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Discussion Starter #1
I was hoping to add a hitch mounted bike rack on my 2018 Niro PHEV, like I have on all my prior vehicles, but this does not seem possible.

None of the hitch suppliers I've researched are able to supply one for the 2018 Niro PHEV.

Other than putting bikes inside, does anyone have any good ideas for carrying bikes on this vehicle?

I've already considered the roof, but Kia does not offer any roof-mounted accessories for the PHEV, so Dealers won't even sell me the cross bars. What gives?

https://pictures.dealer.com/levkia/07f2adad0a0e0ca37432ffaa2a7e5bd9.pdf
 

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Towing is not recommended for the Niro, so it's unlikely you'll get a hitch mount. You can use any crossbar accessories for the regular Niro on the PHEV. You probably want the Roof Bike Attachment:

https://www.kiaaccessoryguide.com/index.php?page=individualAccessory&accId=1810

Roof Bike Attachment
Part# UM000 AY008RA
GET PRICE
You're attached to your bike, so make sure your bike is properly attached to your vehicle. The Roof Bike Attachment offers a secure and convenient way to carry your bike on the roof.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hitch for Niro PHEV can't be found

All the hitch manufacturers say, where there is a hitch available for the Niro Hybrid, it is not available for the Niro PHEV. If you find one for the PHEV - let me know!
 

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I, too, have been looking for a hitch for a bike rack with no luck. I contacted etrailers.com and Uhaul directly. They both say that they do not have a hitch for the Niro plug-in. Not happy. The dealer told me that although Kia did not install hitches I could find a third party to do it such as Uhaul.
 

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Has anyone actually tried to see if the normal Niro hybrid hitch fits? I wondering if they are saying the plug-in is not compatible due to liability or if there really is a fitment issue.
 

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OK I search around and it seems there is an extra enclosure underneath on the plug in that blocks regular fitment of the hitch near the end of the passanger side support, but it can be trimed if desired to fit.
 

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I was reading another discussion thread about installing a hitch on the Hybrid and PHEV made but Curt. Personally I've never heard of this brand before, but appears to be legit.
Discussion:
https://www.kianiroforum.com/forum/202-towing/6329-curt-trailer-hitch-rebate.html

Curt Website for Niro Hitch:
https://www.curtmfg.com/part/13329

According to the website, it'll require some plastic panel trimming, which has me worried if it'll affect the warranty.

Either way, I'll be waiting until around thanksgiving/Christmas time to see if i cant find a good deal for both a hitch and accompanying bike rack.
 

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CURT trailer hitch co does make a "2" in bolt on hitch fore KIA Niro PHEV, yes PHEV but, their mounting notes require "some exhaust mods" as well as "trimming" of body. Sounds like a tight fit near a High Power Battery. Maybe the right installer could accomplish this? Or start a fire? This is why most will pass on this.
 

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Having this installed near the battery would have zero impact whether I would do it or not. It's on the other side of a metal frame. The hassle of trimming, fishing, and lowering/raising the exhaust would be my reasons for paying someone else to do it. I've done near-identical installs before, but with local installers willing to do these for less than $100 in labor, I have little desire to do another.

I think it'd work great, and I'd have no issue having it installed if I needed a hitch on this PHEV. I'd also have zero issue wiring in a 4-pin harness (for an LED brake light strip on a cargo carrier, or for a small canoe trailer)
 

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I have installed this for my 2018 HEV and the works was pretty simple. You will need one extra person just to hold the hitch up while you bolt it down. The trimming part is a small plastic trim piece that fits around the drivers side wheel whel and bumper. It needs a small amount trimmed off that took a whole 4 minutes with a sharp utility knife. As the piece comes off the car, it's really simple to do. If you have some metal cuters, you might be able to do it in 2 minutes.


