Hello from a Volt owner - Kia Niro Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2018, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hello from a Volt owner

Hello everyone. I'm a current 2012 Chevy Volt owner with 70k miles, and I have to say, I have been very happy with the car. The only problem is that I have an 8.5 month old daughter at home, and a second on the way, due around the end of the year. We also have a 45lb English Pointer who comes almost everywhere with us.
Right now we can fit everyone in the Volt, but due to my drivers seat position, I can't fit a second car seat behind me.

I've been looking around for a replacement for the last couple of weeks, and the Niro is looking to be a front runner for me. The one question I have, is which of the 3 versions should I go with. I live in the northeast, so we use the heat for 6+ months a year. That is the main concern with the PHEV. Why would you have a plug-in with no electric heat? Is it worth the extra cost to be able to run EV for a few months a year?

I'm also interested in the EV, but haven't seen any pricing yet. I don't need a new car just yet, so I can probably wait until it's available. Our second vehicle is a Nissan Pathfinder, so we'd be using that for road trips. But my Volt still sees 80 mile days, so we'd probably need the 238 mile version to handle the winter temps.

Any thoughts or advice is appreciated!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2018, 08:42 PM
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Well, you may be able to get by using just the seat and steering wheel heaters on many trips. I'm not sure if the PHEV will still insist on warming up the engine even if the climate controls are off though. Reading about Northern Europeans in the forums, many use a small electric heater to warm the interior prior to driving.

The PHEV doesn't have the range of a Volt, especially in the winter. If you take frequent short trips, in might be OK.

I don't think the Niro EV has been released anywhere in the world yet, but the Ioniq EV is available. Only in CA in the US, but there are tons available in Canada. It would probably be pretty easy to license one here as there is no engine to certify. If that car fits your needs, you want one with the CCP package that includes a heat pump, heated rear seats, and a battery temperature management system. I don't think you would be eligible for tax subsidies in the US, but the 25% currency difference may be just as good, even better if you get a used one where the owner has already earned the very generous Canada federal and provincial subsidy and must sell at a substantial discount from MRSP to compete against new cars.

Back to the Niro, if I'm not mistaken, Alex on Autos (YouTube) recent review of the Niro PHEV specifically discusses that a larger driver may have difficulty fitting a rear facing child/infant seat behind him. Worth checking out. The HEV and the PHEV have identical interior dimensions in case you cannot find a PHEV to check out. Bring your child seat to the dealer. The Ioniq is I think seven inches larger in length, but I'm not sure there is any more rear passenger space inside than the Ioniq (less rear head room for sure, but you won't care about that for a number of years).

The Kia Soul EV or the upcoming (probably 2019) Hyundai Kona EV might also be good alternatives to consider for your use.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emartin00 View Post
Hello everyone. I'm a current 2012 Chevy Volt owner with 70k miles, and I have to say, I have been very happy with the car. The only problem is that I have an 8.5 month old daughter at home, and a second on the way, due around the end of the year. We also have a 45lb English Pointer who comes almost everywhere with us.
Right now we can fit everyone in the Volt, but due to my drivers seat position, I can't fit a second car seat behind me.

I've been looking around for a replacement for the last couple of weeks, and the Niro is looking to be a front runner for me. The one question I have, is which of the 3 versions should I go with. I live in the northeast, so we use the heat for 6+ months a year. That is the main concern with the PHEV. Why would you have a plug-in with no electric heat? Is it worth the extra cost to be able to run EV for a few months a year?

I'm also interested in the EV, but haven't seen any pricing yet. I don't need a new car just yet, so I can probably wait until it's available. Our second vehicle is a Nissan Pathfinder, so we'd be using that for road trips. But my Volt still sees 80 mile days, so we'd probably need the 238 mile version to handle the winter temps.

