ability to see at least 4 car-lengths ahead, it would be nice if the ACC could tell that the difference between "me going at 60mph and coming up on a car that's going 55mph" and "me going at 60mph and coming up on a car that's stopped" and begin braking earlier in the second scenario, despite the fact that my follow distance is set to one car length.

3b) Next, LKAS. I've found that this doesn't work as well as I would have liked, and the "please keep hands on steering wheel" warning is so prevalent that the LKAS feature almost might as well not even be there. There have been plenty of times where I was on a relatively straight stretch of highway with my hands lightly resting on the steering wheel, but letting the LKAS do the work of keeping me in the lane. Every 10 seconds or so i would get the "keep hands on the steering wheel beeping" and have to make a (usually unnecessary) move on the steering wheel to tell the system that I was still paying attention. And even when the LKAS is doing the steering, it doesn't really keep me centered in the lane. Rather it just drifts over to the left edge of the lane, then corrects us to be drifting over to the right side of the lane, and repeats the process. So we're just ping-ponging back and forth in the lane. Does Kia ever update the software in these things, or is this basically going to be how the LKAS works for the life of this car?

4) The beeping when I get out of the car while the car is on but they key is in my pocket is annoying. Sometimes I'll leave the car on while I get out to get something out of the trunk or open the garage door, and that incessant beeping seems louder and longer than it should be. Any way to turn this off?

5) Lastly, I had a question about the trim that goes along the windows of the car. After about a day of driving, I got out to inspect the car and was horrified to see that the black trim along the top edge of the windows is peeling off. Upon further inspection, I saw that it wasn't stuck on too great in the first place, and is not aligned great anyway. But after looking at pictures of other Niros online, I saw that on most of them, that piece is silver. So I ask - is this black rubber trim supposed to be peeled off? I feel like it would look nicer with it peeled off, especially since the trim along the rear window is already silver, but I don't want to peel away some bit of insulation or something that's supposed to be there. I've attached a picture to show what I'm talking about.

Thanks for any information you can provide! Those are basically my only questions or complaints with the car, other than that I love it!

EDIT: I don't know why the attached picture uploaded upside-down, but it did. Hope you can still see what I'm talking about!
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Last edited by OldSenileGuy; 11-24-2018 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Clarification
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 02:06 PM
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That's a handsome car, congratulations.

I find myself wishing for some additional buttons under the display too. One thing you can do is configure your personal menu (the one that comes up when you push the button with a star on it). The Settings menu provides a way to configure that. But it still means that you have to press two or three things to get where you want to go.

I have similar experiences with the adaptive cruise control, except that I always keep it set for maximum following distance (the Niro's specs for stopping quickly are less than superlative). Unlike a human driver, it does not seem to recognize that all of the cars in front of you just turned on their brake lights and so it's slower to begin slowing down than many human drivers would be. This seems kind of dangerous, in that it winds up waiting too long and then decelerating abruptly, and drivers behind you get less warning time than they otherwise might. Now that I understand that, I'm learning to interact with it a bit differently than I did at first. When I'm in heavy traffic and I see the brake lights go on, I do what I would do with a conventional cruise control: tap the break pedal and disengage it if it seems like the car isn't already slowing down. Even with this limitation, it still has big advantages in that it eliminates the annoyance factor when you come up on a car that is going slightly slower than the speed you've set it for. It also acts like a second set of eyes, in case you happen to be distracted at a moment when the car in front of you slows down quickly. But it's a mistake to rely on that (as the owner's manual will tell you in their numerous disclaimers).

I've learned to turn the car off when I get out, partly because of the beeping, and partly because of an experience with a rental car that had a keyless ignition, where I actually did get out and forget that the car was still on. I came back several hours later and it was sitting there still idling. It's really not a big deal to turn the car off and turn it back on again when I get back in, adds about a 3 second delay for system checks but not much else.

I really don't see much benefit in the LKAS. As you described, it seems to wander from side to side, rather than keeping centered in the lane. It also disengages quietly (the icon on the dash turns from green to white when it can't figure out the lanes, but there is no audible indication). And I sometimes find it trying to correct my own steering in ways that aren't exactly necessary or appropriate. Perhaps it would have benefit in a situation if you were in danger of falling asleep at the wheel, but I wouldn't count on it. I think its primary benefit is to notify you if you get distracted and start to wander out of your lane, but that probably means that you might drive for several years with it engaged before a situation comes up that gives it an opportunity to prove its value.

