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Discussion Starter #1
Proud new owner of a 2018 Niro Plug-in. Have looked around and all of the hitches available for the Niro don't seem to apply to the plug-in version (checked uhaul, etrailer, etc.). In fact, etrailer seemed to update their Niro options after my inquiry to exclude the plug-in. The bottom rear of the plug-in and non-phev versions seem the same, so I wonder if they just haven't confirmed that their hitches will fit a PHEV yet.

Has anyone tried fitting a hitch to the plug-in Niro?
 

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My guess (only a guess) is that the extended usage of the elec motor in the PHEV is detrimental when towing.

Personally, I decided not to install a hitch on my HEV for this very reason. (All my trailers are heavy.) I bought a cheap, older pickup for my all of my hauling. Whether wise or not, I believe my Niro will last longer.

Also note, when I asked my dealer I was told that installing a hitch voids my factory warranty. Don't know if this is actually true, as my dealer said a LOT of things that are completely inaccurate.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There's a section in the manual on towing, so I don't see how they never intended people to tow. At any rate, I really just want it for bike rack purposes. Yes, I know there are other ways to put bikes on cars, but still.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update: I took a chance on the class II Curt hitch from etrailer. I had contacted Curt and they weren't able to tell me whether the hitch actually wouldn't fit the PHEV, or if they just hadn't confirmed it yet. Anyway, for the modest price of return postage it was worth a shot. Anyway, I can confirm that it will indeed NOT fit the PHEV. There is a little bit of frame reinforcement on the passenger side that keeps the hitch from fitting all the way onto the frame. Anyway, now we know and can wait for someone to make one for the PHEV.
 

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After my dealer told me that even though Kia doesn't offer a hitch for a bike rack we can certainly have a third party like UHaul install one on my Niro PHEV. I can confirm that UHaul will NOT install a hitch and I have found no one who will. Since I don't want a roof bike rack I am looking at the SuperBones3 rack to mount on the tailgate. I have seen some photos posted on other threads that make me think it will work.
 

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After my dealer told me that even though Kia doesn't offer a hitch for a bike rack we can certainly have a third party like UHaul install one on my Niro PHEV. I can confirm that UHaul will NOT install a hitch and I have found no one who will. Since I don't want a roof bike rack I am looking at the SuperBones3 rack to mount on the tailgate. I have seen some photos posted on other threads that make me think it will work.
Many years ago, before I got the hitch and hitch bike rack on my old Toyota Highlander, I had a Saris Bones rack on my old sedan. I can confirm, at least at that time, the Saris Bones bike racks were about the best non-hitch bike racks you could get.
 

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I'm thinking about doing some towing, something small like a motorcycle trailer. Has anyone had any luck coming up with a hitch?

I may try and find a custom installation or try modifying the curt hitch to make it work.
 

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2" Hitch for PHEV

Looking through the replies to kferguson's post, I think things have changed a little since others were kind enough to reply.


(1) Uhaul will custom make a 2" hitch for the first person to go to their AZ manufacturing facility and leave their car for 3 days. I'm from Rhode Island, and as much as I love driving my Niro, that's too far. After they figure out how to make the first one, they'll mass produce and sell the hitch to the rest of us.


(2) My dealer (in Massachusetts) will install non-KIA brand hitches for the labor cost (about $200).


(3) The Curt 13329 Class 3 Trailer Hitch is compatible with the Niro PHEV, but needs a slight modification. See Bruce's 5/21/18 comment on the amazon.com web page: https://www.amazon.com/Manufacturing-13329-Class-Trailer-Hitch/dp/B0725NM56D


Hope this helps.
 

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I just bought a 2018 Niro PHEV in Seattle. Manual said it should not tow but salesman said that it will take a class II (1.25" receiver) hitch and can pull 500 lbs. He said Uhaul will install. I hope Uhaul or our local Rack and Roll store ($$$) can install one. I guess we'll see if I have better luck than others here.

I have a Yakima trailer that is a bit less than 500 lbs fully loaded. It's not going to put much of a load on the car. I'd prefer a class III (2" receiver) hitch because it works better for bike racks, but would accept a class II hitch. I'll look into the Saris and Thule trunk racks too.

Robert
 

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There are some hitches made for the hybrid, but they have to fiddle with something to make it work for the PHEV. Something is different down there.
 

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I hauled 6 sheets of 1/4" 4' x 8' OSB 20 miles to my land over the past weekend. Mostly highway driving. 1 mile of off-road also.



I did not see any impact on MPG's or driving ability or really even knew that the trailer was attached. Oh, and it pulled through the deep sand with no effort at all.



Basically, I now know that there is a 4' x 8' blind spot behind the Niro.
 

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My Kia dealer just installed a CURT 13329 receiver hitch on my 2018 Kia Niro PHEV. This is a hitch that is made for the Niro, but requires a simple modification to fit the PHEV. The modification requires using an angle grinder, or some other cutting tool, to cut a small notch (1/2" X 2 1/2") in the right side (passenger) vertical flange. The notch allows for a fit around a channel that is peculiar to the PHEV. If you find the CURT website and plug in "Kia Niro" it matches with the CURT 13329 hitch. Scroll down the reviews for the hitch and you will find a discussion with pictures of fitting the hitch to the PHEV.

My dealer was initially reluctant to install the hitch.............because they had never before installed one on a PHEV. When I went back with the detailed instructions from the CURT website and the pictures from the reviews, they decided they could use my vehicle as their prototype. Modification of the hitch and installation time: 40 minutes. Charge: $58.

I will not be towing anything. Hitch will be used only for bike rack.
 

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Meant to post this when i did it a couple months ago. The PHEV modifications mentioned were posted in a review on Amazon. I did the same.

2018 PHEV has a metal reinforcing piece, probably to support the 12v battery in the trunk on the passenger side. Leaves less than 1/2 inch of clearance beyond the bolt hole:



I trimmed 3/8 of an inch off the end with an angle grinder, filed the corners, and sealed it with enamel:


You'll also have to trim the driver side panel, this is mentioned in the curt instructions. I trimmed less than the recommendation so it could still be attached:


Before doing it i was slightly concerned about the strength and integrity of the hitch. After installing i have no concerns. There's 2 side bolts and one bottom bolt on each side of the hitch. Even if all the bolts are loose and the hitch is weighted, then the force on the bolt we trimmed near is in the opposite direction since it's the farthest back.

-joe
 

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I made an appointment to have Rack and Roll store in Seattle install a Curt hitch with 2" receiver (much better for bike rack than 1.25"). They say they can do it but just need to trim a small piece. They are more expensive than Uhaul but I just have a better feeling about the store. I will post after the installation. One downside it that it will reduce ground clearance. Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #18
UPDATE: After reading some of the "mods" made by other purchasers, I'm happy to report that I gave it another go and was able to install the Curt class III hitch from etrailer.com. I used an angle grinder to cut the notch out of the passenger side of the hitch, and after that it went in fine. I also didn't trim the plastic piece on driver side as the instructions state; I just trimmed a little from the side and used some washers and nuts I had to re-install it over the hitch bolts. So, not exactly installed as Curt intended, but if you can roll with things a little and have the tools, then it's possible to get yourself a hitch on the PHEV Niro.
 

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I did some modifications to the muffler heat shield which the Curt hitch instructions say to remove when mounting the C13329 trailer hitch. Number 1 because I'd like to have the heat shield, but more importantly because it kinda looked like crap and "unfinished" from behind without the flat black head shield on there :p ..here's before -- progress and after pics.
 

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