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There's this guy I had kind of heard of but had never really watched any of his videos. He's a car industry manufacturing consultant; here's his Wikipedia page: Sandy Munro - Wikipedia

Though an older man himself, of late he's gained certain fame in the electric car circles because of his assessments of Tesla and its manufacturing techniques. Anyway, he has produced three amusing Niro videos:

I don't wear lipstick
Old people
Dog commute

He praises the general quality of the car's manufacture but disses a number of design choices, and sums it up: this is an excellent 1990's car.

Me, I'm laughing all the way to the bank.
 

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I had just watched a four of his videos this past week.
In Labor laws, his reviews might qualify as, " damning with faint praise". I don't know what KIA thought to expect from him. Who at KIA thought this would be a good idea? What's clear to me, neither did their homework about the other. His sole claim to fame; some pedantic knowledge in cutting corners and costs in manufacturing processes and for that he has an adoring Musk-ovite, MAGA, jingoistic following on YouTube. Apparently he feels this adoration has given him dispensation from the need to so much as glance at a monroney about a vehicle he knew little to nothing about and was to review publicly.
A cursory list of his curmudgeonly biases:
He decided that he doesn't like to say Niro, it should be pronounced NYro because a car shouldn't be named after a bad Roman emperor.
Opens the hood and scowlingly pontificates that this is what happens when you adapt an ICE car and make an EV out of it, a tiny frunk and neither is it a good ICE car or a good EV. 'What's the purpose of a hybrid, it's way too complicated to be of any good'.

Has a seat inside and declares it only has a regular radio and discovers that it doesn't have a power hatch now that's a real problem, "I don't see where the 47 thousand is".

When reversing it beeps to let you know that you, the driver, are in reverse.
Opens the rear hatch and whines about having to lift the hatch manually muttering something about 47 thousand.
The Tesla M3 has way more room. This is totally inadequate and what happens when you try to transform an ICE car into an EV, no one is happy.

His compadre, pleasant chap from Nebraska looks like he played middle linebacker in high school and is currently working on a triple chin due to tailgate parties when not reviewing. He did the last vid, the commute portion of the 'review' and included was whether a very, very large cooler and his golden retriever can fit in the car at the same time. As it happens, contradicting his boss, they both did fit, the cooler just, with room for mom and an apple pie to boot. The NYro 'is made for your more timid driver', as opposed to the Yukon he's driving now.

Oh, btw If you really want to puke on jingoistic hysteria, Munro just did another video, a rant chastising NHTSA and the US congress for daring to hold accountable his lord and 'Murica's savior Elon Musk for falsely claiming his cars can do what they really can't and a bunch of people got killed and hurt. Musk's exceptionalism is the only thing between us and the Chinese. Watch out for that yellow race, Sandy, oh and Sandy, you remember where were you on Jan 6th?
So much for my rant.
 

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I had just watched a four of his videos this past week.
In Labor laws, his reviews might qualify as, " damning with faint praise". I don't know what KIA thought to expect from him. Who at KIA thought this would be a good idea? What's clear to me, neither did their homework about the other. His sole claim to fame; some pedantic knowledge in cutting corners and costs in manufacturing processes and for that he has an adoring Musk-ovite, MAGA, jingoistic following on YouTube. Apparently he feels this adoration has given him dispensation from the need to so much as glance at a monroney about a vehicle he knew little to nothing about and was to review publicly.
A cursory list of his curmudgeonly biases:
He decided that he doesn't like to say Niro, it should be pronounced NYro because a car shouldn't be named after a bad Roman emperor.
Opens the hood and scowlingly pontificates that this is what happens when you adapt an ICE car and make an EV out of it, a tiny frunk and neither is it a good ICE car or a good EV. 'What's the purpose of a hybrid, it's way too complicated to be of any good'.

Has a seat inside and declares it only has a regular radio and discovers that it doesn't have a power hatch now that's a real problem, "I don't see where the 47 thousand is".

When reversing it beeps to let you know that you, the driver, are in reverse.
Opens the rear hatch and whines about having to lift the hatch manually muttering something about 47 thousand.
The Tesla M3 has way more room. This is totally inadequate and what happens when you try to transform an ICE car into an EV, no one is happy.

His compadre, pleasant chap from Nebraska looks like he played middle linebacker in high school and is currently working on a triple chin due to tailgate parties when not reviewing. He did the last vid, the commute portion of the 'review' and included was whether a very, very large cooler and his golden retriever can fit in the car at the same time. As it happens, contradicting his boss, they both did fit, the cooler just, with room for mom and an apple pie to boot. The NYro 'is made for your more timid driver', as opposed to the Yukon he's driving now.

Oh, btw If you really want to puke on jingoistic hysteria, Munro just did another video, a rant chastising NHTSA and the US congress for daring to hold accountable his lord and 'Murica's savior Elon Musk for falsely claiming his cars can do what they really can't and a bunch of people got killed and hurt. Musk's exceptionalism is the only thing between us and the Chinese. Watch out for that yellow race, Sandy, oh and Sandy, you remember where were you on Jan 6th?
So much for my rant.
Wow. Lot of anger in your life huh.
 

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I've been following Sandy and his videos for a while - He certainly has some good experience and a very neutral perspective in my opinion - As a mechanical engineer, I certainly agree with the issues he's raised. And he doesn't really seem tesla-biased in my opinion either - He likes efficiency and simplicity and those are two things Tesla does better than most. They also have a 10 year head start on everyone else... So there's that... I was also a little pissed when I first opened the hood and saw all that empty room and no frunk... But I liked the car enough to get one despite that.

