Touring 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
UPDATE: We're now at nearly 8K miles. The Niro has been flawless - - zero recalls, zero software updates, and no initial quality problems. Many times it seems like a new car is infatuating, but over time it begins to show its weaknesses. My complaints with the Niro are remarkably minor; our Grand Touring model has shiny black surfaces around the gear shift, and when the sun hits it, there can be glare in my eyes. Solution: keep a baseball cap over the shifter in sunny weather (this may not affect others who are a different height.) And some of the nanny-state sensors are a bit sensitive; for instance, if the nose of the car is pointing down (say, after crossing a curb) the front parking sensors might start beeping. No biggie; you can temporarily turn them off with the conveniently located switch right in the center shifter area. On the plus side, these sensors will tell you if you're going to scrape the bottom of the car or if you're going to run over a concrete barrier at the front of a parking space. After several extended road trips, we can pretty much assume that our mileage for both city and highway is consistent at around 43 to 45 mpg, even when driving at 70mph or above for long intervals. The comfort factor has really held up, and back seat passengers have made no complaining noises. Cargo capacity is not immense, but the nicely rectangular trunk has few intrusions (holds lots of wine boxes!) Of course the seats go down easily when you need to maximize hauling. We only use Sport mode for entering highways or other "quick" maneuvers, but the extreme boost in torque and power is very handy and we have never felt the car is underpowered. Here's a couple of additional pluses: great turning circle; easy to park because of size and auto-dipping side mirrors as well as a backup camera that both shows the steering angle and the actual rear bumper of the car; excellent integration with Car Play from Apple (and Apple Maps have improved radically to the point where they have about as few errors as Google Maps.) Air conditioning is fast and efficient, even on 100 degree days (we seem to be having more and more of these.) Previous review follows. The Kia Niro may not be the car for everyone, but it is certainly the right car at the right time for us. We were driving a 2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited with every package known to mankind added. It was certainly not lacking for both features and comfort, but the six-cylinder engine was sucking gas at an alarming rate. The Niro consistently delivers at least 40 mpg and up to 50 mpg, even in Touring trim for us, buzzing up and down Portland hills and the coastal mountains (more like really big hills.) So it consistently meets its EPA projections, unless you're heavy-footed, in which case you'll still reach the high 30's. The nice transition from the luxurious Cherokee was made simpler by the inclusion of many great comfort features, including a heated steering wheel; heated AND ventilated front seats; adjustable power back bolster in the driver's seat; auto folding and dipping rear view mirrors; HID projector headlights; and a host of safety features. The Touring version includes both front and rear parking sensors, which we love and which are a rare find even at twice the price. There's adaptive cruise control, cross traffic detection, automatic emergency braking and more. All this might seem over the top, but once you're used to these features (the Cherokee had them) they are hard to give up. The seats are firm but surprisingly comfortable, and the ride is pretty quiet (Touring has more sound proofing packed into it.) The wheelbase is stretched out with the wheels at the corners, for a more supple ride than you'd expect. Handling is quite predictable. Controls are super-logical, with everything right where you expect to find it. I am surprised at how good Car Play (Apple) functions; I was expecting to turn it off and use Google Maps and Android Auto, but the Apple system works transparently and (most of the time) gets you to your intended destination with a minimum of errors and a terrific interface. This is not a powerful automobile, but with the Sport mode you can harness the combined power of both electric and gas motors for a pretty substantial boost when needed, and this is easily activated with a flick of the gear lever to the side - - great for entering freeways, or for a burst of passing power. In sum, if you're sick of burning through tons of gas, and having to visit the station more often than you'd like, the Niro is the ideal solution, and provides enough comfort and utility to cover most of the bases for singles, couples and small families. It is not really an SUV so much as a "tall wagon" but does carry quite a substantial load with the seat down. It's slightly smaller size compared to many SUVs makes it far easier to maneuver and park in urban situations. The turning circle is quite amazing and small.
Touring 4dr SUV (1.6L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6AM)
On 2/27/17 I bought a KIA Niro Touring. On 3/6/17 it wouldn't start and needed to be towed. Kia service told me the car was normal but I needed to drive it more to keep the battery charged. This does not seem to be a problem with my particular vehicle, rather a design choice KIA made. I use the car daily for my work commute, errands, etc. though apparently this usage is not adequate to have a reliable operating vehicle. Kia does not inform the public the vehicle will not operate unless it has a minimum daily usage time. I bought the car assuming I could use it like any car. As much as I like the idea of an eco-friendly vehicle, I take exception to the concept that it must be driven extra time than my needs dictate to keep the battery charged. The service provider suggested I keep the engine running for 20-40 minutes but can just leave the car locked because of the smart key. This does not sound smart to me. I spoke directly with Kia Motors regarding my situation and they stand by their vehicle saying it is normal and the only problem is I am not driving it enough to keep the battery charged. They advised me to drive more. I would not like others to find themselves in my unfortunate situation. Please be mindful before making a purchase.
