Pre-Purchase Questions - Cruise Control, Headlamps

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by Toolworker, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. I'm deciding between a Leaf and a Niro EV EX Premium, and have some questions.

    Using the adaptive cruise control and lane keeping, will the car drive in stop-and-go freeway traffic essentially by itself, or does the driver need to steer and/or intervene? How well does it work?

    It looks like there is no high beam assist, correct?

    And I think there were LED headlights available in a Launch Package which is no longer around, correct? The website says it has projector headlamps. Is that just less efficient, or is one or the other brighter?
  2. davidtm

    davidtm Active Member

    I've only had my Niro about 2 weeks, so . . .

    Adaptive cruise does stop and go well, but I steer at low speed. The steering assist is helpful, but bears minding closely. I've noticed that the auto steer is less accurate when the lane is generously wide.

    The headlights are projector HIDs, not LED. I watched some YouTube videos just yesterday, and learned that HIDs are brighter, given current implementation of LEDs. Also, the IIHS highest safety rating required the HIDs due to glare of LEDs. I've found the headlights are we good. Yes, there is no high beam assist.

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    Toolworker likes this.
  3. Thanks, @davidtm!

    Reviews mention a one-pedal driving mode. Is that true? My salesman figured out how to increase the regen but not to the point that I could stop with the accelerator. That's the strongest point in favor of the Leaf, IMO.
  4. davidtm

    davidtm Active Member

    Although I rarely use it, you can hold the left paddle to bring the car to a complete stop with no subsequent creep each time. So, it's one pedal/ left hand, technically.

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  5. RDA

    RDA Member

    Also remember the Leaf uses a CHADeMO charging system, one of the last to do so. Kia and hyuandi have switched to CCS as have most others,excpet of course Tesla.
  6. Thanks, that's helpful. I have a Volt with a regen paddle which is totally redundant, but might get used to using this one. I'm guessing not though.
    I don't expect to ever need fast charging. The CHADeMO is intriguing for the possibility of vehicle-to-home, although AFAIK it's not really available yet if ever.

    The one charging thing that caught my eye is the dangly charge port cover. I could see coming to dislike that, and one reviewer said he'd cut it off if he owned the car. But that'd probably lead to water damage.
  7. TheHellYouSay

    TheHellYouSay Member

    The dangly covers are not that bad, however, there is lots of plastic everywhere on the Niro which makes it seem not that great, but I suppose a lot of that has to do with weight.

    I was looking at Leaf+ and Niro EV EX. The thing that made the case for me was the active battery management system on the Niro will hopefully help with battery life up in the Great White North...
  8. RDA

    RDA Member

    It took me all of two days to get used to the Regen paddle. You use it with auto hold.
    Super easy. Also the dangling charge cover is no big deal. Doesn't bother me at all either at home or on the road. And Kia has a better warranty by far. Also imho looks better. I have had my Kia launch edition for 6 mo this and love it
  9. That might work for me. Of course I've been using the brake pedal for full stop all my life, but this would just mean something to get used to.

    My Volt does auto hold automatically after braking to a stop. So does the Leaf under one pedal driving. Easier.
    Yes, warranty is on my list of pluses for the Kia, along with better handling and rear seat, and true stop-and-go ACC (Leaf makes you do something to restart from a stop).

    As for looks, I could see myself loving the Niro, but not the Leaf. Except for the one-pedal driving, and that's a big one. I can't imagine why every EV doesn't provide that - it's just software.

    I'll have to do another test drive and focus on the paddle for stopping. If I can get into that, it'd be the Kia for sure.
  10. Barry W Finger

    Barry W Finger New Member

    All though I own the Niro and am biased, I do hope you go that way as well. I looked hard at both but fit, finish, warranty, features, driving range, full Federal tax savings, and for sure looks made the Niro the hands down winner for me. So enjoy driving this vehicle every day!

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
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  11. RDA

    RDA Member

    I agree . The niro is a much better choice. Do I wish my niro came to a stop automatically, yes but Regen paddle with auto hold is just as easy. And I get way more miles than rated, close to 285+ around town. If you don't think you can get used to a Regen paddle maybe a BEV is not for you.
  12. TheHellYouSay

    TheHellYouSay Member

    Thank you, I read the owners manual and I didn't quite understand what Auto Hold was for, now I get it. I did have to go back and read the manual again because I thought it was like the hill holder on my old manual Subaru. I guess what confuses me about EVs is that they fake you out with the software as in the "creep" when you put it in gear, so I wasn't quite sure if the Auto Hold was software based or hardware based (i.e. calipers engaged?). To be honest, I am learning how to do things a lot differently, but the beauty is you don't have to do anything special if you don't want to, the brakes work just like a regular car, but the regen paddles are no doubt awesome. This car is not boring to drive at all...I personally love all the numbers/statistics.

