2017 Kia Niro CUV Sets GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS Title for Lowest Fuel Consumption for a Hybrid Vehicle

Discussion in 'Kia' started by Carcus, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    You could say 130 kph ( instead of 80 mph ) and we would understand.

    Again , absolutely not about FE or hypermiling stuff , but I drove an early 90s Nissan Pathfinder
    on I-94 in Michigan. Mostly around 100 MPH. At the SLIGHTEST hill , it would downshift a gear to
    maintain about 95 MPH.
    This might be specific to cars with approx. 100 HP. But I have only owned automatic cars since 2008 ,
    so maybe I'm wrong. My 08 Civic would downshift to 4th or even 3rd in the mountains around Flagstaff ,
    but I wasn't going more than about 65 MPH.
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  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    But my 89 Civic Si , with 108 HP never had any problem in the mountains
    in top gear AS LONG as I was going at least 65 MPH. ( 3000 RPM in 5th )
    Of course , no hybrid or automagical wizardry at that time.
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  3. Hi @EdwinTheMagnificent
    Thanks for your input. Yes, i can talk mph or kph but as it is a US forum It’s ok for me no worries (i just recently found out there were mpg us and mpg uk, tsss).

    Regarding my power problem, what i find hard to bear is the Niro downshifting on FLAT terrain when there is no more juice left or whenever it feels like to.
    As i said once it would just remain in 5th gear for a few flat miles (or km if you prefer :)) with no reason except that stupid one which is to recharge the battery.

    @BillLin thanks, will ttyl
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  4. @BillLin You made the point.
    Indeed, the Niro is definitively a city and countryside car not a highway runner (at least not over 70mph ones which are pretty common in Europe).
    From what I found out, it can cope with speeds up to 80mph without downshifting that much (speaking of flat terrain here, obviously it will downshift when faced with some hill or so), it is then able to keep a sustained speed AND recharge the battery at the same time.
    This is almost always the case at 70mph, uncertain at 80, and pretty much impossible above, the battery will be depleted faster and if you keep it stuck in 6th manual there's no juice and 80mph is the max.

    In the US you don't encounter that scenario so much so it isn't a problem, and obviously never when hypermiling if you keep iFCD at 60mpg (other thread you mention) you are far below 70mph.
    For the record, I measured that at a steady 55mph i'm doing 43mpg which is already not that great. Should I want to keep the iFCD at 60, I guess i'll be driving 40-45mph.

    Anyway, Wayne already pointed out that this is the way Kia and Hyundai hybrids are designed, taking benefit from the battery when it is well charged, then recharging it with ICE running when low and repeat the cycle.
    This is transparent on standard roads but has its limits when hitting the highway.

    I have still to figure out my highway needs, the german airport run is occasional, but going on french highways (80mph limit) around home happens a little more often.

    I'll see in the forthcoming weeks if the downshifting game gets on my nerves or not :-D

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  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Marc:

    Given the vast falloff from the std. 16s to the 18s - Just 40 mpg highway vs 46 for the LX/EX and 49 for the FE here in the U.S. - you are starting out underwater with no way to surface. 40 mpgUS should be doable on CC at speeds between 67 and 71 mph. I hope that helps although I never did complete a steady state on the Niro of any trim to deduce its curve. Something to contemplate in the very near future indeed.

    2020 Kia Niro Lineup - EPA Estimates


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  6. Hi Wayne,

    Thanks for your feedback.
    I'm not so much concerned about FE on the highway. When driving above 65mph we are obviously getting further away from hypermiling (hard to glide and be on EV only at such speeds). I'm ok with that.
    It's the downshifting game the Niro wants to play that is annoying me.