So far no issues with mine bought in Feb 2017 with 6000 plus miles ( Model EX Pearl White with Sunroof Pkg - not that I wanted sunroof, came with some safety options). I like handling, steering, safety options I have (missing some that are available these days because of cost), MPG over 50, comfort is fine except bothers my legs on long trips - say 1 1/2 hours get uncomfortable, nice and roomy for the size it is, like the look, interior is OK, entertainment is OK - use the USB music mostly and did not renew Sirus. I am not a real techie person- but Bluetooth works, and I manage with all the gadgets and displays. So far I am happy. THAT SAID, I note some serious issues on a NIRO FORUM (stutter or jerky with poor mpg - one guy got a new car, displays going crazy, door handles breaking off with plastic parts, I personally have what I think is a livable occasional jerky operation).
Needed to downsize and wanted a car with great fuel economy that didn't look like a Prius. This is the car! After 6000 miles, avg mpg is 50.5 (actual measure!), which included about 2000 miles of 70+mph freeway driving. Love the safety features...smart cruise control, RCTA, Auto braking, BSD, LCA. Storage is not really limiting with the rear seats folded down. Car is comfortable to drive and controls are well laid out. Interior is pleasing, not cheap looking. If you have a Smartphone, Android auto works great for navigation and music via Pandora (etc). I'm not a jack-rabbit driver so sluggishness is not an issue, and there's always power if I need it by shifting into Sport mode. I've never lacked for traction in any front wheel drive car (including in Minnesota) so lack of 4X4 option was and is not an issue. Nothing has needed fixing so far and I don't expect any since Kia began making quality vehicles. Love this car! Update: After 11,100 miles we're still about 50.5 actual MPG for 11.5 months! No issues of any kind with anything. Amazing car!
I have driven the 2017 Kia Niro LX for over two months, and I have really come to like the car. I had been driving a 2006 Ford Focus ZX5 (four-door hatchback bought new in 2006), so this was a big step up for me. I found the Niro to be very comfortable with an excellent climate control system. The entertainment system is awesome. Bluetooth connectivity is perfect for local driving, while Android Auto is great for long-distance trips. You don't need a navigation system with Android Auto. Just select the "Maps" button to open a map that shows where you are and traffic in your area. You can get turn-by-turn directions as well. Voice commands work well, and I haven't had any issues with being understood. The cargo area is similar to what my Focus had. It's perfect for groceries and really expands when you put the rear seats down. The glove compartment is a little small, but I don't have a lot of items to store, so it's not much of an issue for me. Acceleration in Eco mode is sluggish, as every review says, but Sport mode gives you the option of beefing up acceleration. I rarely use Sport mode, as I don't care about the slow acceleration. My goal with the Niro is to get the best gas mileage I can. To that end, I get about 45 mpg, measured by taking the number of miles I've driven divided by the amount of gas I put in the car (I stop filling when the pump handle pops). That is far better than I ever got in my old Focus, and to be able to go over 400 miles on a single tank is fantastic. Probably the one disappointing thing is the gas mileage I get on short trips. I happen to live within a mile of a commercial center, so getting groceries, eating meals and visiting other stores results in about a 2-mile round trip. I had imagined that the Niro would act like an electric car in that situation, but it doesn't. No matter how gentle I am with the gas pedal, I cannot get it to stay in electric mode during these short trips, which results in 25 to 30 mpg per trip, hurting my overall gas mileage. It's something I do quite often, so I'm hoping that future iterations of the Niro will be better at using electric mode on short trips. Interestingly, the Niro will utilize electric mode quite frequently in stop-and-go traffic, which makes me laugh at the other cars burning gas while I'm drifting along in electric mode. Despite my disappointment, I'm very pleased with the gas mileage I get from my Niro. I leased the Niro because 2017 is the first year for the model and it is my first experience driving a hybrid car. Given how pleased I am with the car, I'll likely turn it in and buy a new Niro when the lease is up.