2019 Kia Niro PHEV availability?

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by briloop, Sep 8, 2018.

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  1. briloop

    briloop Member

    I am very much interested in this vehicle. Anyone know when it might be available to order/purchase in the U.S.?
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  3. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    I hope you live in a California climate or Kia/Hyundai pulls their head out their fannies and puts in an electric cabin heater in the 2019.
    briloop likes this.
  4. briloop

    briloop Member

    Thanks for the heads up. I did not know that if you need heat in the Niro PHEV, the gas engine starts.
  5. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    I saw one yesterday at the National Drive Electric Week meet. The new owner was disappointed after finding about the lack of an electric cabin heater.

    He's going to be really bummed when he finds out that his EV becomes a gas mobile in the fall, winter, and spring here in the south Puget Sound area.

    Hyundai/Kia could have spent 500 bucks on an electric heater and folks would have had taken a hit in the EV range, but at least the vehicle would had some EV range all year round.

    I far as I know, Hyundai/Kia is the only manufacture that didn't include an electric cabin heater in their PHEVs.
    TSP4Life and briloop like this.
  6. briloop

    briloop Member

    Thank you for the info. This helps me make a better decision. I'm still considering it, but I might not buy a Niro PHEV after all.
    TSP4Life likes this.
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  8. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    I would sure look hard at the Honda Clarity if you are wanting a PHEV, especially if you can use up the federal tax credit.

    The other option is the Mitsubishi Outlander. There was one at the car show, and buyers seemed to be happy.
    TSP4Life likes this.
  9. Yanni

    Yanni Member

    We test drove one yesterday. I don't know that they're NOT selling them, but we are in Southern California. perhaps they're not widely available around the entire country. I've heard that for some PHEV's, the dealerships do not have trained mechanics all over the US yet and so they're not selling in some states.

    I will say that it was nice enough for a small SUV/tall car. A few things seemed odd. Driver seat was electric but front passenger was not, however the salesman said that the model we were driving "had all the bells and whistles" so it seemed kinda cheap to not have both front seats electronic. I don't think the glove box had a lock on it either...which is lame for an SUV (no locking trunk space!)...but I might have missed it. Maybe it's a new locking technology that I didn't see..

    The back seats folded 60/40 and went flat, even with the back area...so you could push in some furniture or large luggage.

    Because it's not really a Small SUV but more of a tall car, the space between the "ceiling" and the floor in the "way back" cargo area isn't very tall..you won't be carrying around any dressers...but you could fit a bookshelf!

    One thing that was unfortunate due to its small size is that the space behind the back seat was barely enough for a few bags of groceries. It wouldn't matter to us much (just 2 people in the family now) but if we still had our kids at home it would be impossible to cart 2 kids with school and/or sports gear without using the front passenger seat. Unless your kid plays water polo and only packs a speedo! But the small size may be the norm. This is the first time we've looked at small vehicles ( point of reference...we've had GMC Safari, Volvo XC90's) and so we have had a LOT of space for our kids, gear and friends over the years!).

    My main complaint about the vehicle is the same complaint I have about so many of the PHEV's available in USA right now...unless you're paying $50K or more, the battery is woefully undersized. I have dreams of having a larger battery in a PHEV because we have excess solar generation and want to plug in and use it ... but I don't like the Volt and so many of the other vehicles are either $$$ or super super small...or BOTH!
  10. Tom

    Tom New Member

    My two cents on recurring themes in this thread (I own a 2018 Niro LX PHEV)....

    1. This vehicle is an insanely good value and highly practical.

    2. Manual seats are a feature. Power seats not only add cost but they are heavy. The wiring harness, electric motor, and different seat apparatus add big chunks of unnecessary and economy draining weight. On the EPA website you'll see a one size fits all weight listed. My LX curb weight is a couple hundred pounds less than that number. Not all of that is seats obviously.

