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Hello my fellow northerners,

I am kind of planning on getting my first hybrid and there are some crucial things I need to get straight before I spend my money.
I know there have been quite a bit of topics about niro and winter but all of them are about mpgs. However I was wondering about heating in winter, as it can sometimes get to minus degrees Fahrenheit in winter (~ -20 Celsius) in the area. So for instance if I clean the car for about 5 minutes from snow, will it be enough for car to heat up for me to take off my winter coat and sit only in a sweater comfortably?
After all niro not a diesel and it's not a traditional as well.. it's a hybrid, which is why I was wondering how does the electric motor heat up the car, or does the actual gasoline engine gets the work done after you start the car and let it idle for 5 minutes?
 

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Your car won't run for 5 minutes. It will run until the battery pack is "full" and then shut off.

The heat comes from the ICE. When the ICE shuts off, there will be some heat left to keep the car warm.
 

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The heat comes from the gas engine. When you start the car in cold weather, if you have the heat on, the gas engine will idle to provide heat. That said I doubt 5 minutes of idle is enough to really warm up the inside when it’s negative degrees outside... but a) I would have said the same thing about my previous non-hybrids as well, and b) I don’t really understand why you’d want to sit with no jacket in if it’s that cold out... eventually you need can I get out of the car.
 

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The heat does come on faster than regular cars due to extra heat capture just behind the catalytic converter, but it is not that big of a deal. Significant heat after one mile versus two and a half. I've never idled a car on purpose to warm the engine or interior, but the Niro will idle the engine if the heat is on. Seems like a tremendous waste of fuel to save five minutes of discomfort. In the summertime, you can run the AC without the engine on, it runs off of the traction motor.

Depending on the trim you buy, you may get heated seats and steering wheel. That might be worth it to you. Those that have it seem to love it. Standard in Canada, even on the base model. I'd like it too, but didn't want the higher trim. It can be added after market, at least the seats.
 

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We've had a few (too many) of these -20C temps this winter. If you start the car and then clear off the snow, it probably won't be warm enough to be comfortable. I don't "turn" the heat on until the car is up to temp... no need to blow around cold air. I use the heated seat and steering wheel. I find they get warm quicker than the heater does.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the answers guys, the heating seems fair enough to get myself a niro.
By the way, the reason for taking a coat off is when you do long distances as after a while it will get too hot to sit in a coat and taking it off by making a pitstop or even worse midst driving isn't the best thing. But for short trips it's absolutely fine.
 

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wheather

Hello my fellow northerners,

I am kind of planning on getting my first hybrid and there are some crucial things I need to get straight before I spend my money.
I know there have been quite a bit of topics about niro and winter but all of them are about mpgs. However I was wondering about heating in winter, as it can sometimes get to minus degrees Fahrenheit in winter (~ -20 Celsius) in the area. So for instance if I clean the car for about 5 minutes from snow, will it be enough for car to heat up for me to take off my winter coat and sit only in a sweater comfortably?
After all niro not a diesel and it's not a traditional as well.. it's a hybrid, which is why I was wondering how does the electric motor heat up the car, or does the actual gasoline engine gets the work done after you start the car and let it idle for 5 minutes?
If it's -20C better don't use a car
 

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By the way, the reason for taking a coat off is when you do long distances as after a while it will get too hot to sit in a coat and taking it off by making a pitstop or even worse midst driving isn't the best thing. But for short trips it's absolutely fine.
I turn down the temperature when the interior has warmed up. Pulsing the temperature by turning off and on will increase mpg.
 

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One thing to note: The idling engine isn't a total waste when it is used to heat the car. It does appear to send some energy to the battery. Certainly better than idling the engine for heat in a non-hybrid!
 

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One thing to note: The idling engine isn't a total waste when it is used to heat the car. It does appear to send some energy to the battery. Certainly better than idling the engine for heat in a non-hybrid!

Until the battery is "full" then it shuts off.
 

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I read now a chart from a local car magazine with 16 cars, both gasoline and diesel, systematically measured regarding cabin heat. If you start driving, road or city, the Niro is the fastest one to reach 15degC interior temperature. Reaching 23 degC is more challenging due to the volume of the interior space but even there the difference to the fastest ones is small. The temperature distribution was considered even, which is a good thing. The car has a PTC-resistor in the air inlet, heating starts soon after start, even with cold coolant temperature.

My experience is similar, the car heats up pretty fast.

Exhaust gas heat is also recovered. I can't post the link but you can Google for 'Kia Niro: Intake And Exhaust System / Exhaust Heat Recovery System(EHRS) Description and operation'
 

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Yes, the KIA manual is explaining how the waste heat recovery is working for the exhaust system. I thought that was interesting since I did not know they used this technology.

I did not name the car magazine, Tekniikan Maailma, since it's pay-walled and in Finnish. Google translate works well with indo-european languages, not Finnish. A search for 'tm winter car' will give you a video on how the tests are conducted but not the results. Pick any year, they are all the same except for the cars.
 

