In this wrap up video, Sandy and Cory discuss their final thoughts regarding what they have found in the KIA NIRO.
The discussion starts off talking about how Munro received the vehicle which was given by the people at KIA through their press relations people but in a way where we can still be impartial about our observations and therefore uphold our unbiased integrity. This opportunity is afforded to us simply by the fact that our notoriety has increased and we no longer have to rent the cars ourselves.
Sandy starts off by pointing out how the general feel and build of the KIA NIRO has a 90’s feel, but that is not a detraction from it – it’s just not what we expected to find on an electric vehicle.
Sandy however does like several things, like it’s intuitive interface for the infotainment, shifter and IP controls in general. Sandy especially likes the fact that the charging port is located at the front of the car which makes it easy to pull in to a parking spot for charging.
The one major detraction that we have for the KIA NIRO is that it was clearly made to be all things to all people – an EV, ICE, and Hybrid body design. While this makes it versatile from the manufacturing perspective and is a “safe” move from the OEM’s side, it doesn’t allow for a lot of innovation because you have to keep the broad strokes of the design to meet all criteria. That being said, Sandy was still impressed with the AC pump integration with the front motor.
There is some funny dialogue between the Sandy and Cory in the episode, but you should definitely stayed tuned to the end for something really different. We can honestly say that we have never had someone write a song about us, but Mark Frohnmayer CEO of Arcimoto has sent us in a wonderful song that we then put a montage to. We can’t thank you enough and we are blessed to have such great customers and awesome viewers such as yourselves!
Sandy is back in this next episode of Munro Live and he is having a look at the undercarriage of the KIA NIRO. The first thing he points out is that unlike many other EVs we’ve had a look at, this vehicle has a huge motor in the front end. Sandy’s explanation is that because the KIA NIRO was made to be a compatible body design to accommodate it being an, EV, Hybrid, or and internal combustion engine vehicle, it already gave them the space to put the main motor up-front.
Because there is so much space under the hood, KIA made a really interesting design choice that Sandy likes, where they put the AC pump inline with the electric motor, which balances shake and is more efficient. This also allows it not have to have a separate isolation and to have only a single line coolant hose which Sandy gives them a big star for innovation.
Sandy then moves further back to the half-shafts which are attached to an offset transmission as opposed to inline which we find on several other EVs. As Sandy points out, the KIA NIRO is a vehicle made for your average person and perhaps even a timid driver, not a speed demon or an off-road enthusiast. But in that vein, Sandy does find a few interesting choices such as designing out a tusk that would tear the wheel off in a SORB test or similar crash, and instead putting a LOT of iron behind the wheel in the longitudinals/rockers.
Looking back at the battery box, Sandy points out that they used friction-stir-welding to attached the bottom plates to a plate or channel above it perhaps separating the batteries. However, at other points they used TIG welding to other bolts which is a mystery to Sandy why they would do that. This leads Sandy to another mystery object which appears to be some sort of access panel at the bottom of the battery pack.
Sandy goes on to identify some other interesting features such as the spring being separate from the shock instead of over it because there is a lack of room. To accommodate for that they created a massive stamped lower control arm. The video carries on to explain some dampening characteristics and part alignment features. Sandy and the team remark that there are many design choices that remind him of 90’s, but not in a bad way, it’s just interesting to him to find those design choices in an EV.
In todays Munro Live episode, Cory Steuben takes the KIA NIRO out for a ride and drive through various terrain on his way home. Cory first points out that he likes the feel of the wheel and the interior of the KIA NIRO including the fit, finish, and quality of the vehicle.
One of the things that is different about the KIA NIRO is that the shifter is a knob where you turn it to put the vehicle in either reverse, park, or drive. Cory is a fan of doing things different, so this break from the norm is a positive in his books. Another added feature is that the car will make a beeping sound as you back up, similar to a truck.
Cory begins the ride and drive explaining that he endeavors to cover some features that are not covered in other videos. Munro in general takes a different approach to our analysis of vehicles which he explains in the video. We have done analysis and teardown of several hundreds of vehicles over the past two decades. What you see us cover publicly on our channel only represents a fraction of vehicles that we analyze on a regular basis.
An interesting point that Cory covers on the KIA NIRO, as well as EVs in general, is that the increased weight given to the car by the battery system, also give the vehicle a lower center of gravity which makes a tremendous difference in driving feel and handling.
The video goes on to cover things like cruze and driver assist, the intuitiveness of the internal features including infotainment, how it navigates highway, side streets, and even rough dirt roads. It will cover what it feels like drive and what you can reasonably expect from using it in a utilitarian way.
In this episode of Munro Live, Sandy has been given a KIA NIRO to evaluate. Sandy first points out that the the vehicle definitely has a Korean look – that almost looks angry. That being said, for it’s target audience, that is just fine. Sandy’s general opinion of the vehicle is that it is a decent car and seems to have reasonable features. However, although utilitarian and functional, nothing completely stands out on this car.
From a Fit, Finish, and Quality perspective, KIAs used to be terrible, but now are excellent, including beating some luxury cars that we have benchmarked them against. The gaps that are noticeable on the doors are relating to design of the doors and are a choice.
Sandy’s first ding against the KIA NIRO is with the rear hatch not having an assisted open and close feature. Instead the NIRO is relying on you to manually open and close the hatch. Sandy is equally unimpressed with the trunk, especially the under the panel that is designed too small.
Sandy is happy with the KIA NIRO simple interior and the space is good. The doors also have a solid closing feel. He is especially happy with the infotainment system – showing the map right away. Instrumentation is simple and easy, if not dated. Sandy also likes the mirror configuration.
Sandy goes on to talk about the KIA NIRO charging port placement and the frunk… or lack thereof. KIA created a platform such that you can make the vehicle an EV, a Hybrid, or even an internal combustion. A one-size-fits-all solution. But to hear what Sandy’s opinion is, you will just have to watch the video. If you are a KIA fan or are looking to purchase this vehicle than this will be a good video for you: