Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Green Valley, AZ
The Niro and the Mountain
My wife and I are both retired, and love to go exploring around Arizona. Today was a 152 mile round trip from our home in Green Valley up to the top of Mt. Lemon north of Tucson.
Our Niro EX - actually my wife's, and not a plug in - is less than a month old, so not broken in, but here is what we did today. The run from home to the edge of Tucson is 28 miles of freeway that we averaged 70mph on. I think of this as a flat run, but it is really downhill from 3000 ft elevation to 2500 ft. Easy drive.
Then we drove thru Tucson toward the foothills of Mt Lemon. This is typical city driving for about 15 miles with lots of stop lights, traffic, and a little construction. The AC ran all the time. When we stopped for coffee, I noticed 61 mpg for that part.
Climbing the mountain is a different story. In about 20 miles of switchbacks and 6-7-8-9% grades, the Niro performed beautifully. I anticipated needing Sport mode, but never did. It climbed from 2500 ft to 9100 ft easily. It climbed over 6500 ft at 25 to 35mph with no big effort. The speed limit is 35, and many places that is way too fast.
We had lunch, hiked around a little, looked for birds and took some photos, and then headed home along the same route. Down the mountain with all the switchbacks required Sport mode. I was in 3rd gear almost always, and sometimes pulled it down into second. But I only had to touch the brakes a little, and the handling was really great. The Sport mode does an interesting thing. I pulled over a couple of times to let tailgaters by, and when I started up again, it shifted thru first and second, but then stayed in third when I was tearing downhill at over 30.
Going back thru the city and back down the freeway to get home, I ended up at 50.9 MPG for the trip. This is hardly the good mileage so many people are getting, but I doubt many make the kind of drive I did. I didn't know ahead of time what to expect on the mountain and was pleasantly surprised. My Niro is not a candiate for the Pikes Peak Rally, but does a good job on a pretty good mountain ride.
'18 Niro EX Premium
'16 Jeep Grand Cherokee
'16 Flagstaff 21 FBRS