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

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Carcus, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] Kia’s Newest Crossover Sets Lofty Mark of 76.6 mpg Driving Coast-to-Coast from Los Angeles to New York City.

    [​IMG]Carcus – CleanMPG – Dec. 15, 2016

    2017 Kia Niro Hybrid - Pricing TBA while offering owners an extraordinary 46/51/49 mpgUS city/highway/combined rating in the LX trim. This all-new crossover includes a new, dedicated low emissions and consumption platform with a very unique hybrid system.

    New York City, New York -- Arriving at New York City Hall in downtown Manhattan, the 2017 Kia Niro officially received a Guinness World Record® title for the lowest fuel consumption driving across the USA from coast to coast for hybrid cars. The new record-setting mark is an incredible 76.6 mpg.

    Achieving this lofty result did not occur in Kia's most efficient Niro trim - the FE trim - but in one of the projected highest volume trims, the slightly less efficient LX variant. The time of year was also a challenge as the Niro was driven across the continent in December, far from the peak efficiency period and heat of summer making the Guinness World Record® even more noteworthy.

    The Guinness World Records® setting 2017 Kia Niro LX with Kia brand and sponsor logos from Shell® and ScanGauge®, was driven by Wayne Gerdes of Carlsbad, California, and co-driver Robert Winger of Williamsburg, Virginia. They departed Los Angeles Calif. on Sunday Dec. 4th and reached NY City, NY on Sunday, Dec. 11th, having traveled from Los Angeles City Hall to New York City Hall covering 3,715.4 miles using only 48.5 gallons or 4 tanks of gas. The vehicle was not altered in any way for the attempt other than the addition of (2) full size mounted spare tires and (2) Garmin® portable GPS units.

    Orth Hedrick, VP, Product Planning KMA:
    Wayne Gerdes, Owner/Admin of CleanMPG:
    The Niro Crossover Hybrid is the first dedicated Kia hybrid conceived to provide both outstanding fuel economy and compact crossover utility. In addition to the design focus, the Niro’s long list of features includes: an innovative hybrid system to provide a more dynamic driving experience; a spacious cabin with room for five occupants and their gear; a full array of advanced driver assistance features — available Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist and Lane Departure Warning; and advanced telematics and entertainment equipment — UVO3 with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 7-inch touch screen, an available Smart Cruise Control, navigation and a Harman Kardon premium audio system.

    2017 Kia Niro Hybrid

    "Bomber Bob" looking at the camera at the launch near LA City Hall before an epic transcontinental journey.​

    The all-new 2017 Niro is set to arrive in Kia retailers in the first quarter of next year and will be available in five trim levels: FE, LX, EX, Touring and in a limited-quantity Touring Launch Edition.

    The FE trim is EPA rated to achieve 49/52/50 mpg city/highway/combined, the LX and EX trims provide 46/51/49 mpg city/highway/combined, and the fully loaded top of the line Touring trim with 18" alloys is rated at 40/46/43 mpg city/highway/combined.

    2017 Kia Niro Hybrid in NY City

    Parked near NY City Hall in below freezing temps after achieving a Lowest Fuel Consumption Guinness World Record.​
  2. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Amazing that a crossover is getting that kind of mileage.

    /congratulations, Wayne ... on yet another world record!
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  3. TheFordFamily

    TheFordFamily Well-Known Member

    Wow! Are those confirmed EPA ratings? If so, that's amazing for a CUV.
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  4. xcel

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

    Hi Carcus:

    I am still under a very strict NDA but I hope to provide details very soon.

    FordFamily, they are indeed confirmed. Bob and I were in the less efficient Niro LX trim too.

  5. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    Thanks Wayne!

    xcel likes this.
  6. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    Nice job, guys!! I may have to go take a look at this vehicle.
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  7. xcel

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

    Hi Bob:

    Kia posted the release to their media site this morning and Carcus posted it to the News forum and home page soon afterwards.

