Looking at an 18 Touring Model, but have a few questions - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-11-2018, 02:11 AM Thread Starter
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Looking at an 18 Touring Model, but have a few questions

Well my wife and I have been doing all our research on getting a 2018 Niro Touring model. We are test driving one this Saturday, but still have a few questions we are hoping some community members here can answer for us. A little background, we live in the Palm Springs, CA area, land of the 120+ degree summers. What we wanted to know are:

1) I know the mileage is affected by cold weather, but will it be affected detrimentally by our extremely hot weather, both mileage and the actual batteries themselves?

2) Because of our temps we run the AC a lot.
A) Is the little 1.6L able to handle it without overheating and
B) how big a hit do you roughly take on mpg?

3) Will the HEV Touring model actually go in to just an EV mode? My wife's office is 1.1 miles from our home and she will travel on a surface street to get there. Will she be able to drive the vehicle in EV mode and not even start the gas engine if driven slowly enough?

4)Final question and it's a biggie, has anyone in the Southern Cal area who owns one driven it up the Grapevine and if so how well did it go up it?

Thank you in advance for your responses and we are really looking forward to becoming part of the Niro community.

Regards to all,

Robert E
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Could moderators please delete this post it's a repeat post. Thank you
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 08:45 AM
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I don't believe that the Touring model is any different than any of the other models in regards to the questions that you ask. I was told that the A/C was electrically driven, and so it has it's own electrical compressor motor sealed inside the A/C unit and doesn't require the motor to be running. It still will have a so-called hit on your average MPG as you are not plugging the car in, so it needs to generate the electricity from the motor or by regenerative braking. The Atkinson cycle engine is more efficient than the standard motor in it converts more of the fuel into energy rather than heat. If you want more info look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyunda...gine#Kappa_III


However the manual if you look it up says the A/C is driven by the motor, and on the same page that "Don't let the engine idle longer than necessary. If you are waiting (and not in traffic), turn off your engine and restart only when you're ready to go". So the manual might be chock full of misinformation as it's written by marketing people, not engineers and is likely lots of cut and paste sections that might not apply and got missed by the technical editior. 6-87 to 6-88

Sadly for your wife, No, she likely will never be able to get the Niro to run in EV mode considering the distance she is planning on driving. YES, you can get the car to run in EV mode by the way you drive. The problem, however, is that the car starts with the motor running to do a self-check. Now I have been told that it runs to get the motor up to temp, but from personal experience, I wonder what it's doing as I have had times when the motor will run for longer periods of time than others. I have had times where the engine should be cold and the battery is sitting at the 50% charge, and the motor has not turned on and it let me drive for 1/2 a km before it kicks on (likely from pushing it with acceleration), but other times the engine might still be warm and the battery up at the 75% charge but the motor insisted that it had to turn on and run at full bore (showing 30+L/100km fuel usage) for a good minute before dropping down to the 20 then down to 10 for another five minutes before shutting off and then allowing me to drive in full EV at 70km/h for a good distance. I have never gotten the car to do any trip from a cold start and run totally in EV mode. This is something that only the PHEV vehicles do. But that said, I am getting between 50mpg (4.7L/100km) and 56mpg (4.2L/100km) but I am still in the break-in period and living in Canada where our temps right now are quite a bit cooler than yours are especially at night.

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GTA - Canada.

Last edited by Roadkill401; 10-14-2018 at 08:48 AM.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 10:18 AM
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Roadkill- my Hybrid Niro starts in EV mode sometimes, no motor. Sometimes you will hear the "growl" of the pedestrian speaker coming on, but still in EV mode. I can drive in full EV at times 1/3mile to the highway from housing streets if I take it easy. Other times the battery comes on right away. It's the ICE/motor logic.
So for OP's wife, it would be possible to drive the 1.1 mi. to work, but not probable.
As for A/C, it is all electric, not belt driven, so the load on engine/MPG is much less. I haven't noticed any difference in MPG running it or not. I've never driven up the grapevine, but Niro is not a champ at going up hills. Fortunately you have a Sport mode for more power, which can be manually shifted for even more torque/power. That will take care of about any ascent.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 12:28 PM
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I live the San Fernando Valley of SoCal, so my Niro experience is going to be close to what yours may be. You can see my overall mileage in my Fuelly signature. I run the AC almost constantly since we’re just coming into cooler weather. There is no EV only mode for a standard Hybrid...for that option you need a Plugin Hybrid. However you can be judicious in your driving habits and get it to stay in EV mode for some if not all of a 1.1 mile commute. For instance if you’re light on the gas pedal and keep the car at 40 or so it may stay in EV. Road inclines also effect things, so a slightly downhill or flat route makes staying in EV mode easy. Bottom line is you have to learn how to drive a Hybrid to wring out as much EV as possible. As a real world experience I can drive home from my gym ... 2.x miles flat/slightly downhill in full EV mode so that when I pull into the garage and power off it will show 50 mpg. I haven’t gone up the Grapevine but I go up to the Santa Ynez Valley north of Sta Barbara and climb the San Marcos pass...which is a pretty good pull. You do know that the Touring model is rated at lower mpg because of the 18” wheel/tire combo? However you will ove the ride and handling...makes it a classy drive. Overall I’m very happy with the 46 to 47 mpg I’m getting and it beats out my former Ford C-Max Hybrid as well as some of my my Prius driving friends. One more thing, don’t be afraid to learn the Niro secret weapon Sport mode which gets you up and onto the freeways quickly and more safely IMO, and greatly decreases the “oh gawd, there’s another **** Hybrid” dirty looks...the secret is you can use it without an mpg hit, when used as just a boost. Have fun with yours.

