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Discussion Starter #1
Possibly my fault, but I was in Sport mode and 6th gear when I hit a fairly steep incline. The Niro started struggling like crazy, so I tried jumping back into Drive. It kept struggling like it was not able to shift properly, and I could not get up to speed, so I pulled over at the first opportunity and shifted to Park. When I started going again, the amount of struggle to get up to speed was appropriate to the incline, but I am still concerned about the initial issue.
Only issue I have really had with the Niro so far. Anyone else experience anything like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Should note, though, that even with that struggle, I got about 55 mpg for that trip without having plugged in. Was at 60 mpg before that hill. So the car was doing pretty well otherwise.
 

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I've never climbed any serious hills but I would say that the Niro is not the most muscular vehicle when it comes to inclines. At highway speeds you definitely have to give it the beans on any decent slope to keep from slowing down. I wouldn't say it was struggling really, just that it needs some encouragement to keep up. The throttle is definitely mapped for economy and that makes the car reluctant to really lay down what power it has unless you are really insistent. :D

Sport mode mitigates that somewhat, but at the end of the day you've only got 139HP and 195 torques in a car with a 3200lb curb weight. That's not a recipe for an aggressive hill climber. >:)

Add the fact that on a long incline you could easily deplete the hybrid battery to the point where the electric motor shuts off and then you're left with just the 104HP and 109 torques from the ICE. That's pretty anemic really, especially if you're near the 4100lb max loaded weight. Given that the poor little motor has max torque at a lofty 4000RPM it's going to be thrashing pretty good in those conditions. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This was not just needing encouragement. It was losing speed and revving way too high. And when I stopped and started going again, it was better. I think it was a hiccup from me having manually shifted just slightly before. But you are right that the engine isn't really build for steep inclines, which is probably the biggest contributor. I do think you are right that electric had shut off, so I was just on ICE, which was a major factor I was not really considering.
 

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@drewesque do you use cruise control on these hills? I'm curious if you'd have the same drop in performance and loss of speed if using cruise control?

It might also be a good idea to switch to hybrid mode when your battery is at half and leave it there until the hills are done. I've gone up almost 5000ft in elevation from Asheville, NC to Mt. Pisgah and Mt. Mitchell and using cruise control and switching to hybrid at about half battery and I haven't experienced what you describe.
 

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I always try to save the battery if I know I will be going up long inclines at freeway speeds. (65-85 mph) Having the "extra" boost from the electric motors is a must if you want to keep pace. Others have reported that using Sport Mode let's the car "hold a gear". In your case, I would have manually downshifted a gear or two.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I don't recall whether I disabled cruise when the struggling started or had not yet enabled it, but I think that the sport mode holding a gear was the problem. I should have manually downshifted, but I thought kicking back to Drive would get it automatically shifting properly. Stopping and going again fixed it, which tells me it just did not want to properly shift on its own.
 

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I am with TheSilverFlash. I have yet to climb a hill where the Niro (HEV FE) couldn't keep up. I never use power drive. On highways I am typically on cruise control. I visited Franconia State Park and there is 0.5mi section of I-93 graded at 6% and I was accelerating.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Like I said, it may have been that I had been in sixth and it did not want to downshift, since I was able to stop, put it in park, and get going just fine again. I had also crested this hill from the other side on my way there, though. This is 5 miles of steep grade (up to 7%, according to ITD) on ID 55, and I was losing speed while firmly in the power portion of my charge/eco/power gauge. I pulled over at the first opportunity, parked a second, started going again, and had no further troubles.
 

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I live right beside the Niagara Escarpment so there are quite a few hills in our area. There is one section of road that goes up to RattleSnake Point were there is some major (almost switchback) turns going up the hill. This would be far more than 10% grade. https://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/6948055-section-of-appleby-line-most-treacherous-road-in-halton-say-milton-residents/


Needless to say, my HEV doen't have any problem with the climb. I know it's only a short stretch of road. But I have also driving around the Blue Mountain area in Collingwood without issue too with much longer stretches of road but then they are not quite as steep.
 

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It also depends on the speed you want to be at. I can climb my steep hill (12% grade) to my house at 25mph with no problem and stay on electric. A similar hill where the speed limit is 45 kicks the engine in and moves me to aggressive on the scale if I try to go up it at full speed.
 

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Yeah, I thought kicking back into Drive would let it downshift on its own. Guess it does not like to do that.
I've noticed that even in D with the cruise off it will tend to downshift sooner and hold a lower gear a lot longer than I would when climbing a hill. I have occasionally had to deliberately ease up on the accelerator quite a lot to get it to upshift.

It still sounds like you had a glitch of some sort but the ECU will definitely let the engine rev higher and longer than I would expect sometimes.
 
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