    Hold back the discussion to everyone other than what Kia posted until we receive the go ahead to let loose. I sent a note to Kia for approval to do just that because there is so much cool stuff to talk about but there are no guarantees just yet.

    rhwinger, TheFordFamily and BillLin like this.
  8. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Congratulations Wayne and Bob! I'm very much looking forward to your driving impressions when you are able.
  9. xcel

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

    Hi Jay:

    I hope we get the release to do just that very soon. We have a lot more to add beyond the release. ;)

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  10. Congrats! Looking forward to hearing the rest
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  11. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2016 Crosstrek, 2012 PiP, 2014 C-MAX Energi

    Congratulations, Wayne and Bob!

    Easy prediction. Kia will sell boatloads of these Niros. It's going to scavenge other hybrid car sales, maybe even hybrid CUVs. The only part I'm not sure of is the all-wheel-drive, whether it shows up or not. With it, the Niro can replace a RAV4 hybrid, albeit with slightly less cargo space I imagine. I don't know. I'm thinking the Niro is much lighter, more like the Prius in weight. We live in wonderful and interesting times as far as efficient vehicle choices go.
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  12. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    If memory serves, the Ioniq is just over 3000lbs and the Niro is about 100lbs heavier. The Niro doesn't really compete with the RAV4 hybrid because the Niro is much smaller and lighter--more like the Mazda CX3 in size. Ioniq and Niro both have the same wheelbase but the Niro is about 5 in shorter in length and about 3 inches taller. No 4wd version yet but Kia hints about one possibly in the future. From the pics, the Niro looks to have some ground clearance. I wish Hyundai/Kia would publish full specs on the Niro and Ioniq since I'm very interested in both and need the info to make up my mind.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  13. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

  14. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2016 Crosstrek, 2012 PiP, 2014 C-MAX Energi

    I did a survey on pricing for the Niro a couple weeks ago, which suggests to me Kia is looking for some sweet spots of msrp vs options.
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  15. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link, Carcus. That filled in quite a few blanks.
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  16. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2016 Crosstrek, 2012 PiP, 2014 C-MAX Energi

    Thanks. Very helpful, Carcus.
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  17. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    This morning I received a verbal release from the NDA so here is the Niro story as I experienced it...

    From the 2016 Chicago Auto Show Press Days this past February, I was fortunate to be one of the first to see the Niro in prototype form. I remember the exact moment the 50 mpg target was announced during the Kia presentation and I was shocked!

    #CAS16 - 2017 Kia Niro CUV Hybrid - This CUV is going to not just move the bar but set it!

    In particular, the static Interior/Exterior Overview showed what Kia was thinking... Notice the white insert discussion including three different mentions of such.

    It was during the following interview at the same Chicago Auto Show Press Days this past February with Kia NA COO, Michael Sprague, that I started thinking about the Niro being the first CUV in history to become a Lowest Fuel Consumption Guinness World Record holder. In fact, when I said, "Did you really say 50 mpg in that presentation ..." at the 5:53 mark, that was the Eureka moment itself caught on video!

    #CAS16 - A few minutes with Kia America's COO and Exec VP, Michael Sprague

    When I picked up the 2017 Kia Niro in LX trim from Kia HQ last month for the first phase of efficiency testing, the first thing I noticed were those white plastic inserts were gone and in their place, more upscale black inserts. Talk about fixing a possible problem before it reaches the publics hands!

  18. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    It was just a few days after the Chicago Auto Show I began sending Guinness World Records (GWR) inquiries about a Transcontinental Lowest Fuel Consumption drive and how I would like a separate category, a CUV category, specifically for the Niro. Despite the category not being allowed, a 74.3 mpg minimum was established and we now had a target in which Kia and the Niro Hybrid CUV were brought into the GWR conversation just three months ago.

    We all knew from the 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid reveal in Chicago that the public would receive the first opportunity to drive the Niro sometime in late 2016 or early 2017. Meaning at best it was going to be late October or early November before I would have a chance to drive a U.S. spec Niro. Meaning colder temperatures, shorter days, and the resulting lower efficiency that arises from those conditions. This was my number one concern during the GWR discussions.

