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Greetings,

I have a 2018 Niro plugin EX. In the manual it says that on a long descent you should switch to sport mode and downshift to use engine braking to slow the car without potentially burning up the brakes. I have no doubt that this would work, but it seems unnecessary and I'm not sure I can teach my wife how to do it (she doesn't know what sport mode is and has no interest in learning about it).

My understanding is that if the battery is not full then regenerative braking will slow the car just fine, without engaging the friction brakes, by spinning the generator which charges the battery. And if the battery does fill up I would assume that, like in my 2008 prius, it will then start to spin the engine to slow the car instead of the generator. I don't have any long steep hills nearby to test this. Can anyone confirm that sport mode downshifting is unnecessary?

Thanks
 

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I'd think using sport mode to manually downshift would only be necessary on a pretty steep descent. If you do not need to apply much brake, eco mode should work fine.

And FYI, Kia made sport mode very simple. Just pull your shifter towards you while in drive, and it engages. Then push it back to switch to eco. While in sport mode, you have the option of using manually selected lower gear by using the shifter forwards/backwards.
 
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