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Discussion Starter #1
My Niro is a 2018 HEV LX model.


Over the weekend my wife and I headed out to visit some family. After filling up with gas in town and resetting the trip and fuel economy meters we headed out. The first 20 minutes was rather slow due to traffic. After that things opened up nicely, very nicely!!

About 50 miles in I decided to exit off of I-35 and take the toll road that goes around Austin and south towards Seguin. To say we made good time is an understatement. Our average speed over a total of 161 miles was an astonishing 70 mph thanks in part to 85 mph speed limits, and a much faster flow of traffic!! For about 50 miles of the trip, we never dropped below 90 mph.


So how did the Niro do?


Very good! So here is how the Niro performed on the trip broken down in sections.


Suspension;

The suspension on the Niro is soft to provide comfort around town and at same highway speeds. Thus at 90+ mph it is a bit floaty. Not like piloting a boat, but on the floaty side.


Power;

Surprisingly, at no point did the Niro feel underpowered. It was in Sport mode for the entire trip. If anything, once it got over 80 mph it felt like the car wanted to go faster. So for one brief stint I let it go to triple digit speeds.


Noise;

Once speeds got over 80-85 the engine note started to get louder than the wind and road noise, but at no point did it ever get loud. With the radio on, my wife and I carried on a casual conversation while the speedometer read 90.


Fuel economy;


This is the Niro’s forte, and once again it shined bright. The Niro also shattered a VERY long standing record one of my previous cars had held for 23 years. My old 1991 Chevy Cavalier got 40 mpg while cruising at 80 mph. Well, the Niro averaged 42 mpg over the 161 mile stretch!!! Yes, even with cruising at 90+ mph for 50 miles straight and a brief stint of triple digit speeds, fuel economy was at 42 mpg!!!




So I am shocked and very pleased at how the Niro did. Please note, at no point was I ever going faster than the flow of traffic. Granted, in some stretches there was VERY little traffic. But in general, I was monitoring tire pressures and road conditions closely to be as safe as possible at these speeds.
 

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91cavgt,

What trim do you have? I traveled from north of Atlanta to Panama City beach traveling 80 mph most of the trip over the weekend. I have the touring and averaged around 40 mpg. It was quite gusty the whole way down due to storms so that may have impacted the mpg. The ECO mode seems to get confused about 5 and 6th gear most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Why sport mode on the journey? I've never even tried it I was just thinking Eco would be the best fuel economy.

Sport mode sharpens up the throttle response and makes it so you don’t have to press the throttle as much. It also allows me to lock in 6th gear instead of letting the car do its thing by delayed up shifts from 5th to 6th.

If you are driving at sane speeds then by all means use Eco mode to get good fuel economy. If you know how to drive a manual transmission economically and have a delicate touch on the throttle pedal then it is possible, at high speeds, to get better fuel economy in Sport Mode.
 

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Sport mode sharpens up the throttle response and makes it so you don’t have to press the throttle as much. It also allows me to lock in 6th gear instead of letting the car do its thing by delayed up shifts from 5th to 6th.

If you are driving at sane speeds then by all means use Eco mode to get good fuel economy. If you know how to drive a manual transmission economically and have a delicate touch on the throttle pedal then it is possible, at high speeds, to get better fuel economy in Sport Mode.
Sounds good Im going to try it out and see.
 

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91cavgt,
What trim do you have? I traveled from north of Atlanta to Panama City beach traveling 80 mph most of the trip over the weekend. I have the touring and averaged around 40 mpg. It was quite gusty the whole way down due to storms so that may have impacted the mpg. The ECO mode seems to get confused about 5 and 6th gear most of the time.
Couple comments. Not very likely to get 40 plus mpg in the Niro going 90 mph (or 70 mph average) over a full tank. Likely there was a tailwind for a substantial portion of the mentioned trip, and certainly not cold. Also pretty flat terrain for the most part.

Eco mode doesn't get confused about fifth and sixth gear. This is a low powered car with a very tall top gear for efficiency at certain speeds and loads. Older cars (and even new ones) tend to have a much lower top gear and more horsepower because, yes, folks don't like downshifts, even though they make the car more efficient overall.

