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It is really easy to keep the ICE off in the PHEV. No cabin heat and keep the Eco gauge needle IN ECO. If you go into the power bar, the ICE will fire.
Only easy if the terrain is fairly flat. Add some hills and it's definitely more difficult. But yes, in the summer when heat wasn't needed I could go for days with little to no ICE use. And I had one tank of gas that the MPG was almost 350. I filled the tank at around 1400 miles, and it was still half full. I just wanted some fresh gas in the tank. :) Plus, I was going on a long freeway trip so I wanted to record the MPG before the trip hammered the MPG.
 

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I did find a minor annoyance that could easily be fixed with a software update. When you are on the Radio screen of the infotainment system, pressing the wheel switch up moves you up in the station presets. However, if you are on any other screen, a press up moves you down in the same list. Forces me to remember which station is stored where on the list. Like I said, it's a minor irritant, and easily fixed in software.
 

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I did find a minor annoyance that could easily be fixed with a software update. When you are on the Radio screen of the infotainment system, pressing the wheel switch up moves you up in the station presets. However, if you are on any other screen, a press up moves you down in the same list. Forces me to remember which station is stored where on the list. Like I said, it's a minor irritant, and easily fixed in software.
I find it really odd that they did that. Minor irratant, but why.
 

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That is a feature, not a bug. When in list view, the wheel switch follows the display which is oriented up and down (unlike standard tuning dial where stations are left to right). When the list is not displayed, going up on the switch changes to a higher frequency.

Interestingly, while I've had my car just under two years, I've never used the wheel switch. Instead when I start my car, I'm frustrated if the wrong station is on or the radio is off. No access to the touch screen while backing up, or even going forward until the safety warning leaves the screen or I hit "Confirm". I still keep hitting the radio button (just seem logical to bring up the touch screen), but it changes bands, not stations. In fact, I've never touched any of the switches on the left side of the wheel. Guess I should practice.
 

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Only easy if the terrain is fairly flat. Add some hills and it's definitely more difficult...
Yes you’re right, but it is possible to still go up those hills in EV mode as long as you keep the needle in the Eco band. Sure you may only be going 30mph instead of whatever the speed limit is, but it is possible. Now if you want to go up those hills at the speed limit then yeah you’re probably going to have to go into the power band and fire the ICE. I guess what I was getting at was @Mal wanted to keep the ICE off and force EV and take the acceleration penalty. He can do that by keeping the needle in Eco and taking that hill at 30mph (or whatever speed is possible) instead of 45+mph.
 

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I'm down to 10 mph for certain short city hills in my HEV - just to stop 15 seconds of ICE. Obviously can't do that with someone behind me, and only if I'm coasting after the crest or stopping. Silly really, wouldn't be able to measure mpg difference or long term engine life difference. But heck! I'm a hybrid driver now.
 

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I'm down to 10 mph for certain short city hills in my HEV - just to stop 15 seconds of ICE. Obviously can't do that with someone behind me, and only if I'm coasting after the crest or stopping. Silly really, wouldn't be able to measure mpg difference or long term engine life difference. But heck! I'm a hybrid driver now.
I find myself doing the same thing, with the same thoughts. I feel like I've failed if the ICE fires up with EV range remaining. It's a totally different mindset than with my TDI, that one I just drive it without really worrying about efficiency. Not sure why that is other than the visceral pleasure of keeping the ICE at bay. 😁
 

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It would not be a problem if that darn ICE would select the correct gear to go into when going up that hill, or more to point after the hill where it stays in the wrong gear racing the engine and using up fuel revving way to high for absolutely no reason at all. Sure you can swap into sport and force it to go down a gear, but I shouldn't have to.

Sadly, I could spend many pages on things that Kia could do a far better job with this Niro that could be fixed with some time to write the correct code for the car. But part of me knows it will just be spending a whole lot of time venting for zero gain as I also know they will never release any fixes for a car that is now 3 model years old.
 

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I have no issues with what gear my car chooses. In fact, I'm amazed how long it holds a high gear climbing hills, far longer than I would have with a manual shift cars. Yes, I have noticed no immediate downshift for a few seconds at times when cresting hills, but if you think about the reduced load for those few seconds, having higher revs is kind of trivial.

