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The dealer that contacted me only had the FE version in at the time to test drive which has 16" wheels (hoping to test a touring soon since it has the larger wheels). The ride was pleasant. Took bumps well and seemed fairly quiet in the cabin. Did not take on highway but we did get to open it up and test the acceleration. Being a hybrid, it did not take off that fast from a stop but it did have the power it needed to get up to a good speed rather quickly. Unlike the Prius, it did not have a power mode (which I did like in the Prius and made a noticeable difference) but it did have a manual mode.

I noticed that when in manual mode and at the lower gears from 3 shifting down to 2 and then 1 as we were coming to a stop, there was a noticeable lag in breaking capability. It didn't seem to want to stop completely and "coasted" to a stop (a bit concerning). :eek: The only way it seemed to want to stop completely was to push the pedal hard to the ground. It did not do this when in normal mode. So not sure if this is because it was manual mode with the dual-clutch trans that gave it this affect or the regenerative breaking system or both. Has anyone experienced this that owns one or noticed on a test drive? This could be a deal killer for me. I won't be driving in the manual mode often but would like to know that the car will stop when it needs to.

Note that the US version does not have a completely flat back when rear seats down. They dropped the inside back lower (so more room top to bottom) and since the battery sits under the rear seats, there is about a 3-4 inch difference so whatever you put back there will be slanted towards back. Disappointed no accessory for auto-dim mirror but not a deal killer. The back window is narrow but not terrible if you keep the middle headrest down but keep in mind if you will have people back there often.

Handled as expected for this size/type of car and being a crossover hybrid. If looking for a sporty feel, look elsewhere (Volt put you in the seat upon acceleration) but I assume those looking at the Niro are looking for a hybrid that doesn't look like the new Prius and appreciate a higher seating position. This is a value vehicle for the $ with upgraded features. Unfortunately being a first year owner (not recommended) is not ideal. I have not seen many crash test results and the lights for most Kias are rated poor; this may be a Kia issue as it seems to span most of their vehicles.
 

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...Note that the US version does not have a completely flat back when rear seats down. They dropped the inside back lower (so more room top to bottom) and since the battery sits under the rear seats, there is about a 3-4 inch difference so whatever you put back there will be slanted towards back. Disappointed no accessory for auto-dim mirror but not a deal killer. The back window is narrow but not terrible if you keep the middle headrest down but keep in mind if you will have people back there often...
Just had a look at the LX version at my dealer a few days ago and there was no height level difference between the cargo floor and folded down rear seats. It was nearly flat from the back of the cargo area all the way to the front of the folded down rear seats.
 

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Just had a look at the LX version at my dealer a few days ago and there was no height level difference between the cargo floor and folded down rear seats. It was nearly flat from the back of the cargo area all the way to the front of the folded down rear seats.
Hmmmm, I will have to see if the Touring version is like that when it comes in; perhaps there is a difference between the trim levels. I wonder what would make that different other than what is under the cover back there. Maybe room for a spare?
 

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Hmmmm, I will have to see if the Touring version is like that when it comes in; perhaps there is a difference between the trim levels. I wonder what would make that different other than what is under the cover back there. Maybe room for a spare?
I think the FE doesn't have the "Hidden storage tray in cargo area". It's not shown on the specifications as an option for the FE on kiamedia dot com
 

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That makes sense. Thanks for the feedback. I would really like to know if anyone has experienced that breaking concern. I may re-post under a different title to get attention on it.
 

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The manual mode is the sport mode which allows a little bit more power. I haven't driven in sport mode at all so I haven't experienced what you're describing. But, I have experienced the downshifts when slowing down. I try to break slightly to regen and then apply the brakes a little harder when I actually have to stop. I haven't noticed a difference that the regen brakes on a chevy volt so it hasn't been an issue for me. I had one instance of hard braking a couple days ago and I didn't feel the braking power was lagging. Another thing is I have the touring and the tires are more grippy than the 16inch rim ones, that might play a difference.

I have noticed than when I do stop, if I accelerate immediately there's a lag, it goes away if I brake, and wait like half a second before I accelerate.
 

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I do think the braking issues are more of the regen system, etc. so probably normal. And since I've never had a hybrid/electric car, it will take some time getting used to. Thanks for the pic.

Hey, on a side note, I'm struggling between three colors! White, silver or that color you have (Metal Stream). I've never had white or silver car. My current car is closer to the MS color. It also hides that black plastic door guard which I don't care for so may help hide it better. But the white really looks nice too (although that black strip really stands out). Since this car is so new, there are not many to see yet in person. Kia does not have another car like Metal Stream to look at. There is one sort of close and I didn't like how depending on the light, it made it look greenish instead of gray. If I get a gray car, I want it to look gray, not another color.

I'm also up in the air about the light gray vs charcoal leather. I've never had leather seats (actually I much prefer they were not real leather like Toyota) but there is no choice when you get into a certain trim level it comes standard.
 
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