My takeaway - It's a nice well-done EV conversion of an existing car and I'm proud to have one. Ground-up EVs will be even better in the future and it will be exciting to see what they are like. (I'm looking at you Ioniq 5 and EV6)
 

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I am not sure I totally agree with his assessment of it as conversion of existing car. The niro platform was always intended to be hybrid / phev / bev from the very start. Yes, that's a broad spectrum of models, but they started out with that goal in mind when designing it.
 

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I am not sure I totally agree with his assessment of it as conversion of existing car. The niro platform was always intended to be hybrid / phev / bev from the very start. Yes, that's a broad spectrum of models, but they started out with that goal in mind when designing it.
I thought the BEV came a year or two after the hybrid? Maybe they did intend for it to be a BEV also from the start - It just really stands out to me as not being designed well as a BEV for a couple of reasons:

-It's FWD - Aren't most 2WD BEVs RWD? Fwd makes it really hard to deal with the massive amount of torque.
-The battery really hangs down a lot from the belly of the car - It looks like they just bolted it on the outside of the bottom without regard to ground clearance. It's a good 3-4" lower than the bodywork.
-There's a huge amount of unused space under the hood - I guess that makes sense to keep this since the hybrids need it i'm sure... Trunk space is well used though!

It's just really hard to cater to an ICE car and a BEV car in the same platform like that. I'd argue the hybrid is pretty much an ICE vehicle.

I still think it's fantastic though.
 

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It's hard to say what decisions they made and why when it comes to the BEV battery placement. We would need an engineer to confirm that, but I doubt that will happen. I am going by the words from Kia themselves in early previews of the Niro platform, they discussed this aspect of the design back in 2016 during reveals of the initial hybrid. They discussed then designing it as all three types.
 

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Thinking about battery placement in common sense terms, it makes sense to keep that mass as low as possible in the platform, this will have a favorable effect on center of gravity.
 

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If it has a gas powered engine, it's still a conversion. I think Kia did a great job with it, but it's still a car that comes with a gas engine. The only other conversion that I think was done as well was the e-Golf. But to keep from compromising space they simply couldn't put a large enough battery in it. The longest range models were the last 2-3 years of manufacture, and it was still only around 130 miles.
 
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If it has a gas powered engine, it's still a conversion. I think Kia did a great job with it, but it's still a car that comes with a gas engine. The only other conversion that I think was done as well was the e-Golf. But to keep from compromising space they simply couldn't put a large enough battery in it. The longest range models were the last 2-3 years of manufacture, and it was still only around 130 miles.
I cross shopped pretty heavily with getting a Fiat 500E for just commuting.

Basically Fiat had Bosch make an electric drivetrain for the 500 and put it on Abarth suspension to help with the weight. It has rave reviews and seems pretty well done to me. Range is 80-100 miles typically which is fine for a pint sized commuter - and they are all over the place off-lease since they leased them for $49/month in california.
 

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I find the classification as "conversion" dubious at best. When Toyota developed the Prius from the ground up on it's own platform with that intention in mind, they get lauded for it. When Kia designs a ground up platform specifically for hybrid and EV use, they get accused of converting a gas platform and talked down for it.

When you say conversion, it would apply to something like a Sorento or Tucson hybrid, where they took the existing ICE vehicle and made it into a hybrid. That is converting an existing design to do something not originally intended.
The Niro was from the beginning intended to be a hybrid / PHEV and EV from the start.
 

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I find the classification as "conversion" dubious at best. When Toyota developed the Prius from the ground up on it's own platform with that intention in mind, they get lauded for it. When Kia designs a ground up platform specifically for hybrid and EV use, they get accused of converting a gas platform and talked down for it.

When you say conversion, it would apply to something like a Sorento or Tucson hybrid, where they took the existing ICE vehicle and made it into a hybrid. That is converting an existing design to do something not originally intended.
The Niro was from the beginning intended to be a hybrid / PHEV and EV from the start.
You're right - Conversion is a bit harsh. Combination is a better term.

I just feel like the EV is the ugly triplet that doesn't play nice with the other two - The odd one out. The other two platforms make sense and seem to "fit right" but the EV doesn't quite make sense.
 

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The obvious reality here is that the existing Niro platform is becoming dated, and there is a new model in the works. That too will still not be totally up to date, Kia is spending the majority of their time / money on the EV6 platform, however that serves a different market segment.

One aspect of this to take into account, when polling existing EV owners regarding their satisfaction with their vehicles, Tesla is number one in luxury EVs, however Kia with the BEV Niro is rated number one in owner satisfaction in the main stream category now. That says a lot about how owners feel about their EV.
 

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There's an amazing number of Bolt owners that simply want GM to fix their batteries. The vast majority do not want to give up their car. There's a real strong sense of satisfaction with the car.

In the three weeks I've had mine, I could go either way. Make me a decent buyback offer and it's theirs. Fix my battery (sooner, not later), I'm fine with it.
 
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He decided that he doesn't like to say Niro, it should be pronounced NYro because a car shouldn't be named after a bad Roman emperor.
That one made me laugh alot!
 
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Fix it later for a longer service life. Why sooner?
It's a 3 year lease, so the longer service life is meaningless to me personally. But more importantly is being able to stop using it the way it was designed to be used. It's a pain not being able to just pull it into the garage, plug it in, and let it charge during the programmed time periods. They don't recommend charging above 90% (not a big deal there), and to keep it above 70 miles of range (that does impact the way an EV can be used).
 

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My Niro Hybrid may only get 50-60MPG but let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

As well, let's not sing the praises of Aptera until they manage to ship something besides press releases and bullshit.
 

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My Niro Hybrid may only get 50-60MPG but let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

As well, let's not sing the praises of Aptera until they manage to ship something besides press releases and bullshit.
Hopefully they get at least one out the door end of this year! I'm rooting for them. They've got the engineering brains to do it.
 
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