As for the rest, it's unbolting a metal heatshield from the muffler with a 12mm ratchet. 6 squirts of WD40 onto the 3 rubber mufler hangers to make dropping the mufler easy. I used a nylon tiedown looped between the rear springs to hold the mufler as I dropped it 8" to make fitting the hitch easier. The bolts are real simple to install as 4 of the 6 are just direct screw in. the bottom 2 are really easy to install. Took me 30 minutes to do as I took my time and threading bolts is hard on my forearms from carple tunnel.


Take a look at https://images.etrailer.com/static/images/video/install-trailer-hitch-2017-kia-niro-c13329.webm
 

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I have installed this for my 2018 HEV and the works was pretty simple. You will need one extra person just to hold the hitch up while you bolt it down. The trimming part is a small plastic trim piece that fits around the drivers side wheel whel and bumper. It needs a small amount trimmed off that took a whole 4 minutes with a sharp utility knife. As the piece comes off the car, it's really simple to do. If you have some metal cuters, you might be able to do it in 2 minutes.


As for the rest, it's unbolting a metal heatshield from the muffler with a 12mm ratchet. 6 squirts of WD40 onto the 3 rubber mufler hangers to make dropping the mufler easy. I used a nylon tiedown looped between the rear springs to hold the mufler as I dropped it 8" to make fitting the hitch easier. The bolts are real simple to install as 4 of the 6 are just direct screw in. the bottom 2 are really easy to install. Took me 30 minutes to do as I took my time and threading bolts is hard on my forearms from carple tunnel.


Take a look at https://images.etrailer.com/static/images/video/install-trailer-hitch-2017-kia-niro-c13329.webm
Thanks for the instructions and posted video. make it seem like something my wife and I could take on. having a trailer hitch would make it much easier to take our bikes on road trips and especially not have to worry about forgetting about our bikes on the roof rack as we're parking in the garage.

Does anyone know if you can still access the trunk door with a bike rack on?
 

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I just installed a tow hitch to accept my bike rack to my 2019 plug in niro. I did have to grind off some metal on the hitch to clear a metal cover on the frame; only pertains to plug in models. I would not use this hitch to tow, but I have no problem using it just for my bike rack. A total of six bolts secure it to the car. Curt Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class II - 1-1/4"
Item # C12171. My car is leased so I didn't want to cut into the bumper cover like you would have to do with some 2" hitches. A $10 harbor freight hand held wheel grinder was used to cut the metal off of the hitch to clear the cars frame; use a thin grinding wheel. You will see the protrusion on the frames right side above the threaded bolt hole. The cut ends up leaving less than 1/4" material above the right forward mount hole on the hitch. Really helps to have a second person to lift and support the hitch on opposite side. You must cut part of a plastic cover with a utility knife and remove a metal piece from the muffler. No need to jack up car to install hitch. Instructions that came with the hitch are easy to understand. If I can do it (with help from my brother) you can do it! Please use common sense with the reduced capacity of a modified tow hitch!!! Remember I am only using it to support a bike rack not for towing.
 

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I have an email out to the Curt Hitch company regarding this. Etrailer.com says you can use Curt 13329 on the Niro PHEV. I don't think there is anything physically different. I will post a message when I hear from the horse's mouth. I also requested an alternative if indeed the 13329 doesn't work. I have seen the video of the install and it seems pretty straight forward regardless of what model you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi all, the Curt 13329 is a Class 3 hitch receiver, and similarly the Curt 12171 is a Class 2 hitch receiver - both of which fit the 2018 Niro PHEV identically, albeit a small notch must be cut out of the one side to make them fit (see pictures).
Because of this, neither should be used for towing. However for a bike rack, these are perfect.
The ratings of the Class 3 and Class 2, for that matter, for a bike rack are overkill (a Class 1 would have sufficed if it were available).
The advantage of the Class 2 over the Class 3 is it's ~30 lbs lighter, so less weight to lug around for the life of the vehicle.
Reason I know is I just had the Curt 12171 installed and am very happy with it.
 

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