Nothing compared to some older cars whose algorithms really had issues! Never had an automatic car before, but I certainly remember reading about the issues. In any case, any shifting algorithm, no matter how efficient, will always trigger complaints by some drivers. CVT or similar transmissions cannot be faulted in a similar manner as they are always at their most efficient rev for needs. But they trigger a lot more hate than our car's transmissions!
 

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It is really easy to keep the ICE off in the PHEV. No cabin heat and keep the Eco gauge needle IN ECO. If you go into the power bar, the ICE will fire.
Yes, but wouldn't it be nice to use the 1 KW electrical heater for heat and defrost. How do you do that without ICE? Also, just where is max elect acceleration? It would be nice to be able to use it without having to watch and feather the accelerator in an attempt to get it.

They really did well making the car behave like a conventional car but the geek in me wants more.
 

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Yes, but wouldn't it be nice to use the 1 KW electrical heater for heat and defrost. How do you do that without ICE? Also, just where is max elect acceleration? It would be nice to be able to use it without having to watch and feather the accelerator in an attempt to get it.

They really did well making the car behave like a conventional car but the geek in me wants more.
Running a 1KW heater from the 8.9KWh traction battery would put a serious dent in the EV range and still do very little to warm the cabin. The problem is you want the PHEV to be more like an EV and that's not really feasible given the small battery. Even the dinky little 2011 Nissan Leaf had a 21KWh pack, more than double the size of the one in the PHEV Niro. I think Kia did a good job of giving the PHEV excellent EV range on a fairly small battery. Sure you give up on some edge cases like running the HVAC without the ICE, but like TheSilverFlash said, you can always just leave the heat off. That's what I do. Heck, I'll even crack the windows to avoid having to run the defog. It's kind of fun to see how much you can squeeze out of it.
 

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Turned 18 in 1973, first car with AC was 2001. Windows cracked to prevent or reverse fog is just what worked. Be glad you didn't own an old Beetle is really cold weather! That 2001 car wanted to run AC on defog, it was a simple fix to remove that interlock. Never missed it in 19 years owning that car, really appreciated the AC running up or down I-5 in the summertime.
 

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Turned 18 in 1973, first car with AC was 2001. Windows cracked to prevent or reverse fog is just what worked. Be glad you didn't own an old Beetle is really cold weather! That 2001 car wanted to run AC on defog, it was a simple fix to remove that interlock. Never missed it in 19 years owning that car, really appreciated the AC running up or down I-5 in the summertime.
I got a year on ya. :) Yep, virtually all cars had the little wing vent windows in the front doors to aid with clearing the windshield. I had cars with A/C far earlier than you, and glad to have it. Even though summers in Seattle usually aren't all that extreme, I appreciate it more to be able to keep the windows closed for a quieter and cleaner cabin. My wife had a '71 Super Beetle when we married, so I am well acquainted with VW HVAC. About 15 years ago I restored a '68 Beetle, and one thing I added was blowers under the rear seat to improve the air flow. Made a lot of noise when they were on high, but was a definite improvement in heating.
 

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My family (five kids) had two different VW vans when I was young. I don't specifically remember being cold in them, but I do remember I wasn't much bothered by cold weather as a kid. Flip flops in the snow even. But I have to imagine there was no way for the cabin in a VW van to get really warm in the winter. Probably more body heat generated by five kids and two adults in the car.
 

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The Niro PHEV has introduced us to the great driving experience of EV cars at least for the first 24 miles before the ICE kicks in.

In the next few weeks our Niro will have a Tesla 100d ( 300 mile EV range) parked next to it.
Buying the Niro via its dealership network was unpleasant. I'd rather go the dentist than buy another car at a Kia dealership.... the sales experience is dreadful. Tesla sales is by comparison wonderful and treats customers as honorable not entities to prey upon. The Tesla software upgrade is just plain smart to do it via the cloud.

Niro has much to learn...if you build a great car it sells itself so get rid of the sales staff and convert dealerships to service only and pass the savings onto customers.
Tesla dealer treat their customers like they are doing you a favor. I was looking at a low mile buy back and took an hour to finally get some one to talk to . He asked if I was buying from a 3rd party I said yes , He said I can't talk to you and I told him he just lost a customer I would never buy one of their half painted rusting cars.
 
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