Long Term Updates
Long Term Updates
Date: January 2019
It’s a new era around here, when we get really excited about a hybrid. We haven’t had a plug-in among our long-term fleet in quite some time, and having just spent a year with a non-plug-in Kia Niro Hybrid, we’re now able to better grasp the advantages of its plug-in variant, this 2019 Kia Niro PHEV.
GREG CARLOSS: Despite sharing the Niro name, this Plug-in version does differ in its driving characteristics -- albeit slightly. It feels like it jumps off the line quicker even though the on-paper output is the same. We’re glad we still have an actual geared transmission like in the standard Niro Hybrid, but we’re just as happy to drive on battery power alone.
Rated for 26-miles of EV driving, we’re already seeing the benefits, off to a good 61.7 miles-per-gallon average over our first 1,300-miles. Quite an improvement over the 43.7 miles-per-gallon average of our Niro Hybrid.
Date: February 2019
The current fuel mileage champ in our fleet is this 2019 Kia Niro PHEV.
“The Niro Plug-In really shines as a short trip commuter and errand runner. We’re able to keep it plugged in at our offices, and when it’s time to head to lunch there’s usually enough EV range for a round trip without touching a drop of gas. But even when the engine kicks in, several on our staff have noted the refined manner in which it does so.”
Even with all those short hikes, we’ve covered over 3,500 miles in just two months. And, rather than declining, fuel economy actually snuck up a bit, to an even 62.0 miles-per-gallon. Proof that keeping a PHEV’s battery topped off can make a big difference in when you have to do the same to the gas tank.
Date: April 2019
It’s taken us 3-months and 5,200-miles, but we’ve actually seen a dip in the fuel economy of our 2019 Kia Niro PHEV. Our average now sits at 57.5 miles-per-gallon, down from 62 even.
We’ll attribute that to the very cold temperatures that we experienced as winter worked its way out of the mid-Atlantic. Something any buyer of an electrified car should consider.
Still, fuel economy remains impressive. Plus, all our staff agrees that even though it shares the same 1.6-liter I4 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission of the regular Niro, this plug-in hybrid feels more refined in every way.
Seats are more than adequately comfortable, and the ride is sporty enough to actually be entertaining. And regardless of whether the four-cylinder is running or not, that driving experience is very much the same.
In fact, most of our log book comments revolve around this Niro PHEV being “just so normal”; and indeed plugging-in will be the new normal for most cars sooner rather than later. We just hope they are all drive like the Kia Niro PHEV.
Date: May 2019
Warmer weather has finally reached the Mid-Atlantic; and appropriately enough, fuel mileage in our 2019 Kia Niro PHEV is back on the upswing, currently sitting at an impressive 58.1 miles-per-gallon.
"The Niro plug-in has reached workhorse status here at MotorWeek, and that's actually a high compliment. That means it's comfortable, versatile and spacious enough for our crews to use it almost daily. Not to mention, we aren't wasting as much time filling up the tank.."
Some may scoff at its measly 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain; but hey, if it’s good enough for F1, it’s good enough for us. And we’ve gotten no complaints about power delivery over these first 5-months and 8,000-miles.
One recent weekend getaway, only required 1.6-gallons of gas; thanks to some timely charging. Plan your trips right, and this Niro PHEV can be quite a frugal flier.