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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally had a chance to test drive a Niro (touring model) last night and definitely came away a bit disappointed. Let me start off with saying that I really like the form factor of the Niro since it's a real hatchback style rather than the quasi-hatch normal prius or ioniq. The rear seats folded much more flat than I had expected which was a huge plus, the gauge cluster looks nice, and for my limited time in the vehicle the seats felt quite comfortable.

So, on to the actual test drive. I really felt like the vehicle was sluggish. I realize this is a hybrid and not meant for speed, but I am currently driving an 08 versa hatch so my standards are not very high in terms of performance. Still, it seems excruciatingly slow and you really have to mash the pedal to go anywhere. I test driven plenty of other hybrids (16 prius, 16 rav4 hybrid, 16 accord hybrid, 16 sonata hybrid) and I felt that none lacked power. The ECO light on the dash was the giveaway that throttle response was being retarded for better fuel economy, but the only solution was to move the shifter into sport mode and shift manually. I was looking for a "normal" mode that does not require manual shifting but was unable to find one. The salesperson was reading through the manual during my test drive to see if there was a way to turn off ECO mode, but it was to no avail. There does not seem to be a way to do it (other than moving to sport). Am I completely missing something or is there no way to switch to a "normal" (non eco) driving mode? Just a few other observations that really put me off. I can really feel the DCT awkwardness at lower speeds and the breaks seemed incredibly mushy. The first half of the pedal travel seems to do nothing and requires a good bit of force to get the Niro to a stop. Again, I'm currently driving a versa and while it does not stop on a dime or bite immediately when you touch the pedal, the brake feel is much better than the Niro. The only other vehicle I've driven that reminded me of the Niro's braking was the 2015 Rogue.

Fuel economy on my admittedly short test drive was decent (better than expected to be honest). I returned 42.1 mpg at an average speed of 17 mph. It was mostly city with two very short trips on the interstate up to 60. I expected less considering I was not driving for economy in the slightest as I played with sport mode for a short stretch, braked rather than coasted to stops, and spent several minutes idling.

I am waiting for the ioniq to land at the dealers in the area so I can see if their implementation of the drivetrain is a bit better.
 

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I test drove one yesterday,first time in a hybrid. There was a delay coming from a stop in eco mode,I didn't mind it because I'm not at all jackrabbit footed. I noticed when I put it in Power Mode, there was no delay- it seemed like a conventional car.Also the acceleration was much better. This is without using the manual shifting mode. No problems for me if I can get ~50MPG.
 

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I test drove one yesterday,first time in a hybrid. There was a delay coming from a stop in eco mode,I didn't mind it because I'm not at all jackrabbit footed. I noticed when I put it in Power Mode, there was no delay- it seemed like a conventional car.Also the acceleration was much better. This is without using the manual shifting mode. No problems for me if I can get ~50MPG.
How many modes are there really? My understanding is two. Normal (Eco) and "sport" mode. Is there a third?
 

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So, on to the actual test drive. I really felt like the vehicle was sluggish. I realize this is a hybrid and not meant for speed, but I am currently driving an 08 versa hatch so my standards are not very high in terms of performance. Still, it seems excruciatingly slow and you really have to mash the pedal to go anywhere. I test driven plenty of other hybrids (16 prius, 16 rav4 hybrid, 16 accord hybrid, 16 sonata hybrid) and I felt that none lacked power. The ECO light on the dash was the giveaway that throttle response was being retarded for better fuel economy, but the only solution was to move the shifter into sport mode and shift manually. I was looking for a "normal" mode that does not require manual shifting but was unable to find one. The salesperson was reading through the manual during my test drive to see if there was a way to turn off ECO mode, but it was to no avail. There does not seem to be a way to do it (other than moving to sport). Am I completely missing something or is there no way to switch to a "normal" (non eco) driving mode? Just a few other observations that really put me off. I can really feel the DCT awkwardness at lower speeds and the breaks seemed incredibly mushy. The first half of the pedal travel seems to do nothing and requires a good bit of force to get the Niro to a stop. Again, I'm currently driving a versa and while it does not stop on a dime or bite immediately when you touch the pedal, the brake feel is much better than the Niro. The only other vehicle I've driven that reminded me of the Niro's braking was the 2015 Rogue.
I had the same impression. The Prius 2017 at least had three modes in which to choose. Normal, Eco and Power. It seems to me what is missing from the Niro is Normal mode. It is either Eco or Sport and with that being the case, I would probably want it in Sport most of the time. And yes, the brakes did not feel good. I understand they are different than standard brakes, but still felt that I had to press down rather hard to feel like I was stopping. Not sure about the DCT as this seems to be a good trans as long as it doesn't have the issue Hyundai had with their DCT (they are essentially the same company).