    As some may have deduced from my cryptic NDA based discussions surrounding the Niro vs. competitors and early recommendations over the past two months, it was during this period when Kia supplied a Niro so that I could complete the initial efficiency testing to prove or disprove the feasibility of it earning a Lowest Fuel Consumption Guinness World Record this late in the year. Since I am located in Southern California, we still experience temperatures in the mid-60s to mid-70s during a typical early November day and heavy traffic congestion that most would rather not drive. This is great to discover maximums and getting to know the Niro Hybrid but could I find efficiency testing routes so that the Niro carrying Bob, I, and hundreds of pounds of gear across the country could maintain a substantial buffer over the minimum 74.3 mpg target during somewhat colder day time temperatures, even fewer hours of daylight, and much colder night time temperatures? And this was before reaching the Atlantic coast and heading northeast towards NY City with god only knows what kind of winter weather conditions! Could I find a locale revealing how it would perform in temps down into the mid-40s during a testing phase?

    2017 Kia Niro Hybrid First Drive

    As mentioned above, the Niro and the all-new atkinsonized 1.6L mated to the 6-speed DCT and Hybrid drivetrain was a huge unknown. We have found numerous other OEMs releasing big efficiency numbers only to be let down soon after our first drives. Like many of you that have replied above, I was cautiously optimistic yet skeptical that anyone could design and build a CUV with an honest to goodness 50 mpg EPA rating. The only real way to find out was to put it to the test.

    Before picking up the 46/51 mpg city/highway rated 2017 Niro in LX trim with just 5 miles on the odometer - not the most efficient 49/52 mpg city/highway rated “FE” trim - from Kia HQ in Irvine, Calif. just over a month ago, I spelled out a series of steady state warm and colder temperature, ascent, and descent efficiency tests to perform before a final Go or No Go decision was made whether to tackle the GWR. It was all still a gamble whether the Niro could make it or not since I had not driven it! The November test and possibly a December drive had me deeply concerned…

    A standard top off fill as required by GWR and reset of all the displays at a Shell located at 4162 Trabuco Rd, in Irvine, CA just 2.5 miles from Kia HQ was the start of something pretty special.

    That is the Niro in the lower left while topped off just prior to the first drive.

    The Niro's displays are reset. Notice the SoC is 1 pip below half and elev. is 82' ASL to begin the Niro's first drive.​

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  19. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Super Moderator

    Very impressive vehicle. Sets a new standard for value and great FE.
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  20. xcel

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

    Hi All:

    The 2017 Kia Niro Hybrid Hits The Road

    Given this is Southern Calif. with its usually great weather conditions and home of the worst and longest traffic jams in the US, I was not sure what to expect. At this point, I only knew the LX trim had a 49 mpg combined rating since the EPA numbers were still not finalized. This was all that Kia North America PR knew themselves. Was its EPA ratings real or not? Was it more efficient in the city or on the highway? What kind of speed ranges does it really like? Can it glide? Can it climb efficiently? The answer to these questions would determine my routing across the country if this was going to go at all. At this point I am on my own dime as there was no contract to perform the Transcontinental GWR attempt whether approved or not.

    Let’s find out…

    2017 Kia Niro Hybrid First Drive Begins in Earnest

    6 miles out and the aFCD is pegged at 99.9 mpg in heavy traffic.

    18 miles out and the aFCD is still pegged at 99.9 mpg in heavy traffic. SoC is up 2 pips. I have yet to set the proper date and time. ;)

    The Niro has just climbed up and over the ~ 400’ elev. and is back to the start elevation at this point. At the 400' peak she displayed 82 mpg which I thought was fantastic!

