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We've had great experiences with a 2008, which we sold with 163K miles and zero problems, and a 2015. However there are things that bug me about the Prius changes lately.

The Niro is a very interesting car if it meets the 50 mph targets. I will wait until the plug in is available in the U.S., then I will examine the potential for house rooftop solar to charge it.

Prius Cons:
- I've always hated the gauges being pushed toward the center of the dash. The Niro is traditional.

- I HATE the white accents Toyota is putting in the 2016 and beyond Prius models.

- I will not buy a car without a spare, or at least a place to put a spare under the cargo floor. If the Niro plugin doesn't have spare tire space (like the Niro hybrid) I won't buy one. I can understand the necessity of a larger traction battery taking up more space. I'd just want that space to be more like the Tesla design rather than eating up trunk space. Already some Prius models don't have a spare or room for a spare. I'm afraid Toyota will kill the spare all the way.

- The Niro is taller. Toyota has already knocked height off with the 2016+ models. I prefer a more vertical seating position vs the more laid back position of the newer Prius.

I've sat in a Niro twice and I like the interior. External looks mean almost nothing to me. It's all about driver features, not car beauty.
 

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I agree about spare tire and plug-in

Yes, your concern about the spare tire is well founded, particularly for those of us in the western USA who have lots of gravel/dirt roads far from anywhere. I too am waiting to see the Niro plug-in. We have a Volt and have run it for a year on solar. We have 7 kw of panels, which covers the whole house and the Volt with extra left. The Volt charges fully overnight just with 120 v outlet. But, the Volt has less cargo space than the hybrid Nero, less ground clearance, and only gets about 42-43 mpg while running as a hybrid. We hope the Nero cargo volume is not greatly reduced with the larger battery and they keep the space for the space-saver spare tire, and we especially hope they provide an option for a trailer hitch. That would allow us to bring along a swing-out full-size spare tire for long trips in remote areas, very important to us.
 

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Yes, your concern about the spare tire is well founded, particularly for those of us in the western USA who have lots of gravel/dirt roads far from anywhere. I too am waiting to see the Niro plug-in. We have a Volt and have run it for a year on solar. We have 7 kw of panels, which covers the whole house and the Volt with extra left. The Volt charges fully overnight just with 120 v outlet. But, the Volt has less cargo space than the hybrid Nero, less ground clearance, and only gets about 42-43 mpg while running as a hybrid. We hope the Nero cargo volume is not greatly reduced with the larger battery and they keep the space for the space-saver spare tire, and we especially hope they provide an option for a trailer hitch. That would allow us to bring along a swing-out full-size spare tire for long trips in remote areas, very important to us.
I'm anxious for a trailer hitch too, mostly for a bike rack!
 

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There is an option for towing package, if you don't mind right hand drive and the really huge hassle of importing from the UK!

You are going to have to third party a trailer hitch. But if you are not carrying passengers in the rear seat, there is plenty of room for a couple bikes inside the car. That avoids the mpg hit of external bike carriers, and lowers the theft risk as well (although I did lose a favorite bicycle from a locked Subaru wagon once).

A trunk rack will be much cheaper than getting a trailer hitch. These ones by Hollywood racks adapt to most any car (sometimes ingenuity helps). I have what seems to be called the F1B Original that is the least expensive one. Listed as a three bike carrier, I've put four bikes on it. Mind you, that takes some doing, and even more to protect each bike's paint from the other ones. It also folds flat and takes minimal storage space. They seem to have gone up in price. I knew one of the employees from when I lived in California 20 years ago and purchased a couple of them for $25 direct (I seem to remember list was $40 to $50). Now they are $90. I was given a third one when I purchase three used bikes (coincidentally in California) and needed a way to get home to Ohio with them. It must be one of the most common bike racks. But that is the only time I remember using a rack in the last ten years, I carry bikes exclusively inside my car (currently a PT Cruiser - the rear seats remove completely with a quick release) which is way nicer on my bike. However, I hot wax my chains - no grease mess.
Trunk racks, bike trunk racks, trunk racks for cars, bicycle trunk racks, car trunk racks for bikes
 

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I ride a recumbent....much harder to carry on a trunk rack. I also question the strength of the plastic spoiler on the rear hatch....Haven't tried to put my bike in the car yet....too full of paddling gear!!!
 

