Niro PHEV LX first few weeks

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by Jodie, Feb 4, 2018.

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  1. Jodie

    Jodie New Member

    I picked up my Niro Phev LX a little over two weeks ago and I'm really enjoying it. I was looking around at various options on the market and my short list of cars were the Honda Clarity PHEV, Prius Prime, and the Niro PHEV. I actually liked the Honda allot, and the 46 mile EV range is pretty good for a sedan of that size. The killer for me was that it was a sedan, with a tiny pass through from the trunk to the interior. That just doesn't work for my active lifestyle. The Prius is hard to find in the area right now, and the cargo isn't quite as flexible as the Niro. I went to my nearest Kia dealer and test drove the Niro hybrid as they didn't have a PHEV in stock. I loved it, and the cargo flexibility was just what I was looking for. Downside. The dealer said they weren't brining any PHEV's in as they wouldn't sell. What? The manager quoted me a special order price over MSRP. I was a bit frustrated to say the least. Did some more research and found a dealer 60 miles away that had one in stock, and I setup a test drive. Bought it on the spot.

    I live in WI so I wasn't sure how the EV range would work out in the cold weather. It's been great. I have a 24 mile round trip commute and have made it everyday on EV with miles left when I got home. I think the trick that enables the range is that Kia uses the gas engine to perform the heat duties. It runs, seems like at idle, no tach in the LX. Warms up enough to bring the radiator up to temp, the car uses a traditional heat exchanger as far as I can tell to warm the cabin. While the engine runs it is also trickling charge to the battery. However the car is only using EV power for motion. There have been two days where the temperature dropped under 10 degrees F, and when that happens the digital dash displays a message saying the car is switching to Hybrid mode to heat / cool the car. It will still flip back to EV when it heats up the radiator. I'm guessing there is some kind of temp range preset in the programming that manages the "Hybrid" switching when it gets extremely hot or cold outside. The 6 speed DCT is smooth and much nicer than what I've experienced in a Prius. I can easily manage the acceleration to keep the gas engine from being called on for assistance.

    I have about 400 miles on it at this point and will do a more in depth write up after I get some more time with the car.
    Daniel Hall, JyChevyVolt and Domenick like this.
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  3. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I'm glad you're enjoying your new EV! :)

    Mr. Google says "The Kia Niro PHEV has been officially rated by the EPA at 26 miles of electric range combined and 46 MPG."

    Please do continue to give us reports, as this car is so new and/or rare that few people know anything about it.
  4. marshallwa

    marshallwa New Member

    I hate my Sonata plugin. With no electric PTC or heat pump my winter mileage around town drops from 99 mpg to between 30 to 40 depending on whether or not I'm in EV or HEV mode. Frankly, I don't see why Hyundai even makes a PHEV without a PTC or heat pump.
  5. Thanks for all that! That's amazing that you are getting all that range despite the temperature. Hopefully that bodes well for Kia/Hyundai's future electric product.
    Your dealership experience underlines what we've seen previously. Some dealerships just aren't coping well with plug-in cars while others have embraced them and are doing fine.

    Looking forward to more reports. :)
  6. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    What is a PTC?
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  8. JyChevyVolt

    JyChevyVolt Active Member

  9. NJClarity

    NJClarity Member

    The lack of a heat pump was one of the big reasons I stayed away from the Niro and went with the Clarity. There are a bunch of complaints on Kia’s page about sinking gas mileage in the summer.
    TSP4Life likes this.
  10. william5543

    william5543 New Member

    I had 2013 Volt and Currently have a 2016 Ford C-Max Energi. This has much better vision out and for someone my age much easier getting in and out of it. Downside, very little cargo capacity. With the C-Max Lease running out in a few months I’m reviewing possible replacements. The Kia Nero PHEV is a strong candidate and living in Michigan I found your WI comments very interesting. I have a dealer here in Michigan trying to locate one so I can take a test drive.

    BTW, we just picked up a Tesla Model 3 which is my wife’s car. We both love driving in EV mode. Same vision problems for me driving the Model 3. I’ve come to realize that CUV is what works for me and I can’t wait for the Tesla Model Y.

    Anyway, I hope you will post a further update soon on your experience with your Nero.
    Domenick likes this.
  11. Shelly

    Shelly New Member

    To @Jodie...How is your Niro PHEV treating you? I test drove one this past weekend. The dealership rolled out a demo with 2 miles left on EV. I just don't know what it is with them! Kept on thinking that i didn't get the best experience possible. My observations (other than not sure how long I stayed in EV mode):
    Loved the power seat. It was very comfortable.
    Handling was not terribly precise.
    Liked the interior layout, tech and safety features.
    TSP4Life likes this.
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