New to the hybrid world - Kia Niro Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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New to the hybrid world

Hi everyone. My name is Matt and this is not only my first Kia but also my first hybrid vehicle. My wife has owned a Kia Sportage for 9 years so I guess I have had one in the family for a bit. This week we took the plunge and purchased two of the 2018 Niro EX but in different colours so we can tell the two cars apart.


My father is a die hard Toyota Prius guy and I guess he is going to be a bit disapointed that I didn't go with his choice of car, but for the price, I don't know if I could have afforded to go Toyota, and honestly don't know if a Prius is that much better than what I am getting to justify the added cost.


I am curious as to the opinions of those that have had one of these cars for a while. I am in the Greater Toronto area in Canada, so we do get actual winters, so I would also be curious as the how the car perfoms in snow and ice. Lastly, as I am a mountain biker, I would be interested in if anyone has installed a 2" trailer hitch to the back of the vechicle to fit a bike rack onto? I know that Kia do sell a roof rack for the car, but I am not big on adding height to the car and looking at the design, don't think it would play nice with the style of mountain bike that I have.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 09:13 PM
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I can't really answer your questions as I've only had mine for a week myself, but I will say that I am absolutely happy with my choice for a Niro versus a Prius. It's just a downright cool car, I like it and it doesn't have the same hybrid stigma that a Prius has. Most people don't even know what a Niro is. Also, Kia packed a ton of quality and features into it for the price.

I'm also curious to see how it works in the snow this winter. I figure worst case scenario I can drive my Audi in the snow instead, as it has Quattro, but hopefully this Niro does ok. Fortunately I don't live in the snow, I just visit it sometimes.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 11:04 PM
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There have been a number of posts here and on the Ioniq forum from those who live in upper US and Canada that this is the best handling car in snow they've ever had, better even than four wheel drive cars they've owned. I bought my car as the last winter snows were melting in southern Ohio so I've no first hand experience. I must say that I wonder how/if ABS works when the mechanical brakes are not engaged, as in most light braking in the Niro. I remember my first winter with my first car with ABS in the winter amazed at how I could steer around turns accurately with light braking. I hope the same is true of the Niro but I have doubts. It wouldn't be able to pulse individual wheels via regen as there is only one motor. It could of course engage the mechanical brakes on the affected side on top of the regen braking. Just don't know how it works.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-27-2018, 11:33 PM
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What are some recommended chain options? My dealer told me "no chains" when I bought it, but I'm not one to listen to advice I plan to take it to the snow this winter to try it out, I really want it to work so I can use it instead of my 12mpg V10 Audi (which drives like a dream in snow, as long as there's less than about 3" of it... Part of the reason I bought the Niro was for the better ground clearance, but more importantly the 5x better fuel economy)

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 12:52 AM
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I've never used chains. Where do you live? Add your location to your profile for better responses as well as your car trim.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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It has been quite the ride in getting from deciding that I really should change my current car to figuring out what, where and how much then getting to that signing on the dotted line.


I don't know if there is a thread on the decision process to end up buying into the Kia Niro family, but mine sort of ran as follows:


1. I figured out that my Ford Edge was leaning more towards the Lemon side of ownership. I have had break issues with it from when I got it and learnt from the school of hard knocks and bad garages who took me for a ride that there I believe is a fundimental design flaw in how the break pads and rotors interact that causes them to constantly sease and bind up causing all sorts of problems. Time to get out.
2. I know that my wifes Kia Sportage has been a great car for her neads, but being some 12 years old, it owes nobody anything and deserves to be retired before i totally conks out.

3. There are really 3 parts to cost of a car. the inital outlay, the consumable running costs (gas, tires, breaks, light bulbs) and then break repair costs and things that just went wrong.


- A used gas car has a much lower upfront outlay, but high cost of consumable, and average but always increasing break fix cost as the age of the vehicle goes up.
- A new plug in hybrid and electric have a very high upfront cost (that we here in Ontario get no government rebate) so that just don't justfiy the savings for consumables.
- A used hybrid you are effectively limited to a single option of a Toyota Prius as the other hybrids are too small, too expensive and just not the best fuel efficancy. And you'd pay around $25k for a 3 year old prius with a 3 year toyota warrany.
- The new Kia is around $31k for new, with a 5 year warrany and 8 years on the Hybrid battery. Just as well or even better equiped than the Toyota, with within 10-15% of the fuel efficancy, but longer service life so your break repair costs actually turn out to be lower over the a simular life span.



I know for me that I don't drive an awful lot, but have spent about $2800-3500 each year on cost of fuel for my Edge @ 10.5 ~13.7 L per100km. the new Kia should get around the 5 L per 100km average and anticipating the worst of 6 L per 100km in the dead of winter time, so I should be able to recoup at todays gas prices between $1400~1900 a year in just fuel cost savings. Over an average of 6 year car life, that can add up with ever increasing cost of fuel to $12,000+ savings over an average life. This makes it far more cost effective over the longer haul than a used gas car.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 12:34 PM
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Niro owner in Ottawa. As mentioned in other replies, there are posts on winter handling, winter fuel econony and winter tires already.
My experience is as follows:
- not much problem with handling although a bit of an issue one day getting up icy hill out in the country at in-laws outside Deep River (it was REAL icy though). General winter handling was great
- Running Bridgestone Blizzack WS80. I was pleased with them (previous VM diesel pollutor had Micheline X-ICE so far I like the Blizzack over the X-ICE but both get good to excellent ratings)
- expect your fuel economy to drop in the winter, lots of articles about why this is so

Ottawa winters are generally a bit harsher than in the GTA (I grew up there) but not by much.
Having gone through 1 winter with the Niro, no complaints and no issues (other than the drop in fuel economy but that apparently happens with all hybrids)
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-28-2018, 12:40 PM
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ah forgot to add
- no trailer hitch but Thule does have adapter which fits on the Niro rails. The Kia bars are really big and my existing Thule bike racks would not work on those. I've had 3 bikes on the top with no problem (other than I need s step ladder to reach up). Also have had a kayak & bike on (kills the fuel economy but to be expected).

There are posts regarding hitches in the forum as well as hatch systems like Saris Bones 3. Because of the spoiler on the back, the manufacturers won't ceritify them for the Niro, but at least one poster to the forum has not had any issue with hatch-mounted racks.

If you don't have Thule (or Yakima) gear already, will be pricy to get going.

Top or hitch? All a matter of personal choice
Good luck
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 09:58 PM
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I have the Saris SuperBones 3 and it does fit well up underneath the spoiler. You can search the forum and find the photos I posted of it. You can also read about the difficulty others have had finding a hitch. I have a PHEV and never did find one which is why I went with the Saris.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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I am pretty much stuck with having a hitch mount bike rack as I ride mountain bikes and my racer doesn't have a top bar that those racks requrie, and the dropper seat post is not designed to work with any of the cross bar cheaters that are out there. I am using a Thule T2 Pro that holds the bike by the wheels, as it's one of the few that are full suspension race bike friendly.
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