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Discussion Starter #1
Although it is a great car the Kia Niro EV (e-Niro in Europe) is not perfect, like any car on the market. In this video I list the things I “hate” about my Niro EV, now that I have owned it for almost 2 years and over 36,000km of driving. Some things are Niro EV specific, but there are some things that apply to other EVs and even ICE vehicles. Watch to find out what I don’t like, and in case you did not know there are bloopers at the end of almost every video I make 🙂.

 

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Although it is a great car the Kia Niro EV (e-Niro in Europe) is not perfect, like any car on the market. In this video I list the things I “hate” about my Niro EV, now that I have owned it for almost 2 years and over 36,000km of driving. Some things are Niro EV specific, but there are some things that apply to other EVs and even ICE vehicles. Watch to find out what I don’t like, and in case you did not know there are bloopers at the end of almost every video I make 🙂.

I completely agree with you on the shiny black interior trim. There's even a little bit of it on the steering wheel of my '18 PHEV. Totally impossible to keep clean.
 

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I like your videos. Thank you for making them . They are informative and your sense of humor adds to the videos, I enjoy the bloopers.

I am a bit older than you and less tech savvy. I like the buttons and typically pay no attention at all to the the digital display. For us we have different generations driving this vehicle. My wife(12 years younger than myself) enjoys the touch screens, our children like the voice commands and of course Apple Car Play. My wife uses Android Auto as her phone is a Samsung and I have an old fashioned flip phone and no use for any smart phone car apps.

My point is KIA thoughtfully allows each generation to interact with the car in the way they are most comfortable with. I think this is a great approach that doesn't demand the customer interact with the car in a specific way.

I can appreciate how someone of a different generation would consider the buttons useless and a waste of space - my children feel that way and also and never touch the buttons.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I like your videos. Thank you for making them . They are informative and your sense of humor adds to the videos, I enjoy the bloopers.

I am a bit older than you and less tech savvy. I like the buttons and typically pay no attention at all to the the digital display. For us we have different generations driving this vehicle. My wife(12 years younger than myself) enjoys the touch screens, our children like the voice commands and of course Apple Car Play. My wife uses Android Auto as her phone is a Samsung and I have an old fashioned flip phone and no use for any smart phone car apps.

My point is KIA thoughtfully allows each generation to interact with the car in the way they are most comfortable with. I think this is a great approach that doesn't demand the customer interact with the car in a specific way.

I can appreciate how someone of a different generation would consider the buttons useless and a waste of space - my children feel that way and also and never touch the buttons.
Thank you very much. I just want to clarify that I am not against buttons, but having things duplicated and having over 70 buttons is a bit much for my taste. There are several things that are rarely interacted with that could have been placed in the menus of the screen. I just wish Kia would have made a compromise between button crazy and zero buttons; a nice midway would make me happy, but like you said, to each their own 😎. Once again, thank you for taking the time to watch my videos, I really do appreciate it.
 

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User interface is tricky. The balance between buttons with a specific function, and some form of menuing system really depends. It can be taken to a ridiculous extremen, owning a car that can only have the boot opened with a cell phone app is one.

Anyone who lived through the "single knob control', think BMW knows that is not the answer.

I see there is duplication of functions in some cases... good! Have you noticed that you can do things several ways using computers, menus and shortcut keys?

The biggest issue I have is the lack of persistent controls... my other 2 cars remember my settings, when I drive the Kia, I have to re-enable several things EVERY time I drive, every time the car is turned off...

Greg
 

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Designing a good UI is not hard, but manufacturers ignore UI design criteria. The touchpoints need to be consistent, just like a button, to enable muscle memory. Most used functions need to be immediately available with one to two touches, and seldom used ones buried. And of course, user options should be persistent. Personally, I find the entire touchscreen UI to be incredibly bad. Not even close to say a smartphone UI. Or better consumer facing screen UIs like ATMs - where buttons work even better than touch for such menus, and would in a car as well. I've yet to see a really well integrated grocery self-checkout, but even ones I have never seen before, I can sail though the process in seconds and with far less frustration than car UIs. Different animal of course, but why does it have to be so hard to something as simple as getting ambient outside air without HVAC processing?

To me, putting so many buttons on the steering wheel is not good UI. For example, I often press the wrong button on the right side when my steering wheel is not centered. So much easier to use (for example) cruise control functions on a spatially consistent stalk without having to look while making a turn or curve. After 3 years of ownership, I have yet to use any steering wheel left hand buttons. Volume up/down? 60 years of alternative attempts have proven the value of a volume knob. I'd have to look at the up/down buttons, but don't have to take my eyes off the road to use the volume knob. Apple recently (and relatively radically) placed one on their recent Bluetooth headphones to rave reviews. Most competing BT headphones have capacitive touch controls. I used one of those Apple headphones for a month and concur that the volume knob works really well.
 