    This is another reason that Auto Hold sort of freaked me out. For 44 years I have always kept my foot on the brake at a stop light. That's what they taught me to do, so I still do it.
  13. molund

    molund New Member

    Thanks @davidtm. I did not realize this feature existed until I read your response. It’s just like using the brake pedal with Auto-Hold enabled

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  14. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    If you're coming from another EV with true one-pedal driving, the Niro will be very disappointing. Having to pull and hold the left paddle to stop the car gets old very quickly and is not as precise since it's on on/off affair. On other cars I've driven, you had more control and smoothness since releasing the accelerator would modulate the amount of stopping power until complete stop very smoothly without ever touching brake pedal. You will end up just using the brake pedal. That brings up another of the Niro's weaknesses. The Niro uses what is referred to as "Blended Brakes". Essentially, you get pure regen braking when lightly pressing the brake pedal but eventually it switches over to friction brakes as you depress the pedal farther. That transition is not very smooth compared to other EVs. The car often lurches forward as the regen brakes disengage (below < 5mph) and it switches over to friction brakes. You can also hear this transition as a soft rubbing noise of the pads against the rotors.

    As to your question about the ACC. It will stop and go automatically but only if the stop is for a couple seconds. For a longer stops, you will need to manually push the accelerator pedal to get the car moving again.

    Also, be aware that there is a motor/transmission defect that is affecting some of these cars. I started a thread about it on this forum and linked to similar owner threads on other international Niro forums. At this point it's unclear how many cars are affected and if there is any permanent solution. Until that issue is resolved, I would not recommend the car.
    Toolworker likes this.
  15. Thanks, wizziwig. This is very helpful and informative. It looks like you and I are both detail people, and are bugged by problems large and small, especially when they could have been engineered better.
    The manual says (p. 63-64) "Smart cruise control will automatically cancel in the following situations: ... When the vehicle is stopped for over 5 minutes ... The vehicle stops and goes repeatedly for a long period of time." What I'm hearing from you is that this is wrong - the stop only needs to be a couple of seconds. Can anyone else provide more experience with this?
    For the past 6 years I have been driving what is essentially a BEV - the Chevrolet Volt. Yes, it has an engine, but mine rarely turned on.

    I first had a 2012 plug-in Prius, realized my mistake, and switched to a 2014 Volt, which I liked despite a number of irritating flaws, almost all of which were fixed in the Gen 2 version.

    So I bought a 2016 Volt, which I love. I get 65 miles or so of pure electric driving on a charge, and at one time went about 20 months without needing to turn on the gas engine. Unfortunately the car has to be replaced, and GM stopped making the Volt. So here I am.
  16. laughingwell

    laughingwell New Member

    The Niro EV has an interesting "Smart Regeneration" braking system that I really like. When driving in city traffic it pretty much reads my mind, so to speak, and automatically increases the level of regen based on the traffic in front of you. When the car comes close to a stop, I put my foot on the brake for a second to fully stop the car. It's not one-pedal-braking, but I use it all the time now.
    Toolworker likes this.
  17. davidtm

    davidtm Active Member

    Agreed! I love that function

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  18. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    That is definitely wrong. I have not measured the exact amount of seconds but it looks like it's 3 seconds according to this video of another KIA:

    Never driven the Volt but have spent a lot of time driving the Bolt. If they are anything alike, then you will probably not like the Niro as much. I strongly preferred the Bolt's true one-pedal mode and the smoothness of the drivetrain. The Niro feels very jerky by comparison with its regen transition implementation. The Achilles heel of the Bolt are the extremely small seats and slower DC fast charging speed. It's also missing all the radar assisted features like adaptive cruise and it's a much smaller car in terms of practical/useful dimensions because much of it's volume is wasted vertically instead of width/length.
    Toolworker likes this.
  19. Robert Lewis

    Robert Lewis Member

    A couple of comments - I think the manual is probably correct on the ACC, it just might be semantics. When stopped for more than three seconds, the ACC remains active, but to get the car moving again you have to touch the accelerator. I think the manual is saying that if you are stopped for more than five minutes, then ACC function is cancelled and you will have to either resume or re-set using the steering wheel buttons.

    Second comment - I also have a 2016 Volt. I really enjoy it, and also get about 65 electric miles to a charge. It was my full-time car until I bought the Niro EV in June, now it's my wife's daily driver. There is a difference between the two vehicles in how they handle regen, but I have found the Niro (after an initial adjustment period) to be preferable. In the Volt, you cannot stop using just regen, or even using the regen paddle - you can only get down to about 2-3 mph. In the Niro, it is possible to completely stop and hold using the paddle. I also like the varying levels of regen available in the Niro. In the Volt, you either had to remember to drive in L all of the time to get higher regen, or D for regular. There was no 'official' or standard way to control the amount of regen other than the regen paddle - which simply applied max regen with no gradations in between. The Niro has an 'automatic' mode with slows the car significantly automatically based on traffic conditions, then can completely stop using the regen paddle. Having never driven a Bolt, I don't know the difference between that and the Niro, but I can say that I do definitely prefer the Niro over the Volt (although I do still really like my Volt too!).
    Toolworker likes this.
  20. Thanks for all the comments. Hugely helpful.

    I have definitely ruled out the Leaf because (a) I thought the SL Plus had front and rear parking warnings but it has neither, and (b) did you ever hear of a $44,000 car without telescoping steering column adjustment?

    What's stopping me from pulling the trigger on the Niro is mainly a very stiff steering wheel. All the salesmen say you can set the drive mode and the wheel becomes easier to turn, but none of them have ever made it so. Advice?

    I am also a little bothered by the small size of the outside mirrors, but I had to get a stick-on mirror for the Volt and got used to it. Also I see in the manual that there is a comprehensive blind-spot collision warning system. Does that work well? It looks really useful.

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