Yes, in gusty conditions, load is going to vary even at a steady speed as well as slight variations in grade. After 16,000 miles, I've never seen my Niro hunt between two gears as some transmissions do. In fact, I continue to be amazed at how it holds a gear, particularly going over a hill crest where it steepens just before the crest. But it certainly downshifts when needed - adding torque first from the motor until that is no longer sufficient. Put the display on hybrid view. Very instructive how the power is flowing and you will see a change from a very small difference in driving conditions. Even light rain. This is a very smart car. Don't like the downshifts then this is the wrong car for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
For the most part, that area is mostly flat. You can see in the pictures that the ambient temp was 71 degrees. If you hypermile the car then yes, the programming for the transmission in Eco mode is spot on. Yes, there was a bit of a tail wind. No, the car did not average 42 mpg for that entire tank and nowhere in this thread did I claim it did. Right after I took those pictures we exited the toll road and drove normally for the rest of the tank of fuel. That tank of fuel averaged 45 mpg, hand calculated. At no point did I say that I dislike the Niro. All of my posts here have stated just the opposite actually, except for one thread where I found a driveability issue with the Niro.


Tone things down a little please. Posts like that can turn people away from this forum and that is not what we, as car owners, want.
 

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in sport mode it won't down shift I didn't like it when it downshifted going up an overpass on I 75 ,in sport mode it stays in 6th gear and maintains the same speed on the cruise control ...
 

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In no way was I trying to be negative, just underlying explanations of the events described. A common complaint on many hybrid (and other low powered cars) with automatics are downshifts that new owners don't expect nor enjoy - I do because I understand why it does. Didn't mean to imply to either of the two different posters that unliked downshifts were not otherwise happy with their cars nor did I read the posts that way. So sorry it was perceived that way..

One thing about internet forums is that there are many more lurkers than posters and the info posted is or can be read for years later. So I tailor my posts for a wider audience while addressing the thread topic. Many come here for inside information prior to making a buying decision. Downshifting (among other issues) will sway a lot of people from buying an efficiency oriented hybrid. Only fair that they have that information presented in a hopefully balanced way versus a fanboy shout out. I love my car, and would buy it again. However I know I have a bias towards efficient cars so I have to balance that with the downsides for others.

Thanks for confirming there was a tailwind. That's the only way your numbers made sense to me. I had a trip last summer where I was basically on holiday and driving gently mostly on back roads (where hybrids do best outside of a city). Never driving over 65 mph in summer heat. Lots of short hills. Best full tank mpg ever of just under 60 mpg. But the real reason is that in that 701 mile tank was an amazing 500 miles of tailwind! All south winds at worst quartering winds while driving north. I check wind often while driving if it looks like I'm getting unexpected efficiency for the conditions good or bad. Dark Sky is the IOS app I like to use for that and it has hour to hour predictions of wind direction and strength.
 

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I think I remember reading in the manual (or elsewhere) that the Niro is electronically limited to 105mph. So people on the Autobahn will be disappointed :D but it's fine for North America where we really shouldn't go faster than that in any car.


I have taken my Niro up to 90 plenty of times, and I agree that it seems to perform just fine at that speed, it doesn't feel unsafe or uncomfortable, and still has plenty of zip even at that speed.
 

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Mine downshifts big time going up a little hill with cruise on and in Eco mode at about 70 mph.
You'd think I just floored it.
 

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Mine downshifts big time going up a little hill with cruise on and in Eco mode at about 70 mph.
You'd think I just floored it.
I've noticed this too, it's one of my few gripes with the cruise control. Even more annoying it will fire up the ICE in EV mode (I have the PHEV) on a moderate incline at highway speeds. Combine that with the fact that the ICE is pretty buzzy at higher revs and it's a bit irritating.

I can drive the same highway at basically the same speed without causing the car to downshift (HEV mode) or turn to the ICE (EV mode). It's clearly a matter of how the cruise is programmed and how much torque it requests in trying to maintain speed.
 

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And if you want an efficient car or not. Many find the Prius type hybrids even more annoying. More sound proofing would not impact efficiency much though.
 

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And if you want an efficient car or not.
That's the point actually. Given that pretty much everything else about the Niro is focused on extracting every ounce of efficiency it's odd that the cruise control switches on the ICE and downshifts so aggressively on moderate hills on the highway. It's kind of funny to be humming along silently in EV mode and suddenly have the ICE roar (well, buzz angrily to be more accurate) to life for no apparent reason.
 

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Hi,
I agree that cruise control causes the ICE or the gearbox to downshift when not required.
IMO, this is because it reacts too quickly, causing the "power needle" to jump, even when set at slow reactiveness. I understand it can't see the road and traffic like the driver does, anticipating it's response, but still I find it a bit too much on the on/off type.

And if you want an efficient car or not.
That's the point actually. Given that pretty much everything else about the Niro is focused on extracting every ounce of efficiency it's odd that the cruise control switches on the ICE and downshifts so aggressively on moderate hills on the highway. It's kind of funny to be humming along silently in EV mode and suddenly have the ICE roar (well, buzz angrily to be more accurate) to life for no apparent reason.
 
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