Featured Kia Niro versus Prius

Discussion in 'Hyundai/Kia/Genesis Hybrids and EVs' started by horent135, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. horent135

    horent135 Junior Member

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    Let me know what you guys think!
    I think this is a real Prius competitor. I checked out the Niro at my local mall and at the auto show, I love the interior, options, and a crossover! The exterior doesn't look too bad, but it their first year gen, so it will improve in the future. It is reasonable price from 25k-30k, but nothing official yet. The only bad is that the battery is only 7-8 years warranty, but again not official yet..
    If they make a plug-in, I could consider trading my PiP
     
  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Living in the USA, I look for 'available for sale' and the Niro is not listed in www.fueleconomy.gov. Without a set of metrics against a known standard, we're looking at 'opinions' that often spring from the creative minds of advertisers or those who make a living from advertisers. For example, in 'Dec 8, 2015', this 1015 post thread started: Hyundai IONIQ - Prius competitor? | PriusChat .

    This IONIQ thread describes a trio of cars whose EV version only showed up last week on the EPA web site. The 'hybrid' and 'plug-in' are still missing. So the vast majority of posts are from press releases, advertisers, and articles written by those paid by advertisers. Finally we're getting metrics that allow an objective view of the EV version: Hyundai IONIQ - Prius competitor? | Page 52 | PriusChat . Sad to say, some of the EV IONIQ numbers appear to violate ordinary physics.

    So if we're looking at another year long thread of press releases, advertisements, and articles written by those paid by advertisers . . . I may have something better to do.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  3. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    Horent135, Kia Niro may find some competition in the new C-HR Toyota, not the Prius.
     
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  4. horent135

    horent135 Junior Member

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    C-HR is not a hybrid, that is more competition with the Honda HR-V. Niro is a hybrid and a crossover.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think outside n/a.
     
  6. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    Correct, outside of the US, it's available with the Gen 4 powertrain.
     
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The battery warranty is going to be at least the 8yr/100k mile federal one on emission equipment. It will likely need the 10yr/150k mile CARB one to count a in Hyundai/Kia's ZEV fleet.

    The hybrid system is actually Hyundai's third generation one; the Sonata hybrid is using the second one now.

    IIRC, the Niro lacks an AWD option, which will hurt it some in the crossover segment.
     
  8. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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  9. Vike

    Vike Active Member

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    Found this interesting old thread while searching for Hyundai/Kia discussions, but since nobody seems to share my view of the matter, I wanted to (belatedly) chime in.

    I don't think the Niro is a "real Prius competitor," but that's not an entirely bad thing. Hyundai's direct assault is the Ioniq, the most Prius-like vehicle brought to the U.S. market to date, and there's plenty of discussion on that elsewhere. Kia's Niro strikes me as more of a "hit 'em where they ain't" play, giving up the low-slung high-tailed classic hybrid profile needed to maximize MPG in favor of putting H/K's P2 drivetrain tech into the currently popular "cute ute" format.

    I see the Niro as neatly splitting the difference between the Prius and the RAV4 Hybrid. In base trim it's cheaper than either, but it provides more space and utility than the Prius at the cost of slightly lower MPG, while it beats the RAV4 on fuel economy at the cost of giving up AWD. That's something of a sweet spot - now we'll just have to see how big that spot is.

    If it winds up being a hit, I do wonder if the Niro might finally motivate Toyota to bring the Auris (Scion/Corolla iM) hybrid to the U.S. market. I think it's the best match Toyota has for the Niro, especially if it's priced a bit below the Prius Liftback (there's not much room there before it starts to cannibalize Prius c sales, but the hybrid iM's lower MPG would make it less attractive for the sort of eco-maximalists that favor the Prius c).

    The hybrid I think the Niro just devastates is Ford's C-MAX. I don't think much justification remains for that tall hatchback without some big changes. The Niro reportedly drives pretty well (to the point that I'm not sure how much of an edge the C-MAX holds there), while beating C-MAX on fuel economy, utility, and price.

    It's admittedly some years since Ford's hybrid offerings first appeared, but I'd say H/K's multi-pronged assault on Toyota's hybrid dominance now looks a darn sight better than any other effort to date. The Ioniq/Niro pair bracket the Prius segment more effectively than any other hybrids we've seen, while the Sonata Hybrid has been refined over the years into what may well be the best overall hybrid mid-size sedan (considering value, fuel economy, cabin comfort, and utility - though I'll admit I have a strong bias for usable cargo space).
     
    #9 Vike, May 9, 2017
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
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  10. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    Can't agree when looking at the factual data:

    Consumption: Kia - Niro - Spritmonitor.de
    (5.4l/100km -> 43.5MPG)

    Gasoline consumption: Toyota - Prius - Spritmonitor.de
    (4.5l/100km -> 52.2MPG)

    Almost 20% more consumption, that is not a slight difference...

