Would you buy Niro EV again?

Discussion in 'Kia Niro' started by MaineEV, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. MaineEV

    MaineEV New Member


    I'm considering a Niro EV for my daily driver here in Maine. I've taken it for a test drive twice and was impressed by its power, drive, and looks. Kia makes good cars (I've had a couple), but I've been reading the thread about the faulty motors and am no longer sure that it's worth the risk. Seems like a lot of money to have serious problems.

    If you could turn back time, would you buy it again?

    Domenick likes this.
  2. CR EV

    CR EV Member

    I wouldn't hesitate at all...Consumer Reports does not show reliability problems in the Niro EV and rates them very highly in general. Similarly, Kia is highly rated as a company with reliable vehicles. The thing about forums is that only those with an itch, scratch. If you have a dealer near you, well, you've got a great warranty. Any product can have problems, but think your odds are way above average here.
    Domenick likes this.
  3. ITown

    ITown Member

    I've been driving mine for 5 months now, putting on a bit over 3500 miles on the odometer.

    Here's my list of pros and cons:
    - Car has so much space that you can comfortably fit adults in the front & back seats while at the same time storing several large bags in the back. There's also a false floor where you can stow things to discourage burglary.
    - Good range: I've only gone on two trips that required any charging away from home. On one, I charged at the destination. On the other, I utilized EV Go's fast-charger network.
    - Has a respectable fast-charging rate as long as you only go on road trips occasionally
    - Despite weighing nearly 2 tons, the car is extremely agile
    - Charge port in the front of the vehicle has been in my experience by far the most convenient placement of the port.
    - Range estimator is extremely reliable from my experience
    - The smart cruise control + lane follow assist system works quite well overall. It nearly eliminates the stress of driving in stop-and-go traffic. I turn it on whenever I'm on the freeway.

    - Electrify America overcharges people who drive the Niro EV.
    - I was never a fan of the exterior styling, and it hasn't grown on me. (I do prefer it to some other EV's though)
    - forward collision warning system has trouble detecting when someone is turning, and thinks I'm going to hit them even though I'm safely passing them
    - lane keep warning/assist is pretty much useless / dangerous. Fortunately, you can just turn it off.
    - when people sit in the passenger seats, the seat belts have a tendency to get twisted and rattle against the car after they exit the car.
    - when rapid-charging in cold environments, the charging will be slower than normal unless you've been driving for a couple hours first. fortunately, this has only impacted me on one occasion.

    Yes, I would absolutely go back and buy it again. The only thing I'd do differently is not give one of my wheels curb rash a week after buying the car. :(

    As for the noise you're reading about - I haven't experienced it. But even if a lot of the cars do experience it, keep in mind that this kind of issues used to be quite common with the Tesla Model S. But unlike Tesla, Kia offers a 10 year / 100k mile warranty on the drive train, so it's hard to imagine this issue costing you.
  4. TandM

    TandM Active Member

    Absolutely. I wouldn't even think about it twice before buying a second one. We drove 425+ miles to buy ours having never taken a test drive nor even having seen one in person (and buying one again would still mean taking another 425+ mile drive and I wouldn't hesitate).

    And the thread about the motors, the fault is a noise. I have put 11,000+ miles on after first hearing the noise, I still have no concerns. Kia has been proactive with any issues (there was a TSB when it was needed for a water pump) so I have faith that if they ever think the noise is a real issue, they will let us know.
    jeff_h likes this.
  5. The only thing I would have done differently - bought the Niro EV sooner.
    After one test drive, I was hooked.
    Arranging purchase and delivery from a dealer almost 300 miles away was a little stressful, but worthwhile.