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The biggest complaint I have about the Niro is that the HVAC system is too integrated with the infotainment system. On the EX trim with the 8" screen, the system is very, very slow to bootup. HVAC controls needs to ALWAYS be discreet and separate from infotainment systems because I have yet to see an acceptably fast infotainment system in a new car. I can see the argument that some buttons could be removed, but I don't mind the buttons. Some buttons, like those for the seat heaters/coolers and steering wheel heater should remain buttons. They need to be quickly accessible, without having to flip through menus to turn on or off.

One thing that EV-olution did not mention in his video: not being able to turn off the startup welcome or shutoff goodbye sounds. I find them annoying and unnecessary, though I am used to them now. Every other car I have owned recently you have been able to turn off that sound.

Also, I find it annoying I cannot set the default drive mode regeneration setting to 0 (coasting) for any drive modes. The minimum is 1. I prefer coasting. Why do manufacturers prevent their customers from having full configurability over their cars? There was zero cost in allowing for the 0 setting. Allow users to configure their car to their liking.
 

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Although it is a great car the Kia Niro EV (e-Niro in Europe) is not perfect, like any car on the market. In this video I list the things I “hate” about my Niro EV, now that I have owned it for almost 2 years and over 36,000km of driving. Some things are Niro EV specific, but there are some things that apply to other EVs and even ICE vehicles. Watch to find out what I don’t like, and in case you did not know there are bloopers at the end of almost every video I make 🙂.

add to the bitch list the tiny hard to find little button that releases the tailgate.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The button outside, or is there one inside?
The "handle" for the rear hatch is actually a button under the bottom edge. It is not well placed, the space gets filled with dirt and/or snow and ice, and sometimes the button is not fast to respond. I forgot to mention this one in the video.
 

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The "handle" for the rear hatch is actually a button under the bottom edge. It is not well placed, the space gets filled with dirt and/or snow and ice, and sometimes the button is not fast to respond. I forgot to mention this one in the video.
Yeah, when I first got mine I was looking all over for a button around the driver's area. No such button. Really seems like an oversight.

I can add one more thing. When you engage the cruise control, especially to resume a set speed, it won't actually take over the throttle until you release the accelerator. The problem with that is when you release the pedal, it feels like it. The car slows a bit, then picks back up. If you're going uphill, the speed loss is significant, especially if someone is behind you. They might think you're doing it on purpose. I've mostly taken to accelerating manually until I am just above the set speed, then slow release the pedal after I engage the CC. And I don't even try when going uphill. No other car I've ever owned has done this. Dodge, Ford, Chrysler, VW, Audi, Subaru, and more. I can hit resume on any of them and the CC will take the car and continue to accelerate before I release the pedal.
 

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Yeah, when I first got mine I was looking all over for a button around the driver's area. No such button. Really seems like an oversight.
It's related to the fact that the hatch never actually "pops". A button inside would have the same effect as pressing the button on the fob, basically none. Now, that brings us to the weird way the hatch works in the first place. I worry about the reliability of an electric latch with no mechanical backup.

I can add one more thing. When you engage the cruise control, especially to resume a set speed, it won't actually take over the throttle until you release the accelerator. The problem with that is when you release the pedal, it feels like it. The car slows a bit, then picks back up. If you're going uphill, the speed loss is significant, especially if someone is behind you. They might think you're doing it on purpose. I've mostly taken to accelerating manually until I am just above the set speed, then slow release the pedal after I engage the CC. And I don't even try when going uphill. No other car I've ever owned has done this. Dodge, Ford, Chrysler, VW, Audi, Subaru, and more. I can hit resume on any of them and the CC will take the car and continue to accelerate before I release the pedal.
Yeah this one gets me too. Like you every other car I've owned seemed to be able to combine the accelerator and CC inputs seamlessly. In my '97 Dodge Ram I can actually feel the CC solenoid take over when engaged at low throttle since it's a cable. The throttle pedal actually pulls away from my foot a bit. Kia's either / or system is very counterintuitive and often makes me think I forget to engage it.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, when I first got mine I was looking all over for a button around the driver's area. No such button. Really seems like an oversight.

