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Niro vs. Ioniq vs. C-max - Consumer Reports


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#1 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:32 AM

Consumer Reports published new reviews and ratings of the Kia Niro ("no hybrid hero", they say) and the Hyundai Ioniq hybrids today.

Here are some numbers of interest: the overall score of the car,  the roadtest component, the 0-60 time, mpg (city/hwy) and some "lows".

Each car had highs as well - the C-max has the longest list.

 

          overall    roadtest    0-60    mpg    lows

Ioniq        66         67         9.9    42/60    braking, agility, hesitation to accel
Niro         65         65         9.9    33/52    $30k with needed options,  "     "
C-Max     73        77          8.4    35/38    battery takes cargo space, some annoying controls

 

Bottom line:  C-max is the superior car in most respects (exception: highway mpg).   Reliability of the new cars is unknown of course, though other models from these Korean brands have become quite reliable.

 

They also are testing the Chevy Bolt, which they really like but haven't finished scoring.  They got an EV range of 250 miles, highest yet.  (Presumably the Tesla 3 will match or beat this).    Also the Bolt did 0-60 in 6.8 seconds.
 









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#2 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:09 AM

The Chevy Bolt full review and rating numbers appeared later this morning:

70 overall    76 roadtest     6.8sec 0-60   250mile range   lows: slow charging, spongy brake, choppy ride, uncomfy driver seat, cheap interior

 

Bolt is around $37500, and currently eligible for a $7500 fed tax rebate.



#3 OFFLINE   raadsel

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 04:37 PM

Consumer Reports published new reviews and ratings of the Kia Niro ("no hybrid hero", they say) and the Hyundai Ioniq hybrids today.

Here are some numbers of interest: the overall score of the car,  the roadtest component, the 0-60 time, mpg (city/hwy) and some "lows".

Each car had highs as well - the C-max has the longest list.

 

          overall    roadtest    0-60    mpg    lows

Ioniq        66         67         9.9    42/60    braking, agility, hesitation to accel
Niro         65         65         9.9    33/52    $30k with needed options,  "     "
C-Max     73        77          8.4    35/38    battery takes cargo space, some annoying controls

 

Bottom line:  C-max is the superior car in most respects (exception: highway mpg).   Reliability of the new cars is unknown of course, though other models from these Korean brands have become quite reliable.

 

They also are testing the Chevy Bolt, which they really like but haven't finished scoring.  They got an EV range of 250 miles, highest yet.  (Presumably the Tesla 3 will match or beat this).    Also the Bolt did 0-60 in 6.8 seconds.
 

 

There test numbers seem odd to me, if just because most reviews I've seen that compare the Ioniq/Niro to the Prius give better ride/handling scores to the Korean pair; so it seems odd to me that Consumer Reports rates the Prius better. I guess a lot of it ends up being personal preference. I think the real test will be how they score next year, after they have owner feedback and the first year reliability.

 

The other note of interest is fuel economy -- the Ioniq roughly equals the Prius fuel economy with 52 mpg overall in testing, the same as the Prius -- it was one mpg lower in city testing, at 42 mpg, and one mpg higher in highway fuel economy, at 60 mpg. Apparently it does do a decent job of living up to is EPA ratings. The Niro has more issues, finishing only 43 mpg overall, with only 33 mpg in the city but 52 on the highway. In comparison, the C-Max only got 37 mpg in CRs testing, 35 in the city and 38 on the highway. 

 

To make a chart of fuel economy:

 

  in MPG            Overall            City         Highway

Toyota Prius           52                 43              59

Hyundai Ioniq        52                 42              60

Kia Niro                 43                 33              52

Ford C-Max           37                 35              38


Edited by raadsel, 03 August 2017 - 04:41 PM.


#4 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 05:28 PM

I don't see how you can get 35 mpg City unless you are using A/C to the max.  HVB doesn't take cargo space, it has more cargo space than the other 3 cars.  Sometimes I think CR is really flaky. :sad:  Were they talking about Energi?

 

Paul



#5 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 05:33 PM

Consumer Reports published new reviews and ratings of the Kia Niro ("no hybrid hero", they say) and the Hyundai Ioniq hybrids today.

Here are some numbers of interest: the overall score of the car,  the roadtest component, the 0-60 time, mpg (city/hwy) and some "lows".

Each car had highs as well - the C-max has the longest list.

