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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone,

My wife and I are looking to finally sell off our very faithful 2002 Honda CRV and go with something modern with all the bells and whistles. The new Niro will truly be like going from stoneage to the future! :D

The buying process (and I enjoy doing it actually) has been very frustrating. Lots of clueless salespeople...at least in our area (Chicagoland). We know more about the vehicles than they do most of the time! I even called one dealership to have them charge up the PHEV so we could try it in EV mode...they said sure no prob. Upon arrival, they brought it out and of course battery was low and hybrid mode was only available. Manager claimed that they never had a PHEV and so nobody was trained..they didn't even have a charging station! Eventually, we made them go charge it at a nearby station while we went to eat lunch.

So Kia has made the decision making process a little bit more difficult. We want either the 2018 EX with Premium Package...or the PHEV EX Premium Package. There are some unfortunate differences in both top trim models. Deep Cerulian Blue...our slam dunk color choice is not available in the PHEV...instead Gravity Blue (which we have to go see in person to decide). Also the PHEV Premium Package doesn't offer a power sunroof in the US! It's available on overseas models...what gives?

The tax incentive for PHEV isn't going to be around much longer so maybe we would take advantage as that would help alleviate some tax liabilities this year. We did get a good quote on a Deep Cerulian Blue Premium Package EX though that may offset the tax credits. We'll have to see how much the dealership wants to lower the price on the PHEV once we decide which color we want.

PHEV Niros are slowly trickling into the area, and we finally got to drive one. None of the salespeople knew anything about the companion mobile app that goes with the PHEV, so forget about a demo....maybe we just need to wait a bit?
 

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I have never relied on the salesperson to know anything about the car I am looking to purchase. Unfortunately, they aren't trained to know anything more than the 3 or 4 bullet points about each vehicle. Like for the Niro, it's "great gas mileage", "advanced technology" and "long warranty". That's about all you get from them. If you want to ask them about specifics like cold weather mpg, they look at you like you have 12 heads.

Do all your research, decide what price you will pay for the vehicle you want, and go tell the dealer that. If they say yes, buy it, if they don't, leave. you are in a great place since you don't need a vehicle this second. They will call you back within a few days and want to sell at the price you want.
 

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I think a demo of a hybrid (or uncharged PHEV) will give you a good feel for what it will actually be like. Acceleration is exactly the same between the two models, the slight stronger electric motor only compensates for the extra weight of the PHEV.

I've only had my hybrid for 23 hours and 80 miles, but only by looking at the display can you usually tell if you are running on electric or engine or both. I've found one fringe condition at about 20 miles an hour with a cold engine where it will hang in a low gear just a bit long while it is trying to warm the cabin or provide the acceleration I requested. Over 30 mph, I can't tell. Maybe after some more time. Point being just the hybrid demo will tell you what you need to know.

Go on the Apple or Android store. Kia has a UVO app for EV and PHEV (has a Soul picture on it) but I'd bet it is the same app for the Niro. Poke through that to get an idea of what you can do (or spend some quality time at the dealer reading the 800 page manual). Looks like it remotely shows lock status, and you can remotely charge or set the climate control, find charging stations, or call roadside assistance. It will require a UVO subscription of course and a car with a SIM for cell service.

Using Truecar will give you a better idea of the best price you can get without a huge hassle. If you don't want dealers calling you, sign up with a fake phone number. Use a disposable email address too, but you do want to get the emails. I got $3,100 off a MRSP of $26,020 on mine. I didn't even buy it from that dealer, but now that I knew a fair price (also after a runaround from that quoting dealer), I called a nearby dealer with the identical car (I found in their inventory) and came to an agreement within 10 minutes on the phone (admittedly I got lucky with a very experienced sales person). Picked it up the next day - it had only rolled off the truck a few hours before I had called - less that 18 hours on the lot when I picked it up. I knew from an out of state dealer I found on AutoTrader (400 miles away) that I could have gotten it for about $300 less if I had been a hard ass, but this was a fair price that I never would have been able to get without lots of hours in a dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think a demo of a hybrid (or uncharged PHEV) will give you a good feel for what it will actually be like. Acceleration is exactly the same between the two models, the slight stronger electric motor only compensates for the extra weight of the PHEV.

I've only had my hybrid for 23 hours and 80 miles, but only by looking at the display can you usually tell if you are running on electric or engine or both. I've found one fringe condition at about 20 miles an hour with a cold engine where it will hang in a low gear just a bit long while it is trying to warm the cabin or provide the acceleration I requested. Over 30 mph, I can't tell. Maybe after some more time. Point being just the hybrid demo will tell you what you need to know.