I can add one more thing. When you engage the cruise control, especially to resume a set speed, it won't actually take over the throttle until you release the accelerator. The problem with that is when you release the pedal, it feels like it. The car slows a bit, then picks back up. If you're going uphill, the speed loss is significant, especially if someone is behind you. They might think you're doing it on purpose. I've mostly taken to accelerating manually until I am just above the set speed, then slow release the pedal after I engage the CC. And I don't even try when going uphill. No other car I've ever owned has done this. Dodge, Ford, Chrysler, VW, Audi, Subaru, and more. I can hit resume on any of them and the CC will take the car and continue to accelerate before I release the pedal.
Intersting as mine does not give the feeling you are describing regarding the cruise control. When I activate it it just does what it is supposed to do. I suppose there is a difference with the EV Niro in this respect.
 

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It's related to the fact that the hatch never actually "pops". A button inside would have the same effect as pressing the button on the fob, basically none. Now, that brings us to the weird way the hatch works in the first place. I worry about the reliability of an electric latch with no mechanical backup.



Yeah this one gets me too. Like you every other car I've owned seemed to be able to combine the accelerator and CC inputs seamlessly. In my '97 Dodge Ram I can actually feel the CC solenoid take over when engaged at low throttle since it's a cable. The throttle pedal actually pulls away from my foot a bit. Kia's either / or system is very counterintuitive and often makes me think I forget to engage it.
The absence of cable is exactly why you don't feel anything with the Niro. That has been the standard for many years as cars do not have accelerator cables anymore...electronic connection only
 

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Yeah, I suppose there could be a difference between the EV and PHEV. Although I would think that would be odd. A system like that I would have expected to carry over between all three versions of the Niro.
 

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The absence of cable is exactly why you don't feel anything with the Niro. That has been the standard for many years as cars do not have accelerator cables anymore...electronic connection only
Correct, I was merely pointing out that very old tech (throttle cable + vacuum solenoid) managed the fusion of CC and pedal input much better than the Niro. My other vehicles ('01 VW Golf, '05 Audi S4) both are drive-by-wire and they have much better CC response than the Niro. In either on I can easily engage cruise with my foot lightly on the pedal and the CC takes over seamlessly. Not so the Kia. It seems to assume that if you have any pedal input at all you are trying to override the CC.

Mine does something interesting related to resuming the CC. If I am in a moderate turn, say on a highway ramp, and I hit resume, the CC does not start to accelerate until the turn widens out. It's as if there is either a steering angle or lateral acceleration limit to the CC resume feature. This one I don't mind, seems reasonable. Just interesting.
 

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Although it is a great car the Kia Niro EV (e-Niro in Europe) is not perfect, like any car on the market. In this video I list the things I “hate” about my Niro EV, now that I have owned it for almost 2 years and over 36,000km of driving. Some things are Niro EV specific, but there are some things that apply to other EVs and even ICE vehicles. Watch to find out what I don’t like, and in case you did not know there are bloopers at the end of almost every video I make 🙂.

We have a 19 hev touring I don't like that shiny black plastic. I basically never use the radio knob , just use the steering wheel buttons, I've never had that feature before but really like it. I find the cruise easy to use with the buttons. I don't really use the touch screen when I'm driving much. I have a smart phone but don't really like it. I use it for waze and audio books etc. Before we bought this car we both had flip phones . I am a big believer in the digital speedo. I generally am not a fan of controls that are too easy to screw up unintentionally. I've changed the interior light settings and side mirror settings multiple times. Last week I was driving and bumped something with my left hand and the side mirrors folded in At the next light I reset them. Finally if we go shopping my wife goes in alone due to covid . If she doesn't have her keys she can't open the hatch. I don't have a button to push.
 

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Finally if we go shopping my wife goes in alone due to covid . If she doesn't have her keys she can't open the hatch. I don't have a button to push.
If you unlock the car with the button on the door, you can open the rear hatch without carrying the key. You still have to press the hidden button, but it will unlock with no fob on your person. If someone exits the car without turning the car off, only the door that was opened is unlocked and the rear hatch remains locked as well. You have to completely unlock the car to open the hatch without a fob.
 

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Mine does something interesting related to resuming the CC. If I am in a moderate turn, say on a highway ramp, and I hit resume, the CC does not start to accelerate until the turn widens out. It's as if there is either a steering angle or lateral acceleration limit to the CC resume feature. This one I don't mind, seems reasonable. Just interesting.
I've never noticed this. But it more likely for on a highway ramp to have CC on 40 mph and then increase that to 65 mph at the turn apex to get to highway speed. Zero hesitation.
 
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