 

          overall    roadtest    0-60    mpg    lows

Ioniq        66         67         9.9    42/60    braking, agility, hesitation to accel
Niro         65         65         9.9    33/52    $30k with needed options,  "     "
C-Max     73        77          8.4    35/38    battery takes cargo space, some annoying controls

 

Bottom line:  C-max is the superior car in most respects (exception: highway mpg).   Reliability of the new cars is unknown of course, though other models from these Korean brands have become quite reliable.

 

They also are testing the Chevy Bolt, which they really like but haven't finished scoring.  They got an EV range of 250 miles, highest yet.  (Presumably the Tesla 3 will match or beat this).    Also the Bolt did 0-60 in 6.8 seconds.
 

I couldn't find this article do you have a link? :)

 

Paul



#6 OFFLINE   raadsel

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:33 PM

I don't see how you can get 35 mpg City unless you are using A/C to the max.  HVB doesn't take cargo space, it has more cargo space than the other 3 cars.  Sometimes I think CR is really flaky. :sad:  Were they talking about Energi?

 

Paul

 

As for cargo space

                                           Cargo Area         Rear Seat down

 

Toyota Prius                 24.6                

Hyundai Ioniq              26.5                  56?

Kia Niro                       19.4                  54.5

Ford C-Max                 24.5                  52.6

 

For some reason, I can't find the numbers for the Prius or the Ioniq with the rear seats down. I do remember seeing a number for the Ioniq, at one point, and it was bigger than the Niro, which surprised me -- I believe around 56 cu. in. I'm guessing the Prius would likely be somewhere between the C-Max and Niro, with the seats down it should add about 30 cu. ft. of space. While the Ioniq, because it does not have the height seems like it shouldn't be as large, it is a few inches longer. By contrast, the Niro being shorter makes the cargo capacity a bit smaller. Two notes: 1) the Ioniq does have more cargo capacity but will have issues with large square boxes that the C-Max and Niro would have no issue with and 2) the Niro and Ioniq both have space under the load floor -- while a spare tire kit is not included, it is available, fits under the load floor, and the mounts are built into the cars.

 

So, the C-Max is not the smallest in only cargo (rear seats up) capacity, that would be the Niro, but technically may be the smallest with the rear seats down -- though not by enough to make any real difference. I think Kia made a mistake by making the Niro so short, it seems like it would benefit, quite a bit, by another 4-6 inches in length. Of course, I say the same thing about the C-Max. 


Edited by raadsel, 03 August 2017 - 08:42 PM.

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#7 OFFLINE   raadsel

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:41 PM

I couldn't find this article do you have a link? :)

 

Paul

 

I went to Cars>Hybrids>Reliability and Rankings, ending up here. Of course, you can click on the name of each car to get to their rating and review pages.



#8 OFFLINE   C-MaxSea

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:15 PM

CR continues to post bogus MPG #s and presumably bogus EV info - 'EV to 40 mph'.  Sad, and very destructive to the model.


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#9 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:50 PM

CR continues to post bogus MPG #s and presumably bogus EV info - 'EV to 40 mph'.  Sad, and very destructive to the model.

"With 188 total horsepower, the regular C-Max Hybrid has adequate power for highway merging, but acceleration falls short of anything you could call brisk. Still, it feels like a rocket sled compared to its main Toyota Prius V rival. And it can run on electric power alone up to about 35 mph as long as you're easy on the throttle and even cruise at highway speeds on electric power as long as it's below 85 mph. The Hybrid posted an impressive 37 mpg overall fuel economy."-consumerreports


Edited by Plus 3 Golfer, 04 August 2017 - 04:51 AM.


#10 OFFLINE   SnowStorm

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 10:51 PM

Sorry, but I still don't give 2 cents for any of these "test reports" - or their "test data".

The only two things worth while in comparing cars are:

  1. EPA fuel economy ratings
  2. Personal test drives

Some specifications are interesting to look at but even those are rather academic compared to ones personal reaction to everything on a good test drive.



#11 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 11:31 PM

"With 188 total horsepower, the regular C-Max Hybrid has adequate power for highway merging, but acceleration falls short of anything you could call brisk. Still, it feels like a rocket sled compared to its main Toyota Prius V rival. ... ."-consumerreports

 

brisk
brisk/
adjective
 
  1. active, fast, and energetic
     
     
     
    My C-Max is plenty BRISK for me when I need it to be.  I was in a rush today and was kind of weaving in and out of traffic.  Loved the visibility, the tight steering, tight suspension, sitting position and 2.5 bars was brisky with 2.75 bars brisk.
 