Any thoughts or advice is appreciated!
We live in the North East also, VERY Northern NY, 30 miles South of the Canadian border. Where about are you? ALL cars suffer less mpg in extreme cold weather as I'm sure you know, even non hybrids do. I'm confused about your statement "with no electric heat", does the volt have electric heat as opposed to gas/engine heating? We have the 2017 Niro EX, mpg has been great but of course once winter hit and temps went below 30, mpg dropped off the cliff. All 50 states get "winter" and "summer" gas blends that affect everyone in every state, I think "winter" comes out sometime in October, and "summer" comes out in April (we've seen MUCH better mpg's lately with our April gas up............ I added 4 snow tires in October and made a round trip to Lake Placid NY in the Adirondack mountains WITH 4 snow tires on, we we "landed" back at home, we got 50mpg out of that trip, BUT temperatures were in the 50's........... so the snow tires only affected overall mpg a little, not as much as some people say (these were JUST snow tires, NO studs).......... In August, one month after getting the Niro, with the Michelin energy saver tires it came with, we did a 90 mile round trip (mostly all highway, not interstte) and clocked 57.7 mpg.........but I have to admit, SHORT trips in Northeast COLD are a killer on mpg!!! The car has performed excellent however and I have to admit, having been a person who previously over the years had a lot of company provided cars, plus our own, and ours always had snow tires, the NIRO handles the absolute BEST in snow with snow tires, I actually think the regenerative braking has something to do with this also as there has been absolutely NO skidding, NO indication that the ABS ever kicked in, in the past in winter driving we would always hear the ABS kick in at some point during winter driving,,,,,,,,NOT with the NIRO...........I think the use of regenerative braking and less of the old fashioned "pads & rotors" braking has a lot to do with excellent winter stability. The other poster is correct, if you can get away with using the seat heaters that might be enough,,,,,,,,,,,BUT I must admit, once your moving the Niro heats quick and setting the temps at 65-68 is plenty comfortable in the cabin especially with heated seats.......... I've seen the Chevy Volt, like the look (better looking than a Prius!) never been in a Volt..............all I can say is test drive a Niro....... the SOLID feel should impress you, this vehicle feels so much more solid than any I've ever driven.............I highly recommend it!!!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
Well, you may be able to get by using just the seat and steering wheel heaters on many trips. I'm not sure if the PHEV will still insist on warming up the engine even if the climate controls are off though. Reading about Northern Europeans in the forums, many use a small electric heater to warm the interior prior to driving.

The PHEV doesn't have the range of a Volt, especially in the winter. If you take frequent short trips, in might be OK.

I don't think the Niro EV has been released anywhere in the world yet, but the Ioniq EV is available. Only in CA in the US, but there are tons available in Canada. It would probably be pretty easy to license one here as there is no engine to certify. If that car fits your needs, you want one with the CCP package that includes a heat pump, heated rear seats, and a battery temperature management system. I don't think you would be eligible for tax subsidies in the US, but the 25% currency difference may be just as good, even better if you get a used one where the owner has already earned the very generous Canada federal and provincial subsidy and must sell at a substantial discount from MRSP to compete against new cars.

Back to the Niro, if I'm not mistaken, Alex on Autos (YouTube) recent review of the Niro PHEV specifically discusses that a larger driver may have difficulty fitting a rear facing child/infant seat behind him. Worth checking out. The HEV and the PHEV have identical interior dimensions in case you cannot find a PHEV to check out. Bring your child seat to the dealer. The Ioniq is I think seven inches larger in length, but I'm not sure there is any more rear passenger space inside than the Ioniq (less rear head room for sure, but you won't care about that for a number of years).