    However your estimation is interesting, as I have a ELM327 OBD-II device, i'll do the test (68mph / 110 km/h on highway flat terrain with CC --> then check iFCD+aFCD over a few miles)
    I'll do max sidewall beforehand.
    I'll let you know.
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  7. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    If you do the test please note conditions as well (temperature, wind speed and direction relative to travel, state of charge estimate before and after the test, and elevations before and after). What Wayne does for his tests is difficult and time consuming. Traffic conditions also play a part. The odometer, speedometer and aFCD would also have to be considered to be uncalibrated, but you're just looking for approximate results, right?

    Above all, be safe.
  8. Yes. Thanks for all these things that need to be taken into account.
    I'll do my best.
    I'm looking for approximate results but note that Kia is the first of my numerous cars that has an aFCD on dashboard after a full tank that exactly match my own calculations at the pump. All my previous cars were over-estimating and results were off (sometimes up to 5mpg average less when doing the maths)
  9. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I think I've heard that mentioned before, but nice to hear of another example of accurate readings. Thumbs up to Kia for that! I have gotten used to derating aFCD readings by 3-5% just for my own reference.
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  10. litesong

    litesong litesong

    With my often used 87 octane, 100% ethanol-free gasoline(E0), I noted that E0 tended to give more accurate fuel computer readings, compared to pencil & paper calculations, than when I used poorly designated, 87 octane 10% ethanol-blend (E10). Its because auto manufacturers calibrate their on-board gasoline meters with E0, not with E10.
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  11. Test done.
    10-15 miles on flat highway at 68 mph (110 km/h) on CC. There was no slowdown in traffic
    Warm engine, interior temp set to 21°C, already feeling good, A/C button is off
    Gasoline is SP95-E10
    Tires are 18in max sidewall (which is 3.5 bar for the Michelin)
    SoC is one pip over half at start.
    No wind. Outside Temp was 8°C
    No elevation or negligible, little traffic
    Reseted Niro's aFCD while already at desired CC speed, Reseted Dash commander app (connected to OBD-II device) at same time

    Result at the end of trip:
    Kia aFCD : Average of 5.4L/100 which is about 43 mpgUS
    Dash Commander : Average of 5.6 L/100 which is about 42 mpgUS

    Traveled once northbound, then back southbound, same results.
    Engine behavior : ICE always on peacefully in 6th gear (about 2200rpm) and charging battery at the same time for most part. No downshifting.
    SoC end was 2 pips over half, went up once to 3 pips over half.

    Regarding what I was saying before about high speeds downshifting phenomenon, this means that the Niro can deal with 68mph AND keep the battery at half or above.
    This is no more true at 80 mph (130 km/h) where battery is most of the time below half with the Niro failing to charge and keep up to speed simultaneously. This can lead to downshifting to 5th at some point (depending on terrain and SoC)

    I'd like to test at 80 mph CC on the same run (highway speed limit is 80mph so it's fine).
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  12. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Thanks for posting your results, Marc. 42-43 mpg sounds reasonable for those speeds and temperature with those tires. That's about what I would have expected from the C-MAX (similar car profile) with sportier low-profile tires and 17" wheels. It had the Prius style power split device rather than a regular CVT or AT or your DCT so the engine revs are usually less obvious. (well sound proofed)

    I've been thinking about the shifting behavior you mentioned with eco vs. sport modes. I would think the sport mode would more quickly used the available battery power to supplement the then available engine power to give you better acceleration. But then for continuous driving, that sport mode could also make it impossible to maintain the battery level without frequently recharging it with engine power, so it works against you. Eco mode may be more battery friendly. (I'm uncertain.)

    A question in the back of my mind is whether the downshifts (running in 5th gear frequently) and ECO mode actually hurts overall efficiency at the higher (80 mph) speeds, or maybe it prevents the battery from going lower (having less to make up later).

