2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid SUV Consumer Reviews

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The Right Vehicle for my needs.

Jerry, 12/28/2018
EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
27 of 27 people found this review helpful

Very pleased with the NIRO PHEV. Have been driving it for six months, with one long trip. The long trip was just over 2000 miles which was broken up to four 500 mile legs. Mileage for this legs where 49, 52, 50 and 53 in the hybrid mode. Granted I drove somewhat conservative staying at the posted speed limit, which was 70 most of the way on interstate five. The remaining miles, which is also about 2000 miles, was mostly in EV mode. Depending the amount of braking and traffic situations I generally was going between 26 and 32 miles in EV mode. Also found many public charging stations that do not charge a fee, both in my home town and at my trip destination. Even though the NIRO looks small it has amble head and leg rooms for even talls drivers or passengers. I choose the EX as suggested by Edmunds which is well appointed with safety features and other nice features.

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Compromise Can Be Good

Doug, 05/06/2019
EX 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
17 of 17 people found this review helpful

We are a two car family. We own a 100% EV (Nissan Leaf) and were looking to replace our 2008 CRV. It's important to us to reduce our carbon footprint, so we agreed that we would move to a "greener" car. However, we weren't ready to purchase another 100% EV due to range and charging infrastructure concerns. The Niro PHEV is a good, but not a perfect compromise. The size of the car is great for the city and it's hard to believe that the interior is so spacious, given it's outside dimensions. Back seat is particularly comfortable with nice support and generous legroom. Headroom is excellent, even for those with long torsos. Safety features are really good. We chose the EX trim and it really has everything you need. The EX trim (not the premium) has HID headlamps, which have longer range than the LED's on the premium trim (check out the insurance institute's safety ratings). Love the adjustable cruise control, though I understand that some other makes (Tesla??) will take you down to a full stop without disconnecting. Performance is OK. We thought that it would supply more of the EV Torque, which we so love about our Leaf. If you floor the pedal it shifts into ICE mode, makes a lot of noise, but really doesn't get up and go. In regular Hybrid mode there is little regeneration to the battery. I understand that shifting into sport mode will regenerate the battery, however the MPG goes down, so isn't this defeating the purpose? Don't have anything to say about reliability (only had the car for a couple of weeks) but Consumer reports and other publications give it high ratings. In another couple of years maybe the battery technology will be better and charging infrastructure improved so that we could go 100% EV on both vehicles. Until then we will live with the compromises. NOTE: we will be watching the competitors (Tesla Model Y and others) and continue to evaluate the options.

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Big Bucks for top of the line but I want it all!

Robert Brayley, 11/23/2018
EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
23 of 24 people found this review helpful

This car is not perfect in every way, no car is. But in 1999 (the last time I bought a new car), most of the features on this car were not available at any price. I live in South Central Texas where slippery roads and traction is never a challenge, so four wheel drive is not really an issue. Edmunds and other reviewers like to characterize a zero to sixty time of 9 to ten seconds as mediocre --- how stupid is that? I remind them that in 1953 & 1954 the zero to sixty time of a Corvette was ten and a half seconds, and the VW beetle that I drove for eight great years could do zero to sixty in about thirty seconds. Did anyone complain about that, or did they drive them by the millions? I have one complaint---- Kia puts a power tailgate hatch on nearly every model EXCEPT the KIA Niro. Surely their top of the line model EX Premium should have a power rear door? I think both the car and the warranty are better than most without costing more than most!

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Good MPG, lots of features, mid level quality

Cindy RR, 03/02/2019
EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
40 of 43 people found this review helpful

