2017 Kia Niro Kelly Pleskot

“This car can tackle Los Angeles’ small parking spots and high fuel prices, but it strug­gles with heavy rain.”

Motor Trend (USA) - - Garage -

I have no right to whine about the oc­ca­sional bout of rain that oc­curs here in Cal­i­for­nia, con­sid­er­ing much of the coun­try was rav­aged by bomb cy­clones this past win­ter. Yet I’ll take the op­por­tu­nity in this up­date to talk about an is­sue I en­coun­tered with the Niro’s wind­shield wipers dur­ing a rainy morn­ing.

In Cal­i­for­nia, the big­gest threat you ex­pect to en­counter driv­ing in the rain is other driv­ers pan­ick­ing at the slight­est hint of mois­ture in the air. But one morn­ing on my way to work, an un­usual del­uge hit the free­way and left me with big­ger con­cerns. In a heavy down­pour that lasted about five min­utes, I found the wind­shield wipers couldn’t clear rain from my view quickly enough, even on the fastest set­ting. I com­pared the speed of the Niro’s wipers to those on my per­sonal car, and the lat­ter won. The slow wind­shield wipers made me uncomfortable driv­ing in a down­pour, but the Niro seems to per­form fine with more typ­i­cal lev­els of rain.

One thing that irks me more and more as time goes by is the trans­mis­sion. While creep­ing at low speeds in the parking lot, the car will stop abruptly. With a lit­tle gas, it lurches clum­sily back up to speed. In my opin­ion, this trait spoils the drive ex­pe­ri­ence much more than the car’s some­what slow ac­cel­er­a­tion to 60 mph. For­tu­nately, you can put the Niro into S mode to make the car feel pep­pier over­all.

Sit­ting in­side the cabin, I find my­self sat­is­fied with the fea­tures of­fered on our Niro Tour­ing, the top trim level. My fa­vorites in­clude heated and ven­ti­lated seats and front and rear parking sen­sors, which pro­vide driv­ers with an ac­cu­rate sense of ex­actly how far they can back up in any di­rec­tion be­fore hit­ting some­thing. I’ve also been en­joy­ing the car’s re­spon­sive voice con­trol sys­tem, 8.0-inch touch­screen, and sim­ple nav­i­ga­tion en­try. It’s not the new­est in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem out there, but it gets the job done.

This Kia Niro’s six-speed dual clutch trans­mis­sion is clunky at low speeds.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.