2018 Niro Touring "Rich Espresso"


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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 04:15 PM
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there’s another **** Hybrid” dirty looks...the secret is you can use it without an mpg hit, when used as just a boost. Have fun with yours.
That is "fake" news. A boost is a boost. Faster acceleration has an energy cost. You may not notice it in your numbers because I'd bet you use Sport less one percent of all miles driven.

Sport mode just remaps throttle response, and the probability of the ICE kicking in immediately. Here is the dirty secret, Sport mode can be (almost) completely recreated with large pedal movements in Eco. The only difference will be a fraction of a second initial response time. Effect on mpg will be identical to the same acceleration in Sport.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 06:39 PM
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I find sport mode to still be way too slow to be considered "fun", so my car lives in eco mode full-time. If I want a sporty drive then I'll take a different car to work. But usually I want MPG, so I take the Niro. That's why I bought it.

Side note... Who, in 2018, gets dirty looks driving a hybrid? Especially in California? Half the cars on the road are hybrids, if someone is going to give all of them a dirty look then their face muscles sure will get tired after a while.

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 10:13 PM
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Dirty looks in California are not restricted to cars with stickers. It is any car in the car pool lane going slow.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 11:31 PM
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1) No more than any other car. Heat is hard on batteries. I used to go through a battery ever 18 months when living in high heat...regular lead acid 12v ICE variety I should say.

2) .
A) Most definitely. Way better than a 'normal' car most likely.
B) A/C is A/C. It takes the same amount of energy regardless of what car you are driving whether it's ICE, HEV, BEV etc. I believe it's electric pump not belt driven so that'll make it a bit more efficient than a regular old car. Windows on the other hand matter. I'd consider some extra tinting if legal/appropriate. Makes an enormous difference. The reason things like A/C gets noticed in a hybrid is that it is out in front of you from an optics perspective. If you were driving a truck and it went from 20.4 to 20.3 MPG or something you'd not notice but it's still the same amount of wasted energy.


3) That's ridiculous. All energy in the HEV is coming from the gas engine so even if you were somehow able to pull it off (it's impossible by the way....but maybe you can get a good chunk of it in EV) it still means the energy came from somewhere...such as stored from before you shut it off last.

Just get the PHEV. It's cheaper anyway after tax credit. Why would you buy the HEV? Then you can drive to work and back 20 times if you like on EV. And recapture more energy coming down that big incline. If you compare like to like on HEV vs PHEV, the PHEV will be right at the HEV in price (after federal tax rebate) but with a substantially better list of standard features. LX to LX for instance. If you live in a state like California that has other PHEV incentives then the PHEV will be cheaper.

4)Never did it.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-14-2018, 11:55 PM
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Agree with the above.

With the tax credit(s) for the PHEV, I can't figure out why anyone would get the HEV. But for some reason the HEV outnumbers the PHEV by at least 5-to-1, based on what I've seen at dealer lots and on the road.

I started out considering just the HEV, figuring it was cheaper MSRP and I didn't plan to plug in my car much anyways, but when I realized it was the same price or cheaper to get the PHEV, it was a no-brainer for me.

I just filled up my tank yesterday, and my previous tank got me 705 miles. That worked out to 65mpg. And I got that by plugging it in only occasionally, maybe 5 or 6 times over 2 weeks.

An extra 150 miles out of my tank was definitely worth the roughly $5 I spent on the electricity.

The federal $4500 credit, the $2000 in state rebates, and the carpool lane stickers made my PHEV the only logical choice.
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