    I was concerned about the possibility of the motor noise as well.
    I drove the first 1000 miles without using the audio system, learning what noises are normal.
    jeff_h likes this.
  6. niro525

    niro525 Member

    Yes. It's a good reliable product for me.
    jeff_h likes this.
  7. MaineEV

    MaineEV New Member

    Thank you all very much. Great information and now I'm much closer to getting one. What type of range have people been getting in the Winter on the highway? I'll be doing a 60 mile (round trip) commute four times per week. Just want to make sure that range won't be a problem.
    jeff_h likes this.
  8. Robert Lewis

    Robert Lewis Member

    I live in Los Angeles County, so pretty mild climate. I get anywhere from about 315 mixed use miles (highway/street) in the summer to about 280 mixed use miles in the winter per charge.

    I have had the Niro EV for about 8.5 months, and am averaging 4.6 mi/Kwh all up over a total of about 7500 miles.

    In answer to your earlier question, I'd definitely buy it again. It's my third, and so far hands down best, electric car.
    jeff_h likes this.
  9. BlueKonaEV

    BlueKonaEV Well-Known Member

    While I don't have a Niro, I do have a Kona which technically is the same car as the Niro, just with a different body and interior. I love my Kona and if it wasn't for Electrify America, my next EV would also be a Hyundai or Kia EV. For 8.5 months and 24k miles, I averaged 4.8 mi/kwh and often get up to 340 mile range in mixed driving. I even once drove 358.8 miles with 29 miles remaining range and 6.0 mi/kwh while taking it easy on the highway at 55 mph and keeping ac off in hot weather. However, I feel that if you don't own a Tesla, you are at the mercy of companies like EA who will waste no opportunity to screw brands who are not under the Volkswagen umbrella. Unless something major changes, my next EV will be a Tesla so that I won't be at the mercy of price gougers like EA.. Tesla has their Supercharging network to sell cars and not for profit or to screw competitiors.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
  10. niro525

    niro525 Member

    Range will vary based on user driving style, temp, weather, road conditions, etc. Here are some of my numbers from memory.

    Winter: 90% charge. 200-213 miles. Temp 35 - 50F. Efficiency avg 3.5mi/kWh.
    Summer: 100% charge. 299 miles. Temp 60-70sF. 80% charge 240ish. Efficiency avg 3.5mi/kWh.

    70 mile round trip at 70mph takes the car from 80% to 40%.
  11. TandM

    TandM Active Member

    Are you wanting to make all 4 commutes on one charge? If so, you may be tight depending on your driving style, how cold your winter is, any other adverse driving conditions, etc.

    Ohio weather which has been a milder winter with just a couple single digit overnights so my driving has frequently been in the 20 to 40 temperature bracket and I am solidly maintaining a 260 range in the cold. Summer I was frequently in the 300 range. We do have both winter packages on our Niro so that plays a big part in those numbers as well.
  12. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Might be some typo or error in there somewhere. 70 mile round trip (140 total) would put you at 350 miles range at 100% charge and almost 5.5 mi/kWh. Doesn't match up with your other numbers.

    I'm in southern California and have averaged ~4.1 miles/kWh over the past 8000 miles of about 70% highway (65-75 mph) driving. Slightly lower than the Chevy Bolt I used to commute the same route (~4.2 miles/kWh) or the Tesla Model 3 RWD (~4.7 miles/kWh in Summer only). We don't really get Winters here.

    Would I buy the car again? Probably not but my experience was soured by the whole ordeal of having the motor replaced and many weeks without the car. My gut feeling tells me that the motor woes will continue for more owners as they rack up the miles. I also learned that KIA and Hyundai are still manufacturing model year 2020 Niros/Konas with the original motor revision instead of switching production to the newer revision they used for repaired cars. Could mean they still have not found a permanent solution to the problem. I also drive two other EVs on occasion so some of the Niro's shortcomings and bugs are more glaring when I compare them.