The Kia Soul EV or the upcoming (probably 2019) Hyundai Kona EV might also be good alternatives to consider for your use.
I could probably handle just the seat heaters for many trips, as I try to minimize my heat use to save electric range in my Volt. But my wife certainly would not. And she drives it about 30% of the time. Also with 2 kids in car seats, heated seats won't do anything for them.
I really don't like the Soul, maybe it was caused by those darn hamster ads, but I would never buy one. Also, 110 miles wouldn't cut it during the winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eddarrah View Post
We live in the North East also, VERY Northern NY, 30 miles South of the Canadian border. Where about are you? ALL cars suffer less mpg in extreme cold weather as I'm sure you know, even non hybrids do. I'm confused about your statement "with no electric heat", does the volt have electric heat as opposed to gas/engine heating? We have the 2017 Niro EX, mpg has been great but of course once winter hit and temps went below 30, mpg dropped off the cliff. All 50 states get "winter" and "summer" gas blends that affect everyone in every state, I think "winter" comes out sometime in October, and "summer" comes out in April (we've seen MUCH better mpg's lately with our April gas up............ I added 4 snow tires in October and made a round trip to Lake Placid NY in the Adirondack mountains WITH 4 snow tires on, we we "landed" back at home, we got 50mpg out of that trip, BUT temperatures were in the 50's........... so the snow tires only affected overall mpg a little, not as much as some people say (these were JUST snow tires, NO studs).......... In August, one month after getting the Niro, with the Michelin energy saver tires it came with, we did a 90 mile round trip (mostly all highway, not interstte) and clocked 57.7 mpg.........but I have to admit, SHORT trips in Northeast COLD are a killer on mpg!!! The car has performed excellent however and I have to admit, having been a person who previously over the years had a lot of company provided cars, plus our own, and ours always had snow tires, the NIRO handles the absolute BEST in snow with snow tires, I actually think the regenerative braking has something to do with this also as there has been absolutely NO skidding, NO indication that the ABS ever kicked in, in the past in winter driving we would always hear the ABS kick in at some point during winter driving,,,,,,,,NOT with the NIRO...........I think the use of regenerative braking and less of the old fashioned "pads & rotors" braking has a lot to do with excellent winter stability. The other poster is correct, if you can get away with using the seat heaters that might be enough,,,,,,,,,,,BUT I must admit, once your moving the Niro heats quick and setting the temps at 65-68 is plenty comfortable in the cabin especially with heated seats.......... I've seen the Chevy Volt, like the look (better looking than a Prius!) never been in a Volt..............all I can say is test drive a Niro....... the SOLID feel should impress you, this vehicle feels so much more solid than any I've ever driven.............I highly recommend it!!!
I'm in NH. Probably not quite as cold as you, but we still can see a couple weeks in the negative degrees. And we just woke up to 1" of snow and ice this morning...
The Volt does have electric heat. It's designed to function as a full EV for the first 40 miles or so, which includes all climate controls. Once the temp drops to 15 degrees, the engine will come on periodically though.
I am familiar with all the mpg intricacies, as the Volt is affected quite a bit by them. And as far as snow driving, the Volt handles it extremely well too. The stock tires weren't great, but I put Continental TrueContacts on, and they do great in the winter.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 04:24 PM
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Are you me? I just traded in a 2012 volt for a Niro LX Plug-In in NH! The volt was great, but I had a few issues and the Chevy dealers in my area are the absolute worst. No communication, no loaners, terrible service. They ruined the volt experience for me.

Back to the Niro:
Ii haven't had it long, but so far it's been great! It doesn't have the all-electric range of the volt, but I've been getting 32-35 miles out of a charge. I'm expecting that to go up if it ever warms up. That's actually on par with what I got in the volt (2012), but using less electricity, so it's actually cheaper so far.
The gas mileage is way better than the volt. I don't use much gas on my daily commute, but it's been between 45-60mpg in HEV mode. That's significantly better than the volt ever was.

The heater is annoying because it runs the engine. Although I only really use the heat when the SO is in the car. And at those times, I think it's actually better than the volt. The heater in the volt killed my battery and cut the electric range significantly. In the Niro, it lowers the mpg, but not in much of a noticeable way. Also, it actually heats the car quickly, unlike the weak heater in the volt.

It has taken a while to get used to maximizing the electric range and avoiding activating the engine when accelerating, but it's not hard to do once you figure it out.

It feels significantly more roomy inside, front and back, compared with the volt.

Last edited by Bartin; 04-16-2018 at 04:29 PM.
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