New 2019 Niro Plug In

Discussion in 'Hyundai/Kia/Genesis Hybrids and EVs' started by John321, May 7, 2019.

  1. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    Yesterday I bought a new 2019 Niro Plug In. What a nice car! Heated seats - driver only selectable heating/cooling- power adjustable seats etc. Car runs great, the double clutch 6 speed transmission is responsive and smooth. Got 58 mpg(Hybid mode-Hybrid battery wasn't charged by dealer) on the vehicle driving it home from the Dealer - 65 mile trip almost all expressway at 60 to 75 mph. I was worried about charging up the car, I should't have been. I used the Kia provided level 1 charger and plugged in to the garage outlet. This morning 100% charged - nothing to it.
    I traded in a 2008 Prius on it - I hated to let that car go- what an excellent reliable vehicle it had been to our family still averaging over 50 mpg. We had two cars one 15 years old and the Prius 11 years old and we needed to do something to upgrade our transportation with two vehicles this age even if both are in fine shape. At that age something could happen at any time even with great preventative maintenance.

    I am set in my ways but I have learned that buying a car on the internet without the hassle of a salesman is the only way to go. Many Dealers competing for your bushiness and 6 or 7 Dealer Inventories to pick from. This old dog learned a new trick.

    This is the first non Toyota I bought since 1979.

    Update- today I was able to go 36 miles on total electric from the first charge. The Kia driver evaluation shows my driving style as Economical 89% of the time Normal 10% of the time and 1% aggressive (probably merging on to I-75 at 3 pm where you put your life on the line). It looks like the 08 Prius we traded in trained me well on proper driving habits
     

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    #1 John321, May 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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  2. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Please stick around to give further evaluation as you own the vehicle longer. Comparison would be interesting too.....

    When I was growing up, 70's, 80's....as a kid, I think the reality was for a smaller, economical vehicle. your best choices were Datsun, Toyota, Honda, and Volkswagen.

    Today?
    I think quality is much more uniform between all manufacturers.
    I still end up buying Toyota's or Honda's but it's more of a probably invalid connection to the past.
    I was tempted this last time to look at Mazda's and the KIA Soul.

    I'd be interested as to how a multiple year ownership experience turns out with a KIA Niro.
     
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  3. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    +1 !!
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats! pics to it didn't happen!:p
     
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  5. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    Updated my post and included suggested picture of car. I will update as things go along. Thank you for your interest
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    can't wait to hear more details of your experience!(y)
     
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    How is the EV experience?
    I know that it is a more blended operation than the Prime on paper, with the ICE coming to assist being more likely, but how is it in practice?
    Does the transmission shift while in EV mode?
     
  8. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    The experience is a very smooth transfer of power. It appears to go through the 6 speed transmission. I will investigate this further. One interesting item Kia does is you can shift the transmission from D (drive) to the left gate - this puts you in sport mode S. Sport mode is more responsive and by moving the shifter up or down it lets you manually shift through the six gears. When you shift into sport mode a digital tach magically appears next to the speedometer. The double clutch allows them to do some interesting things with this vehicle. I expected a comparatively jerky transition compared to a cvt vehicle but this is not the case at all- it is very smooth and reponsive. I am interested in winter how this will work with the traction control etc on slippery roads.
     
  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The motor is sandwiched between the engine and transmission. IIRC, it drives the odd gears while the engine output goes through the even ones. In theory, the system could shift gears while in EV mode. I was wondering if it actually did.
     
  10. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    It is so smooth I can't tell. I will put it in sport mode tomorrow morning using EV mode and it should be more apparent

    Here is a quote from a reviewer of the Niro "the Niro has a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission which is active under both electric and gas power"

    The Electric Me - I had a similar bias on the Quality of different makers of vehicles. One thing that swayed me to entertain other makers than Toyota were the reviews of the Niro and the recent 2018 JD Power Automotive awards here is a link if you scroll down you will see the automakers rank.
    2018 quality Manufacturer Ratings and Awards | J.D. Power
    I will add I've never had a Toyota vehicle that I didn't like or had major problems with. Every Toyota vehicle I've owned has been a wonderful experience.
     
