Sport mode does two things (well, at least two, there may be others). First, it lets you shift gears manually. Second it remaps the accelerator pedal to provide more aggressive response. When you first shift into S mode the transmission remains in whatever gear it was in before. If you shift up or down it will change accordingly subject to RPM limits for the requested gear.I noticed that when I shift down past Drive, it goes into "S" sport mode, on my 2017 Niro. What is sport mode?
Is there a low gear for when you are going down a big hill?
Yes, the Niro will start the ICE if the battery is full and regen is engaged. It shouldn't be something that happens often with the hybrid version, as the software usually doesn't allow the battery to reach 100%. But it's easy to do with the PHEV.jmurphev your explanation brings a question to mind. In the rare case when a long downhill allows the battery to recharge fully the Prius use to crank the ice without turning the fuel on to bleed a little charge out of the battery. Do you know if the Niro does this? I've never had an occasion for the Niro to get to 100% on the battery.
There is no alarm on my 2019 HEV Niro when I go down the hill and get a 100% battery charge. This is very frequent where I live, with roads going up and down the mountain for 1000m or more elevation difference (and 6-10% slopes). The car starts the ICE when the battery is full and you can feel the slight release on the regenerative load. Brakes start to heat up from there, but at a much lower rate than a conventional car. It is common to see some periodic battery drain from a full charge down a bit during the descent to go back to 100%.Sport mode does two things (well, at least two, there may be others). First, it lets you shift gears manually. Second it remaps the accelerator pedal to provide more aggressive response. When you first shift into S mode the transmission remains in whatever gear it was in before. If you shift up or down it will change accordingly subject to RPM limits for the requested gear.
Having said that downshifting to engine brake on a hill won't be very effective in the Niro. The low effective compression of the ICE in the Kia doesn't provide a lot in the way of braking torque. The best thing to do is just lightly press and hold the brake pedal. That way you're using regenerative braking to slow the car. There's no need to pump or occasionally release the brake pedal as it won't overheat or even use the friction brakes as long as you don't press hard enough to exceed the max regenerative force. You can watch the eco meter to get a feel for where you are in terms of regen vs. friction braking. Note if you are on a really long down slope you could in theory charge the battery to its maximum level. At that point the car will display an error message and you will only have the friction brakes to slow the car. This is sort of an edge case though and probably wouldn't happen in most circumstances.