    The behavior you documented at 68 mph seems ideal if only it could have worked at the higher speeds as well, but sadly, the overall capability may not be there. So... not an Autobahn cruiser. (or high-speed French highway)
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  13. Hi @BillLin , yes totally agree
    I'm happy with the results in the highest trim. I guess the max sidewall on tires also helps a little , perhaps around 1mpg gain.
    Yes, this looks like the right analysis.
    I never tried the german autobahn in Eco mode at very high speeds, I used manual sport mode on that run because I thought I had found a solution when a few weeks earlier driving to family home (150km normal french highway) I observed the gear downshifting (and once being "stuck" for awhile on flat in 5th). But as you pointed out it does not work that way. Sport is an occasional boost that drains battery fast (and even more as speed increases) so it can never be a long drive mode.

    That's what I still have to test. My hope is that Eco would manage battery to keep it around half and maybe pulling more juice out of the ICE if needed. I already tested the 80mph on CC run (but not measured FE) and although downshifting happens at the slightest uphill it reasonably switches back to 6th rather quickly at the top of the hill (say in 10sec max). On flat terrain downshifting did not happen.
    I only experienced once the Niro remaining for a very long time in 5th but I do not remember if I used sport mode before which is likely to have depleted the battery. If it was the case and SoC was very low, this would explain the Niro staying in 5th on flat terrain at 80mph (-> to recharge battery towards half).

    As I just said, in Eco it seems to work not so bad at 80mph with few jumps to 5th (only uphill) then returning within seconds to 6th at the top as all cars would.
    I have still to test the Eco mode at speeds above 80mph back on Autobahn in the next weeks or months.

    @xcel , just a few questions:
    - During your big trip coast to coast did you use the regen paddles ? No - a little - a lot ?
    - when you say to keep the iFCD at 60mpg, what was the speed then ? 50 mph ?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
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  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Marc:

    Never used them as the LX we had did not have them. I never would. Also, never use Sport mode. The shifting logic is FUBAR for efficiency. It will maintain higher RPMs and burn more fuel in all phases of your drive.

    Try and maintain 60 mpg is what you want to do. Infinite on all downhills and no less than 30 mpg during the climb will provide a 60 mpg overall avg.


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  15. litesong

    litesong litesong

    What's kph.... oh, i know.....krackers per hour. If krackers per hour goes down, MPG goes up.
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  16. Better try Chicken in a Biskit + easy cheese, that's the winner combo :p

    That's interesting to know, I get you about the paddles. Though they are supposed to help you gain energy and even more maximize FE if used correctly, they might also be counter productive if we're too focused on them because they can cut part of the glides which are better managed by braking.

    And yes the shifting logic is definitively crap (or put differently the Niro is an agile urban and suburban car, not a fast highway runner for the whole family).
    I made it clear by running a second test twice at a steady 80mph this time on the same flat highway (same conditions, warm car, no wind, etc..). The SoC cannot be maintained at half at that speed, so it gradually looses pips. when it comes to one pip above quarter SoC, the Niro downshifts to 5th to recharge better.
    It can stays in 5th for a few miles, up to half SoC or around, then back to 6th.
    Regarding FE, in 6th gear at 80mph I get around 36 mpg, and in 5th around 25 mpg ! Big drop :(
    That's why it is so important to avoid the car doing so, and the only solution is too limit speed. Perhaps there's a sweet cruise spot where it can do both, maintain reasonable speed and recharge :oops:

    i’ll keep you posted if I find something new
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
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  17. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Their software appears to be robbing Peter to pay Paul. I'm not sure I approve.
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  18. True at a steady 75 mph or above on flat which is all the more surprising (to watch the car downshift out of the blue for no reason) :mad:.
    Unnoticeable below this speed, unless it’s a very hilly terrain of course ;).

    We had a plan to tour many European countries with the Niro for my summer next vacation :cool:
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  19. litesong

    litesong litesong

    If its kph, then that would by KhicKen in a BisKet + easy Kheese".
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  20. ksstathead

    ksstathead Moderator

    About to close on a 2020 Niro LXS in Cerulean for my son. His first car to own. I think it is a good fit for him in that his driving needs will play to the strengths of the Niro.
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