(granted it wasn't as fast is my 72 Olds Cutless but it sure handles better and gets less speeding tickets, knock on wood.)
 
By the way, I have been a Consumer Reports subscriber for years and don't have a problem with their C-Max reviews.  There are a lot of people that just want to drive the car and not think about how the car works to get good mileage.
 

Edited by obob, 03 August 2017 - 11:38 PM.

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#12 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 04:10 PM

C-max seems "brisk" enough to me too.

 

Links to free access review summaries, with video:
Niro
https://www.consumer...no-hybrid-hero/
Ioniq
https://www.consumer...g-the-distance/

 

As far as I know CR has more data than anyone on reliability, actual owner costs, and customer satisfaction.   Presumably Ford has the most data on reliability of Ford products - but they won't share with owners unless it's a defect that poses a threat to life and limb and triggers government regulations governing recall.  As for CR test data, it provides a good comparison with other cars they have tested, since they use the same test procedures for all.  You can't compare data from one testing organization like CR with that from another, since procedures vary. 

 

I am glad the C-max does as well as it does in their tests, as that confirms my own experience. 

 

I do wish that in their reliability ratings they would distinguish between problems that get fixed (reprogram a C-max module so battery doesn't drain) from problems that don't get fixed (e.g. Subaru appetite for head gaskets).   A used 2013 C-max purchased used a few years later is likely to be quite reliable because the early problems got fixed - but in the reliability ratings it shows up with a lot of poor marks because many original buyers had to get something fixed.
 


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#13 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 05:37 PM

The sad thing about CMAX MPG's, auto reviewers don't have a clue how to drive a CMAX/FFH and you can blame FORD for never explaining how to drive the car through OM or YouTube like I did. :sad:   After testing 5 KIA NIRO's and comparing it to Prius V and CMAX Titanium, the CMAX was able to get better MPG's than NIRO Touring getting over 46mpg. :)

 

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#14 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 06:50 PM

I don't see how you can get 35 mpg City unless you are using A/C to the max.  HVB doesn't take cargo space, it has more cargo space than the other 3 cars.  Sometimes I think CR is really flaky. :sad:  Were they talking about Energi?

 

Paul

"Cargo area

 

Looking at the outside of the C-Max, you might expect more cargo volume than you get. Cargo space behind the rear seats is tight, largely because the hybrid battery makes for a high load floor, even in the Hybrid. The Hybrid can fit three large suitcases in the cargo area with the 60/40-split seatbacks set up for passengers. Folding them forward leaves a flat floor for larger items. A retractable cover keeps cargo out of sight, and an assortment of bag hooks, netted compartments, and tie-down loops all add to utility.

The C-Max Energi has even less cargo space, because its large hybrid battery robs much of the room. It can hold only one large, upright suitcase and a duffle bag on top of the battery. There is a small section inside the tailgate that sits flush with the sill for small items. Folding the rear seats doesn't open up any flat space that connects to the tailgate." - consumerreports

 

What CR is saying is that one would expect more cargo space in the C-Max than exists as the C-Max is larger than the Ionic and Niro.  They are not saying that the C-Max has less cargo space than the others but that the C-Max battery (I'm assuming unlike the others) has the HVB taking up cargo space (cargo floor raised up in the Hybrid and even more in the Energi).  So, yes the HVB is taking up cargo space.  

 

With respect to FE, my wife can show you how to get 35 mpg in the city. :)   She turns the AC set temp down, doesn't coast to stops, doesn't time lights, accelerates brisky, doesn't get good brake scores and so forth - pretty much like most drivers I observe.


Edited by Plus 3 Golfer, 05 August 2017 - 08:13 PM.