I too like the form factor but for driving experience not sure I enjoy. Heck, even the all electric Volt pushed you back in your seat with the instant torque.
 

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You don't have to shift manually when going into sport mode. You can be in sport mode and have it shift automatically. There is only eco and sport modes.

The ioniq will probably be the same since it has the same engine and transmission, but you also loose a tad headroom and legroom in the ioniq, but it's also even more efficient. Maybe the plug in version will be quicker.

I also agree the DCT is weird at times, definitely not buttery smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did not realize manual shifting was not required in sports mode. I will have to give it another test drive then to try that out.

The ioniq has normal/eco/sport modes according to reviews, but yes it has the same transmission.
 

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No no that would never be necessary. But does anyone know what exactly sport mode will do? Just increased throttle response and more aggressive shifting with higher rpms?
 

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New here but didn't know one could manually shift in sport mode :) But test drove a Touring and it was clear that eco was surface street fast and sport mode let me start from stop and merge on the highway fast enough to not be worried. Just tapped shifter to the left and stepped on it.. It's not a drag racer but it dod what it had to withoutb me being worried.
 

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Now have 750 miles on new EX Niro (new as of Feb 11, 2017).

I take off slow when I can --- mash throttle down when I need to take off fast and it seems to be more than adequate. That is ECO Mode is fine for me for any normal driving situation (don't take chances driving).

I have onlyused Sport Mode one time to see what it was and how I might use it. Doubt ever have a real need for using it for normal driving (maybe to gear down coming down hill in mountains or steep hills vs using brakes, or maybe when going up steep hills or mountains).

As someone said, put it in Sport Mode and let it work as Automatic or manual shift Up Down.

By the way, it will not shift up down if speed does not match the gearing with engine.

So far first fill up (9.11 gallon was 51.48 MPG). Computer MPG now showing 52.1MPG for last 200 miles.

That is what I want and make an effort to drive in the lower green when I can.

Brakes --- I agree seems to take extra braking as it seems to coast with not much of any engine braking when you let off the accelerator. Like the electric motor (hybrid) part of it does not offer much engine braking.

Let off gas early and let it coast (like seeing that instant gas mileage over at 75 MPG). :)
 

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Just posted this on another thread but it fits here so...

Just took a test drive with a FE here in michigan. Off the line, first gear and perhaps 2nd gear had some torque but was weak after that with 2 people in the car. I assume it was running only on the electric motor. I put it in sport mode and it was much better, I think because the gas engine was on and it stayed in lower gears longer. On the freeway in eco mode it seemed a bit weaker than my vibe but I can live with it(I think). If your a younger high strung person, it may not be enough power for you but i'm getting older an slowing down, no rush. I did not try sport mode on the freeway. everything else was ok in my short drive.
 

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I have driving a Prius V (15), Optima Hybrid (14), Acura ILX (14) and they all had the simular feel with the acceliration. I asked the Toyota dealer and he explained to me that they do that on purpose. Unlike a gas engine the hybrid is more logrithmic in it progressively gets faster and faster the further you press. So, the beginning of the press seems to do nothing, but it ramps up fast as you push further. The sport mode is designed to be more like a car in the initial press is quite sensitive but the down side to that is that it doesn't take much of a push to exceed the initial power delivery by the electric motor and have the system kick in the gas motor to assist in rapid acceleration. After you start moving (usually with a jerk) the gas motor backs off and allows the electric motor to do more of it's thing that saves you in fuel economy.