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I'm hoping to replace my 2016 Volt. I'm not interested what is currently available. I'm hoping for a CUV with >40 EV range < $45k. The Niro looks like a potential. As far as a spare tire goes, unless it's a SUV or full size car most now come with no spare. The Volt comes with a quasi flat tire repair kit which I would't trust. So I got the spare tire that Volt sells ~ $300. Ya it takes up room, but for my purposes it's enough space for quite a bit of stuff and with the back seats down it is almost the same floor space as my prior Kia Sportage. Here's include 2 photos .
 

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Trailer Hitch for KIA Niro now available @ U-Haul

I have been doing a weekly Google search for KIA Niro trailer hitch. U-Haul showed up this week.
 

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Talk about a spare (Spare Tire KIT with tools). Mine came in handy for a crazy COMPUTER reason.

Dig this latest computer world we live in (WALMART Service Problem).

I had a slow leak passenger rear tire. Tire Pressure Monitor picked it up at 28PSI and flagged it on the dash. I found a nail and pumped tire up to go to WALMART (12 miles) for repair (reasonable $10 plus tax).

Got to WALMART and Check-In Guy was taking info; Year (2017) OK, MFG (KIA) OK, got to Model (NIRO) NOT OK. NIRO not on his hand computer gadget as a model.

He said, "Can't put you into the system for tire repair as car model (NIRO) not in computer ye" WHAT The ????

I was leaving WALMART to go to a $22 plus tax place. Then thought -- what if I take wheel off in parking lot? Went back and asked the Check In guy, he said, "That will work as call it a Carry-IN Repair.

Anyway, jack and lug wrench worked good on the rear passenger wheel. Did not take much to break the lug nuts loose (good thing cause the wrench has a short handle - about a foot). Might need to carry an extension for it.
 

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As long as you're at walmart you can pick up a tire repair kit for 3 or 4 dollars and save yourself the hassle of having someone else plug your flat.
 

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Talk about a spare (Spare Tire KIT with tools). Mine came in handy for a crazy COMPUTER reason.

Dig this latest computer world we live in (WALMART Service Problem).

I had a slow leak passenger rear tire. Tire Pressure Monitor picked it up at 28PSI and flagged it on the dash. I found a nail and pumped tire up to go to WALMART (12 miles) for repair (reasonable $10 plus tax).

Got to WALMART and Check-In Guy was taking info; Year (2017) OK, MFG (KIA) OK, got to Model (NIRO) NOT OK. NIRO not on his hand computer gadget as a model.

He said, "Can't put you into the system for tire repair as car model (NIRO) not in computer ye" WHAT The ????

I was leaving WALMART to go to a $22 plus tax place. Then thought -- what if I take wheel off in parking lot? Went back and asked the Check In guy, he said, "That will work as call it a Carry-IN Repair.

Anyway, jack and lug wrench worked good on the rear passenger wheel. Did not take much to break the lug nuts loose (good thing cause the wrench has a short handle - about a foot). Might need to carry an extension for it.
If your a hands on owner like me then investing in a good compact jack and proper emergency tools will go a long way out on the road.

OEM jacks aren't always the best, nor are the tools they provide. Best of all buying new equipment is relatively cheap.
 

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I have been doing a weekly Google search for KIA Niro trailer hitch. U-Haul showed up this week.
The hitch on Uhaul made by Draw-tite.
Looks like a decent product, rated at 3500 lbs trailer weight.

Install instructions look like you'd need a lift to do this easily, as you have remove some underbody panels and trim some fascia.
 

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I might add that the Uhaul site had a PDF of the install instructions which is great for a number of reasons. 1) it definitely looks like they developed it for the Niro 2) it mounts to what looks like factory mounting locations with weld studs already welded on at the factory; as if Kia meant for the hitch to be installed. 3) you get to review the difficulty to install the hitch and judge if you what to take on this task of cutting into the lower bumper fascia and dropping the muffler.


I am pretty excited. Thank you jefeder1 for sharing.


Neo
 

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Uhaul hitch installation option

It looks like Uhaul will only install a Class II hitch with a 1 1/4" receiver? Has anyone been able to get them to install a Class III 2" receiver like the Curt #13329?
 

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It looks like Uhaul will only install a Class II hitch with a 1 1/4" receiver? Has anyone been able to get them to install a Class III 2" receiver like the Curt #13329?
I found an installer via the Curt website and they installed the Class III received. I think Curt just released a wiring harness as well.
 

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You guys are brave to want to tow with the Niro so soon because with any new car i'm very skeptical, even after I have it in my possession. First model year cars do that and i might sit out from this till Niro's have proven themselves some more with owners.
 
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