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#15 OFFLINE   raadsel

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 07:17 PM

The sad thing about CMAX MPG's, auto reviewers don't have a clue how to drive a CMAX/FFH and you can blame FORD for never explaining how to drive the car through OM or YouTube like I did. :sad:   After testing 5 KIA NIRO's and comparing it to Prius V and CMAX Titanium, the CMAX was able to get better MPG's than NIRO Touring getting over 46mpg. :)

 

Paul

 

But that is actually the point of reviewers MPG tests; most people don't want to "re-learn" how to drive a car. Instead, they want to get in the car and go, not worry too much about trying to get the best mileage, and still get good fuel economy. Looking at fuelly.com, the vast majority of C-Max owners have gotten between 38-43 mpg lifetime. It is also worth noting that 25 people on fuelly have reported 34 mpg lifetime in their C-Max, and there are also people who have lower lifetime averages. I'm finding it hard to get a good comparison for the Niro -- under "Research Vehicles" (or "Browse Vehicles") the Niro shows twice -- one with 56 cars and the other with only 12 (and all European owners) -- but, when you hit either link, it takes you to the 12 Niro cars with European owners. It does seem, from what I recall, that most people with the Niro are averaging between 44-46 mpg; we just don't have a good idea of what is capable at the extreme high end of the Niro, outside of Wayne Gerdis' testing.



#16 OFFLINE   djc

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 11:02 AM

The sad thing about CMAX MPG's, auto reviewers don't have a clue how to drive a CMAX/FFH and you can blame FORD for never explaining how to drive the car through OM or YouTube like I did. :sad:   After testing 5 KIA NIRO's and comparing it to Prius V and CMAX Titanium, the CMAX was able to get better MPG's than NIRO Touring getting over 46mpg. :)

 

Paul

 

Perhaps Ford could have provided better feedback to drivers than the green leaf display?  I find the leaves pretty useless - maybe I don't understand auto-botany.   For starters, instead of giving you a single number braking score after the fact, maybe show you as you are braking the per cent regen you are capturing?  Or pop up a graph? 

 

On testing: there does seem to be difference sometimes in how car reviewers test acceleration in contrast with their mpg testing.  In stick shift vehicles I believe they often do several runs with different shift points, and try to avoid wheel spin, looking for the best time they can get.  On mpg there seems to be a set course and target speeds, but the devil is in the details of how you accelerate to and decel from the speeds.


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#17 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 11:55 AM

 auto-botany.  .

 

He-He



#18 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 10:35 AM

But that is actually the point of reviewers MPG tests; most people don't want to "re-learn" how to drive a car. Instead, they want to get in the car and go, not worry too much about trying to get the best mileage, and still get good fuel economy. Looking at fuelly.com, the vast majority of C-Max owners have gotten between 38-43 mpg lifetime. It is also worth noting that 25 people on fuelly have reported 34 mpg lifetime in their C-Max, and there are also people who have lower lifetime averages. I'm finding it hard to get a good comparison for the Niro -- under "Research Vehicles" (or "Browse Vehicles") the Niro shows twice -- one with 56 cars and the other with only 12 (and all European owners) -- but, when you hit either link, it takes you to the 12 Niro cars with European owners. It does seem, from what I recall, that most people with the Niro are averaging between 44-46 mpg; we just don't have a good idea of what is capable at the extreme high end of the Niro, outside of Wayne Gerdis' testing.

I disagree with "re-learn" statement, people going from ICE car to a Hybrid expect their to be some difference, but when the manufacturer doesn't give any guidance they're going to do what their use to.  FORD's solution was to have MPG (Prius) switch to improve FE on 2016 and newer. We don't drive a Mustang the same as F150 truck, each vehicle has it's own driving characteristics. As far as Wayne Gerdis NIRO testing, I talked to Bob, Wayne's co-driver and he said they drove slow and had strong tail wind, not a good comparison.  Four out of 5 NIRO's I drove I got a little better than EPA.  The 2017 CMAX Titanium got alot  better than EPA and little better NIRO Touring's too.

 

Perhaps Ford could have provided better feedback to drivers than the green leaf display?  I find the leaves pretty useless - maybe I don't understand auto-botany.   For starters, instead of giving you a single number braking score after the fact, maybe show you as you are braking the per cent regen you are capturing?  Or pop up a graph? 

 

On testing: there does seem to be difference sometimes in how car reviewers test acceleration in contrast with their mpg testing.  In stick shift vehicles I believe they often do several runs with different shift points, and try to avoid wheel spin, looking for the best time they can get.  On mpg there seems to be a set course and target speeds, but the devil is in the details of how you accelerate to and decel from the speeds.

I missed the brake coach on My 2010 FEH with a bar that moved up and down with brake pressure, that been said I still have 98% Life Time Braking Score . :)  On FE the CMAX has more HP so it can use more gas during acceleration, you don't get something for nothing. :sad:   Bottom line is the CMAX is designed to run in EV  40-60% of the time where as KIA NIRO, Prius V and Hyundai Ioniq use EV to assist the ICE.