    An impromptu stop and headlamp detail at the scenic overlook in Camp Pendleton to capture the last rays over the Pacific.​

    Kia Niro Hybrid Drivetrain Operational Details

    The Niro can travel over a mile under EV on its LiPo pack in slower heavy traffic with charging from 2 to 3 pips under half to approximately 2 to 3 pips over - the standard SoC range - taking just over half a mile to recover with the ICE running.

    During the pack Charging phase, the engine will start at a higher RPM - > 2,000 rpm - and once the SoC reaches approximately half, the engine RPM will settle down to a std. running RPM until the pack is at the top of its cycle.

    There is a variance to how high and how deep the pack can be charged/discharged. At lower speeds in the heaviest stop and crawl conditions with speeds in the 0 to 10 mph range for a lengthy distance, you can consume power down to an indicated 4 pips or 1/4 SoC but normally 2 bars below half for speeds above 30 mph is what you can expect. On the high side, 2 and sometimes 3 pips above half is standard for the Niro at speeds up to 50 to 55 mph. At speeds above 60 mph, the SoC can sometimes rise all the way to 12 pips or 3/4ths of the entire displayed range.

    Coming down a steep mountain grade with elevation deltas > 750' for example will peg the SoC but at that point, the engine will begin to spin and act as a compressor to consume some of that SoC in order to protect the battery from overcharging and provide engine braking after the fact during the steep descent. If you have a healthy SoC when nearing a peak with a descent of this magnitude following, consume as much SoC in EV mode prior to and just as you crest to gain the largest overall efficiency for the ascent and descent.

    Under normal driving, try and keep the iFCD pegged at a solid peak of 60 mpg - despite going up to 75 mpg which only pegs during pure EV - while the ICE is running. If you can use just 1/4 of the available power within the Green "ECO power" zone just above the Charge Zone on the far left Power meter, you will see this 60 mpg on the instantaneous Fuel Consumption DIsplay (iFCD). Do this and the Niro will skip the pump like nothing you may have ever driven before.

    2017 Kia Niro Hybrid First Drive Displayed Results

    Whooaaa!!! 92.0 mpg indicated after the 50.6 actual miles first drive in hellish rush hour traffic. The SoC is 1 pip higher while elev. is down just 10’ from start to finish.​

    The above results in an almost empty 2017 Kia Niro while driving in great temperatures and very heavy LA and San Diego rush hour traffic conditions yielded a surprising 92.0 mpg indicated. WTH, the Niro is a wildly blowout efficient CUV! While this result was not yet calibrated at that time, the worst it could be is 10 percent off. Still a question but to date, the best any other CUV I have driven has performed on this same route is a conventionally powered 2015 Nissan Rogue and Audi Q5 TDI, both at 51 mpg. Talk about a dominating result within the CUV segment! Even more surprising is there has only been one non-internal published and two internal non-published prototype and non-prototype vehicle testing results - the most efficient modern sedans and hatchbacks ever built - that have beaten the Niro CUV on this exact same section of Interstate.

    The “Driving Style” display always made me smile. 100% Economical, 0% Normal, and 0% Aggressive. Does that mean 100% abnormal? :D :D :D <-- I loved seeing this display from time to time during the Transcontinental crossing too. :)

    I ran the calibration drive out to 152.2 actual miles just to make sure. Before I completed that, I began some local steep 75' to 350’ ascent and descent testing on local roads in Northern San Diego to get a feel for the worst I could drive in and around home plus completed shopping for supplies that night as the next few days of testing were going to be arduous.

    In any case, the pegged aFCD through the first 18 miles indicated to me that the 2017 Kia Niro’s city mpg was possibly higher than its highway numbers given the beyond expectation indicated first drive final results through the rush hour traffic jams encountered while climbing up and over the ~ 400’ peak on the 5 near the Alicia Parkway interchange in Mission Viejo, Calif. I was also somewhat relieved at this point given the fantastic displayed results. I was also on the phone with Bob discussing the Niro's first drive results.

    This was actually an easier drive than I had expected with the tough mountain ascent and descents plus colder temperature testing yet to come. Maybe tomorrow.


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