    If you can deal with the risks of an unproven drivetrain and don't mind small issues associated with a rushed ICE conversion, then the Niro is definitely a bargain after tax credits given what it offers in features and range. Around here it's about $15K cheaper than a comparable Tesla SR+ Model 3. A Chevrolet Bolt can be had a little cheaper due to huge dealer discounts but it's a smaller, less comfortable, and less featured car.
  13. niro525

    niro525 Member

    My commute is 70 miles total, roughly 35 miles one way and back.
  14. MaineEV

    MaineEV New Member

    What exactly was wrong with your motor? Is Kia acknowledging that the problem exists beyond your vehicle?
  15. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    Just read this thread and associated links to other international forums. No, it wasn't just my vehicle, or even just the Niro. It's also been reported on Kona and most likely will show up on new Soul if it's using the same motor design. Neither KIA or Hyundai have acknowledged anything or issued an official TSB so we have no idea how many vehicles have already been repaired or may be affected in the future. All we can do is look at online forums but this is too small of a population (especially those with high mileage) to know the full extent of the problem.
  16. I would still buy, though had I known about the motor thing I would have paused...and probably bought anyway after learning more. Lots of people have no problems including some well over 10k miles.

    While there has been no recall, I bet the motor problem has been common enough that they have fixed this for the 2020. You could always wait a few more months. Some Canadian dealers have 2020 models on their pull downs, but no inventory or color options that I have seen yet.

    You can track US nationwide inventory at CarGurus. When it starts to decline the 2020s will be close behind. Still pretty healthy, so it might be a while, esp since I bet there will be little car buying for a couple of months.
  17. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    I have already explained that the 2020 models still come with the original motor that shipped with the 2019 Kona and Niro. This has been confirmed by actual owners who took photos of the label on the motor. The label also shows date when the motor was manufactured. The motor date of manufacture on the 2020 cars is more recent (December+) than my repaired motor (November) so for some reason they have decided not to switch production to the newer motor design. So if the "fix" was part of the new motor I received, then it will not be present on any of the 2020 cars delivered so far. Some 2019 motors didn't fail until 20,000 miles so we likely won't know for a long time if the 2020 cars still have the issue.

    If any recent buyers want to check their motor, you can get a photo of the label through a small opening in the wheel well on the passenger side of the car. Maybe other side on cars where the steering wheel is on the other side. Helps if you leave the wheels slightly turned. For reference, David T. posted his motor photo in this post.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  18. ITown

    ITown Member

    Was this an ICE conversion? My understanding was that from the beginning, the Niro was designed with the intent of having an EV power train as an option.
    Simon Kay likes this.
  19. wizziwig

    wizziwig Active Member

    It's not a purpose-built platform designed exclusively for EV. That means compromises will be made and bugs and limitations from the ICE version will exist. That was my only point. The design challenges on the Niro were probably even worse since it needs to accommodate 3 different drive trains (hybird, plug-in, and EV). It's a temporary stopgap solution. All manufacturers, including KIA, are developing custom EV platforms for their next wave of ground-up EVs.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  20. porky

    porky New Member

    I went with the Niro EV because it seemed like a cheap entry-point into the EV market. In the three weeks I've had it, I think it's a solid buy. I had browsed these forums, and others, before buying and I was aware of the motor issues. What I gathered was this affected a small portion of Konas and Niros. Moreover, if this problem does crop up in my vehicle, I am counting on Kia's 10 year EV component warranty to see me through.

    As to range. I have a 70 mile roundtrip commute with about 50 miles highway and 20 miles stop and go. I am conservative driver and so far the range-o-meter gives me the real life range, or better. A full charge shows about 270 miles in the dash. The winter in NJ this season has been sort of mild so I don't know if that's a factor. I don't have a L2 charger (yet). I leave home on a Monday on a full charge and get back home with about 200 miles. Charge it at home from 7pm to 7am using the factory L1 charger and end up with 250 miles on Tuesday morning. So, I am at roughly 150 miles at the end of my commute on Thursday. I work from home on Fridays and even if I had to get to work, I would be down to 130 miles at the end of Friday.

    Will I will buy it again? Heck yes.

Share This Page