 

Paul


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#19 OFFLINE   AZgman

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 11:55 AM

As far as style of driving goes, maybe I have a bit of a different point of view. While I commend Paul for his significant efforts to maximize fuel economy, I do not find driving to maximize FE as being safe in many scenarios.  For example, I often need to accelerate harder than "2 bars" so I can merge with traffic, I do not want to vary my speed in order to maximize time spent in EV mode because I would be in danger of being rear-ended, etc. I do try to maximize braking regeneration and will drive using FE techniques on occasion when I deem it to be safe. As a result, I am in EV mode about 15% of the time and I am averaging around 41 mpg. I am fine with that, and I am guessing many others are too.



#20 OFFLINE   raadsel

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 01:16 PM

I disagree with "re-learn" statement, people going from ICE car to a Hybrid expect their to be some difference, but when the manufacturer doesn't give any guidance they're going to do what their use to.  FORD's solution was to have MPG (Prius) switch to improve FE on 2016 and newer. We don't drive a Mustang the same as F150 truck, each vehicle has it's own driving characteristics. As far as Wayne Gerdis NIRO testing, I talked to Bob, Wayne's co-driver and he said they drove slow and had strong tail wind, not a good comparison.  Four out of 5 NIRO's I drove I got a little better than EPA.  The 2017 CMAX Titanium got alot  better than EPA and little better NIRO Touring's too.

 

I missed the brake coach on My 2010 FEH with a bar that moved up and down with brake pressure, that been said I still have 98% Life Time Braking Score . :)  On FE the CMAX has more HP so it can use more gas during acceleration, you don't get something for nothing. :sad:   Bottom line is the CMAX is designed to run in EV  40-60% of the time where as KIA NIRO, Prius V and Hyundai Ioniq use EV to assist the ICE.

 

Paul

 

As for your first point, you don't relearn how to drive when you buy a new car, you merely adjust your current knowledge to how the new car performs. You learn not to slam down the throttle on your V8 Mustang when you are trying to merge into traffic, etc. If you are a person that jackrabbits from stop lights, and accelerates toward red lights, only to stomp on the brake at the last minute, you are going to tend to do that with a Mustang, an F-150, or even a C-Max.

 

Instead, there is a reason you felt the need to post a YouTube video showing how to drive a C-Max to get the best mileage, it requires you to "relearn" how you drive a car to be able to get the best mileage -- and this is true of any hybrid car. Those that don't bother to learn new techniques, like pulse and glide, aren't going to get the great fuel economy. And even people that are willing, many will never have the patience or interest to fully master the techniques. 

 

Now, you sure try to downplay what Wayne Gedes did; you claim they got some great aid from a tailwind but fail to acknowledge they drove in a great deal of bad weather in December -- and that the best temperatures they had tended to be in the 50s, at least after leaving SoCal. In fact, the tailwinds were because of the storms they hit, complete with rain and snow. At best, the tailwinds merely managed to not make the other effects of winter weather not as severe. And if they "did nothing" other than drive slow and have tailwinds, then their 76.6 mpg becomes even more impressive on a cross country trip.

 

Of course, your first point and your second point contradict each other. You talk about having to "relearn" for each car and, the fact remains, you have learned how to drive a C-Max -- you've had a lot of experience with it. Yet you haven't had that same experience with the Niro, so it is unlikely you'll be able to get the same level of efficiency on a short drive, since you don't know the car. And that is ignoring that, on trips of less than a half hour or so, there are factors such as the state of charge of the battery and engine temperature that can greatly effect the gas mileage; a true comparison would require more than one (or even a few) short drives.

 

Last, I've had people disagree with your characterization, the the electric motor only assists the ICE (at speeds above about 50, which is what you have said previously). While I don't know that for a fact with the Niro, I've seen others say that it will work at higher speeds. I also have others on the Ioniq that claim it does go into EV at higher speeds, though it is possible -- particularly with the Ioniq having a lower coefficient of drag -- that Hyundai set it up in software differently than Kia did the Niro, despite sharing the powertrain. I know at least one person who is having no issue getting 60 mpg from his Ioniq.

 

Unfortunately, I seem to be unable to "search" Fuelly reliably right now -- particularly for the Ioniq and Niro, it isn't showing any of the US cars. Even trying to click on ptjones Fuelly banner, it comes up, "There was a problem accessing this vehicle." Fuelly's database appears to be having some type of issue.








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