High speed driving characteristics of the Niro - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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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.


Suspension;

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.


Power;

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.


Noise;

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.


Fuel economy;


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.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 01:39 PM
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91cavgt,

What trim do you have? I traveled from north of Atlanta to Panama City beach traveling 80 mph most of the trip over the weekend. I have the touring and averaged around 40 mpg. It was quite gusty the whole way down due to storms so that may have impacted the mpg. The ECO mode seems to get confused about 5 and 6th gear most of the time.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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My Niro is a 2018 HEV LX model.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 06:43 PM
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Why sport mode on the journey? I've never even tried it I was just thinking Eco would be the best fuel economy.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxterra View Post
Why sport mode on the journey? I've never even tried it I was just thinking Eco would be the best fuel economy.

Sport mode sharpens up the throttle response and makes it so you don’t have to press the throttle as much. It also allows me to lock in 6th gear instead of letting the car do its thing by delayed up shifts from 5th to 6th.

If you are driving at sane speeds then by all means use Eco mode to get good fuel economy. If you know how to drive a manual transmission economically and have a delicate touch on the throttle pedal then it is possible, at high speeds, to get better fuel economy in Sport Mode.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 91cavgt View Post
Sport mode sharpens up the throttle response and makes it so you donít have to press the throttle as much. It also allows me to lock in 6th gear instead of letting the car do its thing by delayed up shifts from 5th to 6th.

If you are driving at sane speeds then by all means use Eco mode to get good fuel economy. If you know how to drive a manual transmission economically and have a delicate touch on the throttle pedal then it is possible, at high speeds, to get better fuel economy in Sport Mode.
Sounds good Im going to try it out and see.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by dsh72 View Post
91cavgt,
What trim do you have? I traveled from north of Atlanta to Panama City beach traveling 80 mph most of the trip over the weekend. I have the touring and averaged around 40 mpg. It was quite gusty the whole way down due to storms so that may have impacted the mpg. The ECO mode seems to get confused about 5 and 6th gear most of the time.
Couple comments. Not very likely to get 40 plus mpg in the Niro going 90 mph (or 70 mph average) over a full tank. Likely there was a tailwind for a substantial portion of the mentioned trip, and certainly not cold. Also pretty flat terrain for the most part.

Eco mode doesn't get confused about fifth and sixth gear. This is a low powered car with a very tall top gear for efficiency at certain speeds and loads. Older cars (and even new ones) tend to have a much lower top gear and more horsepower because, yes, folks don't like downshifts, even though they make the car more efficient overall.

Yes, in gusty conditions, load is going to vary even at a steady speed as well as slight variations in grade. After 16,000 miles, I've never seen my Niro hunt between two gears as some transmissions do. In fact, I continue to be amazed at how it holds a gear, particularly going over a hill crest where it steepens just before the crest. But it certainly downshifts when needed - adding torque first from the motor until that is no longer sufficient. Put the display on hybrid view. Very instructive how the power is flowing and you will see a change from a very small difference in driving conditions. Even light rain. This is a very smart car. Don't like the downshifts then this is the wrong car for you.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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For the most part, that area is mostly flat. You can see in the pictures that the ambient temp was 71 degrees. If you hypermile the car then yes, the programming for the transmission in Eco mode is spot on. Yes, there was a bit of a tail wind. No, the car did not average 42 mpg for that entire tank and nowhere in this thread did I claim it did. Right after I took those pictures we exited the toll road and drove normally for the rest of the tank of fuel. That tank of fuel averaged 45 mpg, hand calculated. At no point did I say that I dislike the Niro. All of my posts here have stated just the opposite actually, except for one thread where I found a driveability issue with the Niro.


Tone things down a little please. Posts like that can turn people away from this forum and that is not what we, as car owners, want.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:25 AM
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I agree with 91cavgt. This is meant for Kia Niro owners to be able to voice concerns and share experiences.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:49 AM
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in sport mode it won't down shift I didn't like it when it downshifted going up an overpass on I 75 ,in sport mode it stays in 6th gear and maintains the same speed on the cruise control ...
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