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We are in the market for a 2018 and trying to decide between the regular hybrid and the PHEV. There are no PHEV models locally to view (but dealer says they can get one for me if I decide to go that route) so I have a few questions. When reading reviews on the vehicle I am getting mixed answers and cant verify for myself in person so hopefully you guys can help.

1) EV only miles. So it is supposed to go up to 26 miles in EV only mode when charged. My wife drives less than 15 miles per day on a typical day and we could charge each night for around 8cents per kwh which would mean we could potentially almost never use gas. However, some of the reviews I have read online indicate there is no way to keep it in EV only mode and every time you accelerate even a little bit it turns on the gas engine. If this is the case then the upgrade to the PHEV wouldn't make sense. Others have said that you can keep in in EV mode as long as you don't drive like crazy for the full battery charge. So which one is correct?

2) Heat and AC. Again I am reading mixed info on this. I think heat will require the engine to run no matter what correct? Or can it run heat while in EV mode? What about AC?

3) Cargo space. Is the cargo space reduced with the PHEV vs the regular hybrid?

Thanks in advance
 

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I own a 2019 PHEV Niro.
1. It will stay in EV mode if you don't super accelerate, but if you do need to punch the gas, you can switch back to EV mode once you have finished needing the extra oomph. We are not talking about a Tesla here, this is a small, low-powered vehicle. I wouldn't say "little bit", you really need to punch the accelerator, and there is a gauge you can see to minimize those moments that will switch you to the HEV.
2. The gas engine will go on when you need the heater but not for the a/c. I have the seat heaters and they get me through the coldest moments and I switch the heat on and off but it is a minor pain, I admit.
3. I can't speak to the cargo space but we specifically got the Niro over a lot of other of the sedan PHEVs because it does have a lot of space. You can put the seats down in the back and it works like a true cross-over.
Even with all of the caveats above, we love our PHEV Niro. My office is 7 miles away, so I can make the R/T and a lot more per day. Remember that even if you use up all the battery you still have a very fuel saving hybrid car in you hands. What we do if we are going on a long trip is just switch immediately to hybrid once on the highway or main length of the trip and save the full electric for the local driving - departing and arriving and whatnot. It also regenerates electricity of course.
I just went through a 9 month period and my mileage was 780 MPG because I predominantly used full electric. I am currently at 358 MPG because of one long trip out to the beach in September.
We also did a lease knowing that tech/specs/models are getting better every year. I am a big old guy, 6'4", 275 and the Niro PHEV was much bigger than the Leaf or Bolt and sits up off the ground more making entry and exits easier.
Get it and thanks for doing your part for the planet.
 
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