High speed driving characteristics of the Niro
My Niro is a 2018 HEV LX model.
Over the weekend my wife and I headed out to visit some family. After filling up with gas in town and resetting the trip and fuel economy meters we headed out. The first 20 minutes was rather slow due to traffic. After that things opened up nicely, very nicely!!
About 50 miles in I decided to exit off of I-35 and take the toll road that goes around Austin and south towards Seguin. To say we made good time is an understatement. Our average speed over a total of 161 miles was an astonishing 70 mph thanks in part to 85 mph speed limits, and a much faster flow of traffic!! For about 50 miles of the trip, we never dropped below 90 mph.
So how did the Niro do?
Very good! So here is how the Niro performed on the trip broken down in sections.
The suspension on the Niro is soft to provide comfort around town and at same highway speeds. Thus at 90+ mph it is a bit floaty. Not like piloting a boat, but on the floaty side.
Surprisingly, at no point did the Niro feel underpowered. It was in Sport mode for the entire trip. If anything, once it got over 80 mph it felt like the car wanted to go faster. So for one brief stint I let it go to triple digit speeds.
Once speeds got over 80-85 the engine note started to get louder than the wind and road noise, but at no point did it ever get loud. With the radio on, my wife and I carried on a casual conversation while the speedometer read 90.
This is the Niro’s forte, and once again it shined bright. The Niro also shattered a VERY long standing record one of my previous cars had held for 23 years. My old 1991 Chevy Cavalier got 40 mpg while cruising at 80 mph. Well, the Niro averaged 42 mpg over the 161 mile stretch!!! Yes, even with cruising at 90+ mph for 50 miles straight and a brief stint of triple digit speeds, fuel economy was at 42 mpg!!!
So I am shocked and very pleased at how the Niro did. Please note, at no point was I ever going faster than the flow of traffic. Granted, in some stretches there was VERY little traffic. But in general, I was monitoring tire pressures and road conditions closely to be as safe as possible at these speeds.