    #10 John321, May 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what made you choose it over prime?
     
  12. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    Trading in the Prius 08 for us meant we had 3 criteria for a new vehicle to replace it- 50 mpg or better - 25 mile or better EV range- excellent reliability ratings. I make a 25 mile round trip each day having EV meant the ability to control gas usage.
    Our choices that we narrowed it down to were Prius Prime #1 choice, Hyundi Inoqi #2 choice and Kia Niro #3 choice. In our area the Prius Primes were not readily available and neither where the Inoqi plug in models. Our area must have received a number of the Niro Plug In allocations. When we went on Edmonds new car buying site and listed our interest in buying a 2019 Niro Plug in we received a multitude of offers with Dealers bidding against each other. A Dealer in Atlanta even bid on our business. The Atlanta Dealer even supplied a quote to deliver the vehicle to our Central Kentucky residence for a fee of $395.

    We had driven a Niro Hybrid at a Dealership before and really liked it so we decided to go ahead and test drive the Niro Plug In. Once we actually test drove it its performance, comfort and features for the price point sold us. The wife and kids liked the fact it came with Apple and Android car play as well as Kia EVO services.It had features you don't normally find in Plug ins such as heated seats and steering wheel, dual climate control, a complete safety suite of features etc. It even has a setting that will only condition air coming out of the Driver side ducts to save energy. It also looks completely like a normal car and with the 6 speed dual clutch transmission drives like a traditional car. I wasn't interested in any of the other choices after we drove the Niro it was just the right car for our family. It seats 3 in the back very comfortably. With its voice recognition capability the wife and kids can hook up their i phone or Android phones wirelessly and command the car to change stations etc. This seems like a big deal to them but really means nothing to me- I have a flip phone with no internet access but these features make them happy.

    As a side note our old Toyota van is a 2005 so when I bought the 08 Prius I told my wife she could have the Prius she said no thanks and just kept driving the van and would only drive the Prius if she had to. Currently I am having trouble keeping the Niro plugged in, everyone has decided they want to drive it when they need a car. My wife informed me I can use the van while they are gone if I need a car. I will now probably have to install a Level 2 station just to keep it charged. There is no way I can plug it in now for 8 hours during the day I have to wait until everyone goes to bed at night. If I do the Level 2 I stand a chance of keeping it plugged in for the 2.5 hours it would take to fully charge it during the day so we get the maximum benefit. In our area we pay $.08 per kwh. It takes around 6.5 kwh to fully charge so that is about $.52 per 30 miles EV. I can do the wiring for the Level 2 charger so it would make sense for us.

    That is a long winded answer but I wanted to answer your question as best I could.
     
    #12 John321, May 7, 2019
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I was thinking with a 89% economical rating you may be avoiding the need to shift and the engine coming on to assist. So just driving more aggressive might be needed to notice any changes in the car's behavior.
     
  14. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    I put it in sport mode while in EV and noticed an immediate change in torque. My impression is it does uses the transmission in EV mode. There are no indicators on the car to confirm this.

    One difference I noticed in designs is the heating system. Yesterday was cool in the low 50's in the morning. Kia turns on the ICE and free spins it to raise the coolant temperature to supply heat. When the coolant is hot enough the ICE shuts off until it needs to raise the temp of the coolant again. Depending on which side of the fence your on this is good or bad- the bad is if you are an EV mode purist you are using gas when you are in EV mode - On the other side you aren't using the electrical strip heater to condition the air and your EV mode will last longer and the engine is warmed up and ready to rock and roll if you need it. Kia's have no electrical strip heaters nor does the Niro Plug In have a heat storage system Which again depending on which side of the fence your on is a good thing or a bad thing. Having replaced our Pruis 3 way valve when it stuck and then getting this systems pump replaced under warranty probably slants my opinion. So far the absence of the Heat Storage system doesn't seem to negatively affect the cars performance.
     