    3. I whole heartedly disagree with the 'no cabin heater' crowd. Apparently they don't live anywhere that gets severely cold. By that I mean places where it regularly gets to subzero F temps or where the average Jan daytime 'high' is in the teens. In that environment a heat pump is completely pointless as they just plain won't work. And resistance heaters have two big disadvantages. a) They typically can't produce enough heat to heat the cabin. b) The resistance cabin heater drains power like crazy. This differs dramatically with how an ICE heats the cabin. It's important to note that the gap on total energy used comparing EV vs non-EV narrows significantly due to the use of the waste heat from an ICE. Thus the total efficiency of an ICE actually goes up and BEV vehicle efficiency drops in cold weather. Yes the mileage on an ICE goes down so when just looking at kinetic energy created the ICE efficiency goes down, but the heat energy used reverses that. This is why the Chevy Volt has dominated EV sales in Canada over the years. The older version kicked the engine on for anything under 32 degree ambient temperature. This effect of waste heat is so large that the PHEV with ICE engaged is better for the environment than a pure BEV in that scenario. Yes that's right. Depends on your electricity source mix of course but also electricity produced then carried over a grid then charged to an EV then used can have 40% loss of electrical energy just simply lost because each of those steps has loss.

    4. The solution the Kia NIRO has is quite clever and superior to the Volt (the new 2019 Volt drops the temp cutoff substantially). How it operates is that if you are in BEV mode, the engine will turn on if you turn the heater on. However once the engine coolant is up to temperature, the engine shuts off and won't come on again until the coolant temp drops below a threshold where it's too cool to draw heat from the coolant loop. This means if you are in a temperate climate (not the one I just described) where let's say you are starting out with the outside temp at 25 degrees, then unless it's a long trip the engine should fire up just once, heat up, then shut back down and probably stay off for quite awhile. And in severe weather will act as described above where the engine probably stays on but it's so cold it still is superior to the BEV.

    5. My use case. It's 45 miles one way to work. I can't get all the way there on EV anyway. The volt (and maybe the Clarity) would get there on EV but I don't like either of them. It is not uncommon for me to be driving into a 20 mph north wind in sub-zero temps. In warm weather the PHEV runs on EV about half way to work then kicks into HEV. In winter I'll just reverse that. Drive in HEV the first half then kick it into BEV. The cabin will be quite warm by then and the engine coolant will be hot also. I can get the rest of the way to work without the ICE kicking on and the net net is about the same as when it's warm (with of course higher energy consumption overall due to the cold). If the ICE wants to kick in the last couple miles because the coolant is getting cold, I can always just hit the off button on the heat.
  11. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    I guess we will have agree to disagree. I own a Sonata Plugin and I totally regret owning it mainly due to the lack of an electric cabin heater.

    An electric cabin heater would have allowed me to run in EV mode all year around as our daily mileage is almost always less than 25 miles, with most of our driving under 5 miles. Since most of our driving is so short, often less than 5 miles, the gas engine never warms up and gulps loads of gas trying to do so, simply to supply cabin heat.

    An electric cabin heater would have allowed me to pre-heat the interior of the car with the household electricity for our short drives.

    Using the gas engine simply to supply heat is probably the most brain dead idea ever! For example, I go from more than 99 mpg in the summer, to around 41 miles per gallon in the winter with the traction battery supplying propulsion. If I run the car in hybrid mode, gas engine supplies propulsion, I get around 31 miles per gallon the winter.

    So in the winter, I have to buy a gallon of gas for every 50 miles simply to supply heat to the interior the vehicle. So I have to ask, what's the point in paying extra for a car that's just a summer EV? To me a PHEV should be an EV all year round with a gas back up for those days when you need to exceed the EV range.
    TSP4Life likes this.
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  13. steedwmax

    steedwmax New Member

    Using my Niro PHEV in low temperatures and short distances where the heater is of no use, I set the heater on "low". By doing so the engine never starts, problem solved.
  14. Olimpia

    Olimpia Member

    The availability of the Niro PHEV is much better (in the US at least) with the 2019 model versus 2018.

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