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I just bought a 2017 Niro Ex hybrid and absolutely LOVE this car. My only wish is that it had a bit more ground clearance.
I'm not looking to off road over boulders, but I live in Vegas and there are a lot of dirt roads to the Colorado river that have large sized pot holes.
I'd heard you can increase ground clearance with bigger tires, but you'd have to sacrifice MPG? Is that so? Why is that so?
I like the est 600 miles per tank as well. Trying to find a balance.
Help!
 

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The problem with larger tires is mostly ensuring clearance within the wheel well, and when you turn the front wheels. And without lifting the entire body in some way, you're unlikely to get much of an improvement in ground clearance solely with larger tires. As to your MPG, a larger diameter tire would likely slightly increase your fuel economy, as it would effectively reduce your overall gear ratio and lower the engine RPM at a given speed. However, the larger tire also increases your frontal area, which increases drag, and at higher speeds that additional drag would negate any gains and potentially lower the overall MPG. And it would likely throw your speedometer reading off by a few MPH, depending on how much larger the tires are. Wider tires also have increased rolling resistance, which again might make a MPG hit. Finally, just raising the car itself would likely alter the aerodynamics and change the wind drag, again possibly reducing MPG. However, I wouldn't expect the MPG hit to be all that significant overall.

Most likely the simplest way to increase ground clearance would be some suspension mods to lift the body up 2-3 inches. This would have the least impact on your MPG, and wouldn't affect the speedometer. But such mods also end up increasing wear in the suspension parts, and might cause warranty issues for any suspension parts.
 

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I just bought a 2017 Niro Ex hybrid and absolutely LOVE this car. My only wish is that it had a bit more ground clearance.
I'm not looking to off road over boulders, but I live in Vegas and there are a lot of dirt roads to the Colorado river that have large sized pot holes.
I'd heard you can increase ground clearance with bigger tires, but you'd have to sacrifice MPG? Is that so? Why is that so?
I like the est 600 miles per tank as well. Trying to find a balance.
Help!
How to raise Ground Clearance on your Kia Niro. Tip 1 – Get Bigger Tires.
You can raise the ground clearance of your Kia Niro by upgrading tires to the bigger size. This will earn you extra 0,5-1 inch of clearance.
Ref. Kia Niro Ground Clearance ~
 

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I agree with Dan. Larger tires on the rear might work, but on the front there is going to be issues with the tires hitting the inner panels when turning to lock position.
 

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I don't think an extra 0.5-1 inch of clearance is worth the bother and expense.
 

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The Niro came with 16's or 18's on the higher end versions . Our car had the larger size and I Switched to the 16's .Any difference in ride height seems negligible. The smaller tires offer a smoother ride and gas mileage is noticeably better.
 

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I don't think an extra 0.5-1 inch of clearance is worth the bother and expense.
Agree, but the poster was asking for any help whatsoever, and as you shall see some people are not bothered and will pay the expense. Each to his own.
 

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The Niro came with 16's or 18's on the higher end versions . Our car had the larger size and I Switched to the 16's .Any difference in ride height seems negligible. The smaller tires offer a smoother ride and gas mileage is noticeably better.
Different size rims, but the tire outside diameter is the same. The fuel economy savings with the smaller rims is less rotating weight. And as you mentioned the smaller rims have tires with more rubber on the side walls which are more compliant and gives a smoother ride.
 

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Keep in mind that even if you raise the body by taller springs/spacers, your low points are the bottom suspension mounts which are not affected.
The only way to increase the height of the mounts is taller tires or wheels with all the impacts Dan described in post #2.
 

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Keep in mind that even if you raise the body by taller springs/spacers, your low points are the bottom suspension mounts which are not affected.
The only way to increase the height of the mounts is taller tires or wheels with all the impacts Dan described in post #2.
You are totally correct.
 

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Keep in mind that even if you raise the body by taller springs/spacers, your low points are the bottom suspension mounts which are not affected.
The only way to increase the height of the mounts is taller tires or wheels with all the impacts Dan described in post #2.

Raising the body ALLOWS the use of larger tires, so even though your point is valid, its only part of a package.


Also, angle of approach and departure are increased with a body lift, and sometimes that is more important than the overall ground clearance.
 

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Raising the body will allow more turbulence under the vehicle and a loss of mpg (slight)
Adding blocks will also change alignment angle - specifically camber (slight)
Not sure I understand the angle of approach and departure benefit for a Niro?
If I need more ground clearance, I would purchase the appropriate vehicle, rather than modify a Niro
 

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If I need more ground clearance, I would purchase the appropriate vehicle, rather than modify a Niro
I agree with you in general but I can easily imagine scenarios where the Niro would be perfect if only it were an inch higher. In that case a small lift might give someone the perfect vehicle. That's why the aftermarket exists. 😁
 

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Remember as you change tire size you will alter the speedometer calibration. Larger tire will get you further down the road for every revolution, resulting in the speedo underreading the speed.
 

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Remember as you change tire size you will alter the speedometer calibration. Larger tire will get you further down the road for every revolution, resulting in the speedo underreading the speed.
That is an excellent point as well and the difference will be in the wrong direction as you will be going faster than the speedo shows!
 

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Here is some interesting information related to the speedometer following a tire size change.
Would appreciate your comments as to its applicability for the Kia Niro.

1. Be sure to reprogram your OBDII system when changing tire size.
How to Reprogram a Computer When Changing Tire Size

2. If your car has a digital speedometer, it can be recalibrated for a different tire size.
 
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