    Agree on cutting down from the RAV4, but the 2.5HSD combined power is 190hp ;)
     
  11. Vike

    Vike Active Member

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    If you want to say I should have said "somewhat" or "a bit" instead of "slightly", feel free to make the substitution, but if you insist on "a lot", I'm not buying. Everything depends on context, and the Niro's fuel consumption is quite good in the U.S. market. If we had another vehicle matching the Niro's space and utility while besting its fuel consumption, it would be different, but even the Prius v falls short in that regard, and it's essentially making the same space/utility vs. economy tradeoff.
     
  12. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    The C-HR hybrid would be the best comparison to the Niro, but for whatever reason, we don't get it.

    Also, I really doubt that an Auris Hybrid makes much sense here between the Prius Liftback and c, because there's not much room between the two products, and the US market seems to prefer a European midsize for compact offerings, which the Prius is. However, we do get a version of the Auris Hybrid positioned above the Prius, as the Lexus CT 200h.
     
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  13. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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  14. Vike

    Vike Active Member

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    I'm afraid you're right about the market segment logic. One must be wary of confusing U.S. buyer perceptions - I remember the awful time Ford had trying to sell the wildly euro-popular Mondeo in the U.S. (aka Contour/Mystique) as a "snug" intermediate next to the "upsize" compact 1st gen Focus. It was clearly the more refined and up-market choice but never really got past "Hell, this ain't no bigger than that new Escort-y thing."

    That said, I know for a fact that my wife would rather have an iM hybrid than a Prius, and I doubt she's alone. She values neither absolute max MPG nor Jetsonesque accoutrements inside or out, but appreciates good fuel economy, loves Toyotas, and has a spouse who won't let any vehicle without an electric motor into the garage (we both despise the Prius c - apologies to fans). The iM hybrid could be the "compact Camry hybrid" for buyers not interested in the whole rolling spaceship vibe. My theory (admittedly wishful thinking) was that market success for the Niro might make that market segment more apparent to Toyota decision makers. The Auris hybrid sells alongside the Prius quite nicely in Europe - and I think it makes a lot more sense for U.S. buyers than the cramped and buzzy Prius c, which for my money is really the niche vehicle in this picture.
     
  15. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    Although, there's a few things going on in the European market that spawned the Auris Hybrid.

    For starters, there's heavy import duties on cars from outside of the EU - 10%, apparently. So, this makes the Prius more expensive, making more room below it in the marketplace.

    Also, because of those import duties, Toyota elected to not bring the Aqua (which we in the US know as the Prius c) to Europe, instead hybridizing its platform-mate, the slightly smaller Yaris (which is built in France for EU consumption). That makes even more room between the Yaris Hybrid and the Prius.

    So, the Gen 3 Prius itself had a platform-mate in the form of the Auris, which is built in the UK. So, hybridize that, and you avoid import duties (for now, anyway, until Brexit has completed).

    Here, on the other hand, US import duties are rather low on foreign-produced cars, at only 2.5%, making the case for local production of a hybrid less compelling. The Corolla iM wouldn't be effective at avoiding those duties anyway, as it's still built in the UK. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if the Prius c gets replaced by a Yaris Hybrid - in the Japanese market, there was enough demand that Toyota felt they needed to release the Vitz (Japanese name for the Yaris) in a hybrid form, even though the market already had the Aqua.
     
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  16. Vike

    Vike Active Member

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    An illuminating discussion, thank you. And yes, given all that, it sounds like it might not be possible for a U.S. iM hybrid to be priced far enough below the Prius LB to make sense. Pity, for the reasons noted above.

    That would at least be the more honest move, and a really good one if it makes a lower price point achievable. IMHO, the c/Aqua is no more a "Prius" than a Patriot is a "Jeep" (whatever that even means after all the brand abuse inflicted by Chrysler and Fiat; say what you will about AMC, at least when they used Jeep AWD tech in Hornets, they didn't call 'em Jeeps - but I digress....). It would be a good thing for the Prius brand to ditch that buzzbox.
     
  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The Niro is selling well for a new hybrid, with over 2000 sold in its first month(it's listed in the Dashboard posts). It has come to the right market for it. The lack of AWD does hurt for the segment, but Kia is talking of offering it next year.

    The Prius c will likely become a Yaris, but it might keep the Prius name here. I don't have much hope in the v staying on with the Rav4h as competition. We only get two rows of seats here.

    The C-max was doomed before the Niro arrived. It is a hybrid conversion of an Euro Ford ICE, and was simply meant as a stop gap until Ford could get a dedicated hybrid together.
    43mpg is the combined EPA rating of the lowest rated Niro available here. It is also the average for 2016 models on Fuelly. That doesn't include the North America model, which is slightly more advanced than those sold else where. It's 46mpg average for the 2017 on Fuelly, which is mostly US users. Of the 22 listed there, 2 are the efficient FE, 7 the EX, and 8 the fuel hungry Touring.
    Kia Niro MPG - Actual MPG from 32 Kia Niro owners
    Compare Side-by-Side

     
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