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It certainly does heat up quickly, in close to half the time of other cars including my last one. Still, I haven't found that useful yet as I cannot figure out how to control the heating system comfortably. It puts the fan on high in auto, or if I pick the highest temperature when starting out. So I get a cold blast. So I'm stuck with remembering to turn it on manually after I have have gone a km or two, and then I still have to turn down the fan manually. At speed, I don't need the fan, but if I turn off the fan, I cannot change the temperature. So I have to turn the fan on, adjust the temperature (or where the air flow goes) and turn it off again. Very unfriendly design. Any car from 20 years ago was easy, and fan was separate control. This system has to be more expensive with extra buttons, and works more poorly than the less expensive systems from years ago.

Too bad about the magazine review. I would have liked to read it, but it would take me a long time to learn Finnish, and those darned paywalls.
 

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With winter on the way and money on everyone's mind, it's a good time to start looking after your heating units. Even the smallest changes and improvements can add up to a big difference in your comfort and the savings in your wallet. My friend took the help of heating company central NJ professional to get his heating units repaired and replaced.
spam..
 

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Thanks for the answers guys, the heating seems fair enough to get myself a niro.
By the way, the reason for taking a coat off is when you do long distances as after a while it will get too hot to sit in a coat and taking it off by making a pitstop or even worse midst driving isn't the best thing. But for short trips it's absolutely fine.
You didn't specify hybrid or PHEV. The hybrid Niro will work just like any gas car. The engine provides the heat. Period. And it will heat up quickly as all new cars heat the engine up very quickly. On the PHEV the engine is the only source of heat. There is no electric heater or heat pump. I like it this way...simpler. If in the PHEV you select hybrid mode it will work exactly like a regular gas car. If you are in BEV mode (the default) and heat is required the engine will start and heat up and once everything is up to temp then the engine will shut off. The water is still hot however in the engine so it'll keep throwing heat. If/when the water cools off to the point more heat is needed the motor fires up again. While the motor is running on the PHEV to create heat, I have observed that it runs at a steady RPM...about 2000 RPM I believe. It's not just creating heat it is also charging the battery. The 2000 RPM means the motor actually heats up quicker than a regular ICE at idle.

If it's a trip over 25 miles, I put it in hybrid mode for the first part since it has to heat up anyway and the battery won't get me all the way there regardless. Then in the latter part of the trip switch to BEV after the cabin and engine are at full temp.
 

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I came to my 2018 PHEV Niro from a 2013 PHEV Ford Cmax Energi. One thing the Cmax did very right is if it was connected to a 240V charger, you could set the car to precondition heat. It only used electricity to heat or cool if the ICE was not running, so initially using the heat while driving rapidly diminished the EV battery (hence the heated seats, which is a minimal draw). So preconditioning on 240V was a great way to set the car up for the morning drive without tapping into the EV battery - just told it you were going to drive at say 7AM and wanted the car at 65'F, or 80'F, it would preheat as needed to have it ready for you, then you drive away. If you were on a 115V charger or not charging, then it would start the engine like our Niro PHEV to heat.
 

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Kia obviously made a conscious decision to not have that feature you describe (a common feature obviously in other PHEV). They saved the cost/weight of a resistive heater obviously but I wonder how much that is. $500? They were really going for a market of people who are not posting on this page....i.e. regular car owners...who don't like fussy details like that. My wife would be one of those. If it gets any more complicated than plugging it in, she's out. And I think she's the norm. But I think Kia is still dependent on the hard core crowd more than this vehicle intends so that crowd says 'where's my pre-heating?'. Maybe they'll offer it as an option on say the 2020 models (too late for 2019).

Interestingly it will do an environment prep for air conditioning through the app. Obviously that takes no extra equipment. And it will indeed pre-heat the car too via the app but does so by starting the gas engine. Frankly even that is a giant step forward for me. My 2015 Fusion has remote start via the key fob but that's limited by range of the fob and leaving work in January, my car is 3 blocks away. Not unusual to be single digits F even in afternoon so hitting start on the app on my Kia is just plain going to be a guilty pleasure to walk out to a warm car. It is going to get much more use out of that idling during heatup than a regular car anyway because it'll run the generator while it's heating up so not much more lost than if I were driving down the road with the motor on (relative to just idling for nothing).
 

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Resistive heaters are cheap. But boy will they hurt battery life! They also have some significant safety issues. They only make sense in PHEVs and EVs. Silly in an HEV.
 

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Resistive heaters are cheap. But boy will they hurt battery life! They also have some significant safety issues. They only make sense in PHEVs and EVs. Silly in an HEV.
True. I'm speaking of the PHEV. A resistive heater would perhaps make the purists happy but would be of effectively no value for almost everyone else. The whole point of Kia's approach is to make the HEV/PHEV the least amount of intrusive as possible. Today's EV owners are mostly 'zealots' but in order to make any serious market share, auto companies will need to make it the least 'in your face' as possible. The Kia approach to heating is a set it and forget it approach and allows for remote start to preheat the cabin by starting the ICE....which is exactly how my 2015 Fusion works and what people expect. Only a very small fraction of EV purchasers live in a climate that sees subzero F temps regularly. It reminds me of AWD in that everyone claims that's a must to be an SUV but when you analyze the numbers around 75% of SUV's sold in the southern half of the US are just FWD.
 
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