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  15. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Toyota hasn't used a Heat Storage system, the Thermos, since the gen 2 Prius. Like the fuel bladder, they've found other ways to have the benefits of those systems without the drawbacks.

    The Prime, and many BEVs, use a heat pump for HVAC, which is an efficient way to heat the cabin on electric. Since the Ioniq and Niro PHEV are blended ones, with the ICE coming on at lower speeds and loads than the Prime and other PHEVs designed to run full EV like a BEV, the heat pump was deemed an unnecessary expense.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    so there's no electric heat pump like the prime?

    edit: just saw the above post, thanks!
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    is the hatch as big as your 2008?
     
  18. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    My impression is the hatch is the same size. I haven't looked up actual cargo capacity but my impression is the rear cargo capacity is slightly smaller than our 08 Prius was. Both rear seats do fold flat like our 08 Prius did. My impression is the rear seats for passengers has more room than our 08 did (especially leg room) and possibly this is where the cargo space lost some room.
     
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  19. John321

    John321 Active Member

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    Installed a Level 2 charging station. Installed a Clipper Creek Model LCS-20 station. I hardwired it in. I am an electrician so unwiring it is no problem. Ran the circuit, installed the required breaker pulled the permits and got it inspected. The unit is UL listed.
    This unit makes quite a difference in the time required to charge the car. The level one charger took 7 to 9 hours. The new Level 2 Clipper Creek unit takes 2 to 2.5 hours. This should add utility to the vehicle. I am now able to keep it charged up during the day between trips. This will probably completely eliminate gas use for our family. Our old reliable Toyota van is setting unused. We will probably only use the van on our family camping adventures when we really carry the whole family and lots of cargo -bikes, coolers etc.and need a large vehicle with a hitch. The family really likes driving the Niro and that is what we got it for. I am pleasantly surprised that the wife chooses to drive the Niro as the vehicle of choice.
    I have been pleased that the Niro is reliably turning in 50 to 60 mpg in hybrid mode (depending on the route selection) when we have run out of charge. We can count on getting in excess of 30 miles on each charge. Of course this is ideal weather for the EV mode with mild temperature and the 30 miles we drive is stop and go city traffic. With the Level 2 charger I now expect both 30 mile round trips we make each day to be totally electric. We have a 5 to 6 hour turnaround time between trips where we can charge up. This thing has a large battery capacity and will take up to 7.9kw per charge if the battery is exhausted. I think total capacity is 8.7kw.
    I have ordered and received a spare tire kit that consist of a spare tire mounted on rim and jack lug wrench etc. I have also ordered a heavy duty tire plug repair kit. We will keep the spare in the the garage since we only make local trips and if needed someone can run it out to us. I will carry the jack, tools and tire plug repair kit in the car in case we need it. If we take an extended trip out of town we will carry the spare and tether it down in the luggage area. I am not a fan of the tire mobility kits and will not be using one.
    The investment in the Level 2 was warranted by our current electric prices vs gas. $.09 kwh x 8 kw = $.72 per 30 miles. Gas is $2.80 gal or for the Niro $1.40 for 30 miles. My instincts tell me as trouble in the Middle East continues and as Americans switch to SUV's and larger vehicles which demand more gas in the future gas will probably get much more expensive. It is nice to be done with gas as a daily necessity.
    We switched to electric mowers weed eaters and yard tools two years ago.
    There is a lot of discussion on the KIA website on how to charge the cars battery- should you let it cool down before charging, should you only use a Level 1 charger and on and on and on to infinity and never ending speculation and discussion. It seems the most reasonable approach is to trust the people who designed the car know more about it than you and just drive it and plug it in when you get near a charger - it is a plug in vehicle after all. This is the approach i will be taking with our car.
     
  20. NR427

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    I like mine so much that I got one for my wife too.:cool: 20181007_073302.jpg
     
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