This seems to be comon along all the hybrid lines that I have tried. I have been told that ECO mode will give you a better fuel and it just takes a bit of time and practice to get use to it and make it seem second nature to you. The only down side is if you switch between gas and hybrid cars as they drive different with the acceleration profile. Then you'd likely want to just keep the car in Sport mode.
 

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I've never had my Niro in the sport mode only "eco" and it seems plenty peppy to me. On our recent trip to Pa. and back it was just fine on the highway. It accelerates smartly up to 78 which is where I usually set the cruise control when able.
 

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As someone I think in this forum put it a while back, he had to adjust his 'mind-to-foot' reflex. IOW, it's not that it doesn't have the power, it's that it won't be as linear at first- you have to travel a bit farther on pedal to get up to speed.. and after a slight pause if from a stop, to let the auto-clutch release. It's natural to me now, so no problem. I think also there's what I call the 'Tetris Effect' in many drivers, where they have to fill the space in front immediately, even though they will arrive at the next light or traffic flow at the same time regardless.
I rarely use the Sport mode, but it's nice to have. The one time I put it in Sport mode and by accident moved the shifter down into 1st gear, the torque was very strong- it does have very good torque and at a low-rpm. I think if that's not enough power, you're in the wrong place. You need to be driving a Dodge Charger.
 

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As someone I think in this forum put it a while back, he had to adjust his 'mind-to-foot' reflex. IOW, it's not that it doesn't have the power, it's that it won't be as linear at first- you have to travel a bit farther on pedal to get up to speed.. and after a slight pause if from a stop, to let the auto-clutch release. It's natural to me now, so no problem. I think also there's what I call the 'Tetris Effect' in many drivers, where they have to fill the space in front immediately, even though they will arrive at the next light or traffic flow at the same time regardless.
I rarely use the Sport mode, but it's nice to have. The one time I put it in Sport mode and by accident moved the shifter down into 1st gear, the torque was very strong- it does have very good torque and at a low-rpm. I think if that's not enough power, you're in the wrong place. You need to be driving a Dodge Charger.
Ha, yep that last sentence is right. These cars aren't really meant to be sporty, they're meant for fuel economy. You can't really have both, at least not without spending twice as much money.

That's why I kept my other car for weekends. When I want 450ft/lbs of torque so I can have some fun, I'll use that. Otherwise, my Niro is the daily driver, and I really couldn't care less how torquey it feels. It drives nice and is crazy cheap to run, that's all that matters to me.
 

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I used the sport mode once to see if the selection of lower gears would provide a higher level of battery regeneration when coming to a stop. In a word.. nope. Just taking my foot off the gas and some minor breaking the transmission does a good job of changing to lower gears. I also like that when going down a long fairly steep hill while in cruse control [not active, just plane old standard CC] the engine/xmission maintains the selected speed.
I also have a disagreement with those that think the acceleration is sluggish. If the xmission is engaged in the 1st gear [I won't go into the "if" part] with minimal gas pressure & steady but not forceful pressure, I'm pushed back into my seat. Period. In CA most freeway speed limit is 65 [some 70] and unless it's stop & crawl, the average is at least 5 MPH over. I have no problem merging on and maintaining the current speed.
 

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I have always owned manual shift cars. The Niro is the first automatic I have and I love the DCT and I think the ECO mode works and feel as expected. They should put that in every cars. There is just no point in how fast you drive between two red lights!
 

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Yea. but if you drive super fast and swerve in and out of each lane so you can get those 2 extra cars further, then you win.. The very special prise of being called an absolute **** by every other driver who you managed to cut off or almost hit in the process.
 
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