I have had my car for about 12 weeks now, over 3500 miles. I have the premium EX. It says top range to pay for this car is $35k but most dealers are asking over $37,000 & have very few in stock & sell immediately so they have the advantage & don't bargain. (but am in communist green obsessed California) I paid $1750 for a 10 yr 150000 extended warranty and $800 for tire, wheel, dent protection when I bought the two together so bargain with them. Wheel protection is HORRIBLE. I have spent 3 hours & still trying to get curb rash fixed on tire & they keep telling me to go back to the dealer!? 8 emails/calls now. I have dealt with local socal KIA district office who was extremely helpful!!! Exterior paint chips VERY easily- not good. Good back up camera. Turns music down while backing up. Can fold mirrors. I think it is important to know that I went from a Lexus CT200h hybrid sporty hatchback I had for 4 years. In general I like the way it drives, not a sports car but not an SUV. Handles ok on turns like going on & off looping freeway ramps. It is smaller than I thought & looks in pictures and fits nicely in my garage. It rides smooth & the car is pretty well sealed having nice quiet inside. Voice navigation sucks like all cars but can type in easily. Comes with really good tires, I drove 75 in pouring rain. More roomy inside than you would think. Tall people will have no issue. Passenger seat has no power controls. Has lots of features within reach. You can customize your screen to put the things you want to see. you can check mileage and battery level easily. The instrument panel has an advanced display or you can go to a more simple one, which I chose because I couldn't figure out how much gas was in the tank. Back seats fold down for tons of room!!! it has HEATED steering wheel & seats with 3 heat levels & cooling seats which are awesome. Has fogs lights for added lighting low to the ground. GAS mileage is averaging about 65 but a lot of my trips are local so I am on electric charge a lot. You only get 26 miles on a charge. On a trickle charge it takes 6 hours, on a 240 charges in 2 1/2 hours. It will use EV automatically. You can set the charging on a timer. I set mine to charge between midnight and 6 am. If you want to charge now, you have to go into the touch screen, select phev, & tell it to CHARGE NOW....like if you were at a charger out in public. downside is, you can't get the charger out of car if it isn't fully charged, you have to go back in the car, reset the charging setting to CHARGE ON SCHEDULE to extract the charger from your car. There is a button to switch to hybrid while driving. I do that when I am going up hills in Souther Cali. It is a DOG on hills, you have to take it out of electric. Nice feature is manual shifting/sport mode for really big hills and going down steep hills. When you drive with no electric you can expect about 45 mpg, less if heavy person load in car. PLUS; takes 87 octane. If you want to switch to a 240 volt charger to fit a plug in garage, you can do that for $200. Nice features are touch screen, you can customize your screen, you can customize all the safety features like side and front safety notifications, beeping when you go outside the lines, etc. All that stuff is easily changed through instrument panel and steering wheel controls. Like I had mine changed so that when you unlock your driver door, it unlocks all doors instead of having to press twice. Strangely, if you open your trunk, it does not unlock your car. There is no auto up and down hatch which I was surprised. The other thing I was shocked it did not have was any link to garage door opener. cruise control has a feature you can't turn off where it detects cars in front of you and slows the car down accordingly. You can adjust the distance it monitors but is very frustrating on long trips, I just end up turning it off so I can control how much distance I want between my car and car infront of me Nice feature is when you turn signal on, it will beep if someone is in your blind spot. The worst feature of the car is the android app. It takes over your phone and does not interface well. I don't even use it. My husband plugged in his apple and it worked great. There are two usb ports one in front and one in center console. I use the one in center console between seats because when you hook your cord up to the one in the front center console, it will automatically try to engage android app so I use that one to play my usb. The problem is your phone will ask you to start android play so you do on your screen then everytime to try to switch into a different app, the screen goes dark, asks me to swipe to start android app, then if I go to another app on my phone ,your screen does not pop up on vehicle screen, only a couple apps will but it is supposed mirror your phone. I have not used the navigation much, I use my phone.

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In love

Erin T, 09/13/2019
EX Premium 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
12 of 12 people found this review helpful

I love this car so much. I am not an impulse buyer; I started researching cars last summer, got serious in the wall, and starting doing occasional test drives in the winter. My old car is a 3-row SUV with great cargo space, roomy seats, and wretched gas mileage. I really wanted a car of the same size--we haul a lot of bulky stuff for my kids' activities. But I'm also a parent with 2 kids with deep concerns about how we as a society are destroying the planet and harming our kids' futures. What I found out in my winter and spring car shipping is that the state of large hybrid vehicles is PATHETIC. Large EVs are insanely expensive, smaller EVs have shitty ranges, and regular hybrids with more cargo space that a Prius are largely imaginary. (Note the hybrid Toyota RAV4 & Hybrid Hylander, which are charging you $10k more for MPGs that are barely better than their gas-guzzling equivalents. The hybrid Hylander practically rivals my 11-year-old gas vehcile for crappy MPGs.) By May I'd narrowed my choices down to a larger, more expensive plug-in with mediocre quality scores from trusted sources and problematic test drives; and the Kia Niro PHEV, which is somewhat smaller than the car I'm replacing--but still larger than most other hybrid vehicles. I went with the Kira Niro PHEV. My old vehicle had 140k miles on it, so I also purchased the extended warranty (10 years/150k miles) and crossbars for the roof. I wanted to get a rubber mat for the cargo space, but was told I can't, because the batteries vent back there. I have not yet bought a level 2 charger, but expect to spend a few hundred dollars on one pretty soon (I have only a carport at home, so will need to get an outdoor-rated one wired in). Friends, I LOVE this car. Yes, the cargo space could be bigger. But it's not bad. For everyday use, it's just fine. I have the Premium model because it has the most safety features, and I have two tweens who'll be learning to drive pretty soon. Features like adaptive cruise control, the backup camera, and lane monitoring work well. The screen is large and easier to use than many other systems. The seats are comfortable, and the backseat is decently roomy for a car of this size (better than most of the hybrids and small SUVs we looked at). Yes, it could have more power; when I stomp on the gas to merge on the highway, it doesn't has the kick of my old 6-cylinder SUV. But it moves smoothly between EV and hybrid/gas mode, and turns on the engine to give me more power when I need it. I LOVE driving it in EV mode. It's smooth and quiet and it drives well. It slips into gas mode without drama when I'm out of EV charge or need more power. The gas engine is, admittedly, kinda wussy sounding. But I don't have to hear it much. Charging it daily, I went 1200 miles on the first tank of gas with regular about-town driving plus longer forays once or twice a week. I've now gone 5000 miles, and generally get MPGe above 120. About about 2 months, we went on a weekend road trip during which I had no access to charging and got about 60 MPGe over ~700 miles. Aside from that trip, I've only had to visit the gas station 3 times in almost 4 months. My only actual complaint about the car is that while it's really great at estimating its electric range, the hybrid/gas range estimate is somewhat unreliable. When driving in hybrid mode, it uses gas faster than it predicts it will, so when it tells me it has a 200-mile gas range, it doesn't seem to actually go nearly that far. Maybe the actual range is 130-150. Its ability to predict gas driving range would probably be better if I did more city driving, where it can recharge its batteries when I stop, but my hybrid driving is almost entirely highway driving. I'm still giving this car 5 stars because I use EV mode most so often, the gas-only range isn't very important most of the time.

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