Go on the Apple or Android store. Kia has a UVO app for EV and PHEV (has a Soul picture on it) but I'd bet it is the same app for the Niro. Poke through that to get an idea of what you can do (or spend some quality time at the dealer reading the 800 page manual). Looks like it remotely shows lock status, and you can remotely charge or set the climate control, find charging stations, or call roadside assistance. It will require a UVO subscription of course and a car with a SIM for cell service.

Using Truecar will give you a better idea of the best price you can get without a huge hassle. If you don't want dealers calling you, sign up with a fake phone number. Use a disposable email address too, but you do want to get the emails. I got $3,100 off a MRSP of $26,020 on mine. I didn't even buy it from that dealer, but now that I knew a fair price (also after a runaround from that quoting dealer), I called a nearby dealer with the identical car (I found in their inventory) and came to an agreement within 10 minutes on the phone (admittedly I got lucky with a very experienced sales person). Picked it up the next day - it had only rolled off the truck a few hours before I had called - less that 18 hours on the lot when I picked it up. I knew from an out of state dealer I found on AutoTrader (400 miles away) that I could have gotten it for about $300 less if I had been a hard ass, but this was a fair price that I never would have been able to get without lots of hours in a dealership.
Good tips. I'll try Costco auto program, Truecar.com as a starting point for negotiations. One dealer had all kinds of addons for $1500...including ugly pin stripes. So 1990s.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have never relied on the salesperson to know anything about the car I am looking to purchase. Unfortunately, they aren't trained to know anything more than the 3 or 4 bullet points about each vehicle. Like for the Niro, it's "great gas mileage", "advanced technology" and "long warranty". That's about all you get from them. If you want to ask them about specifics like cold weather mpg, they look at you like you have 12 heads.

Do all your research, decide what price you will pay for the vehicle you want, and go tell the dealer that. If they say yes, buy it, if they don't, leave. you are in a great place since you don't need a vehicle this second. They will call you back within a few days and want to sell at the price you want.
I hear ya! That's why I'm on the forums and doing as much research as I can. Basically what you're telling me is that they are nothing but glorified cashiers. That's horrible...it's an easy way to differentiate yourself from your competitors by having a good TRAINING program. Ay...I guess that's asking for too much nowadays! Thankfully, there are resources.
 

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Once you get used to those bells and whistles you'll really appreciate them. The safety features especially.
 

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Good tips. I'll try Costco auto program, Truecar.com as a starting point for negotiations. One dealer had all kinds of addons for $1500...including ugly pin stripes. So 1990s.
I replied to you in another thread about climate preconditioning. You might want to consider another vehicle (apparently other Hyundais or Kias have preconditioning), or the less expensive Niro HEV in the color you really want. ;)

The odds are fair that you might get a better discount on the HEV plus the difference in price from the PHEV than the tax savings on the rarer PHEV. The hybrid also gets better mpg than the PHEV in hybrid mode (not charged). Try Truecar for both configurations. BTW, you can also shop a nearby area on Truecar if the Truecar dealers in your local radius do not have the car you want. If you get an offer email on a car you want, you can now use that documented price to negotiate with much more ease from non-Truecar dealers.

Here is a new PHEV review for you from Car and Driver:
https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2018-kia-niro-plug-in-hybrid-first-drive-review
 

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Sorry, that was a bit repetitive about Truecar. By the way, Truecar is simply a marketing firm. Some dealerships pay an annual amount, and others by actual sales. Some switch from one method to another, or take a year or two off. Truecar is supposed to offer a superior experience, so I called them last night to report bad tactics on the part of one dealer. They took names and said they are not supposed to add fees or equipment not in their quotes. I was most impressed with my original quote as it included and itemized document fees. So I thought there would be no run around, but there was. Too long of a story for here, but I spent thirty minutes telling Truecar about it. Ultimately, Truecar was a big benefit for me.

I've never heard anything good about Costco or Sams Club buying service. If you are willing to haggle, you will always do better than their prices I read online (Google is your friend here). I have Sams Club and I didn't even bother to ask at a store. Costco is the better member store, but I don't think you will gain in using them for help in buying a car at a fair to great price.

Maybe Consumers Report, but I think not. Take a look at this page, but they don't even list the PHEV or any trims past the Niro FE. Perhaps after you give up your email address. Just for fun, I looked up the average discount on the Niro and it was less than half of mine. But that was true on the initial Truecar page too. Average discount is likely to always be higher on such services than the discount offered after signing up (so you will think you got a really great deal - yup, I'm very cynical). CR used to charge a fee for their service, and perhaps they still do.
https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/car-prices-build-buy-service/index.htm
 
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