If my Niro ever had that black trim above the windows, my dealer removed it before I ever saw it. The trim above my windows is silver, while the vertical trim beside the windows is black. It's probably just something to protect the trim until the car is sold. Maybe you should call your dealer and ask them though.


Enjoy your new car!

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 06:44 PM
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No comment on Adaptive Cruise Control. I hardly use regular CC in my older other car. LOL.

LKAS is not perfect and I donít expect it to keep me in the lane all the time but Iíve noticed that the car is easier to drive because it feels like itís riding on rails most of the time, so you donít have to work as hard to keep it in the lane. But everyone is different. Others will hate that it is doing their jobs for them. I keep my hands on 10/2 or 9/3 most of the time. The only time that I got the steering wheel warning was when I kept my hands off the wheel on purpose to test the LKAS.

The black stickers should be removed. They are their to protect the chrome trim during shipping. The dude that ďpreppedĒ my car also forgot to peel it off from one side as well.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 07:52 PM
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That's a lot of questions in one post!

1. There are multiple pathways to return to a screen. There should always be a back button (a curvy arrow icon) or a home button on the touch screen. Otherwise, you can switch with a physical button, the one that says radio or media.

2. Never use the steering wheel buttons, not even for volume, so not much help.

3a. ACC doesn't use physical brakes unless it is an emergency. Regen. Look at your charge needle when car slows.

It cannot detect a stopped car, only one that is still moving. Otherwise it couldn't work with cars parked on the side of the road at all. Remember the Tesla that slammed into a semi crossing the road? To the radar, there was nothing moving. I think even more advanced systems that detect pedestrians require "seeing" movement, at least until laser systems are involved.

3b. There are two settings of interest for LKAS, active and normal. Normal will not actively attempt to center the car, merely keep you from going over the lane lines. But this is not Tesla auto pilot, in fact it is perhaps the poorest performing system on the market. Can still save your life so it is worth having.

4. Turn your car off. Why not? Otherwise, you can form a new habit of taking your keys out of your pocket and putting them in a cubby. You won't be able to lock your keys in your car accidentally, it won't let you.

5. Take it to your dealer.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies everyone! Regarding the black trim covering the chrome - does anyone know if I HAVE to take it to the dealer, or if it's safe for me to just do it myself? The dealer is two toll bridges and an hour and a half round trip away, and I'd rather not go back there if it's as easy as peeling off a sticker. I just don't want to accidentally peel off a bit of insulation or molding that's supposed to be there.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSenileGuy View Post
1) The buttons under the display. I love that there are physical buttons for many of the display functions. For example, if I'm using Apple CarPlay navigation, and I want to fiddle with the radio, I just press the physical radio button and do what I need to do. Great. But my problem is that there's no physical button to now get back to the CarPlay map. While on the radio screen, I can press the "Phone" button to get back into CarPlay and then press the Map icon on the screen to get back to the map. Or I can press the "Apps" button and then the "CarPlay" button on the screen to get back to the CarPlay map. But it would be nice to have one physical button that takes me right back to the CarPlay navigation screen I was already on.
On my '18 PHEV (EX Premium) there is a programmable "star" button. I've set this one to take me back to the phone screen (Android Auto in my case).

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSenileGuy View Post
2) This is the same question as above, but about the steering wheel buttons. It would be nice to do everything I want to do above using only steering wheel buttons, but I don't think this is possible.
I suppose it would be nice to be able to scroll through input options, but that could be tedious given how many there are. One for each possible option would be a lot of buttons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSenileGuy View Post
4) The beeping when I get out of the car while the car is on but they key is in my pocket is annoying. Sometimes I'll leave the car on while I get out to get something out of the trunk or open the garage door, and that incessant beeping seems louder and longer than it should be. Any way to turn this off?
Yeah, this one gets me at the gas station all the time (yeah, I leave the car on when my wife is in the car with me so the stereo stays on ). This is the first car I've had with push button start, so I'm chalking it up to a "feature". My wife just leaves the fob in the cup holder, so she doesn't run into this problem.

Jim
Southern Maryland / Washington DC
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldSenileGuy View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone! Regarding the black trim covering the chrome - does anyone know if I HAVE to take it to the dealer, or if it's safe for me to just do it myself? The dealer is two toll bridges and an hour and a half round trip away, and I'd rather not go back there if it's as easy as peeling off a sticker. I just don't want to accidentally peel off a bit of insulation or molding that's supposed to be there.
It’s just a sticker. When I pointed out that the prep guy left it on mine, the sales guy just peeled it off. You might want to spray it down with quick detailer or your preferred car cleaning solution to remove bird droppings to make sure there is no adhesive residue left over.
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