KIA Niro: Special features

Hybrid vehicles sound different than gasoline engine vehicles. When the hybrid system operates, you may hear a sound from the hybrid battery system behind the rear seat. If you apply the accelerator pedal rapidly, you may hear an unconventional sound. When you apply the brake pedal, you may hear a sound from the regenerative brake system.

When the hybrid system is turned off or on, you may hear a sound in the engine compartment. If you depress the brake pedal repeatedly when the hybrid system is turned on, you may hear a sound in the engine compartment. None of these sounds indicate a problem.

These are normal characteristics of hybrid vehicles.

It is a normal condition if you hear a motor sound in the engine compartment in any of the following situations:

  • The brake pedal is released after turning off the hybrid system.
  • The brake pedal is applied when the hybrid system is turned off.
  • When the driver door is opened.

When the hybrid system is turned ON, the gasoline engine may run or may not.

In this situation, you may feel a vibration.

This does not indicate a malfunction.

When the READY indicator appears, the hybrid system is ready to begin driving.

Even if the engine is off, you can operate the vehicle as long as the READY indicator is appeared.


The hybrid system contains many electronic components. High voltage components, such as cables and other parts, may emit electromagnetic waves. Even when the electromagnetic cover blocks electromagnetic emissions, electromagnetic waves may have an effect on electronic devices. When your vehicle is not used for a long period of time, the hybrid system will discharge. You need to drive the vehicle several times a month. We recommend driving at least for 1 hour or 16 km. When the hybrid battery is discharged, or when it is impossible to jump start the vehicle, we recommend that you contact your authorized Kia dealer/ partner.


  • When you start the hybrid system with the shift dial in P (Parking), the READY indicator appears on the instrument cluster. The driver can drive the vehicle, even when the gasoline engine is off.
  • When you leave the vehicle, you should turn OFF the hybrid system or locate the shift dial in P (Park). When you depress the accelerator pedal by mistake, or when the shift dial is not in P (Park), the vehicle will abruptly move, possibly resulting in serious injury or death.

Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS)

Virtual Engine Sound System generates engine sound for pedestrians to hear vehicle sound because there is limited sound while motor power is used.

  • If the vehicle is moving at low speed, the VESS will operate.
  • When the gear is shifted to R (Reverse), an additional warning sound will be heard.

What does regenerative braking do?

It uses an electric motor when decelerating and when braking and transforms kinetic energy to electrical energy in order to charge the high voltage battery.


  • The vehicle is composed of a high voltage battery that drives the motor and air conditioner, and an integrated 12V lead battery with the HEV battery that drives the lamps, wipers, and audio system.
  • The integrated 12V battery is automatically charged when the vehicle is in the ready (READY) mode.


     Hybrid system gauge

    Power gauge Type A Type B The hybrid system gauge indicates whether the current driving condition is fuel efficient or not. CHARGE: Shows that the energy made by the vehicle is being converted to electrical energy. (Regenerated ene

     Warning and indicator lights

    Ready indicator READY This indicator appears: When the vehicle is ready to be driven. ON: Normal driving is possible. OFF: Normal driving is not possible, or a problem has occurred. Blinking: Emergency driving. When the ready indicator

     LCD display messages

    Ready to drive A: Ready to start driving This message is displayed when the vehicle is ready to be driven. Check regenerative brakes A: Check regenerative brakes This message is displayed when the brake performance is low or the regene


     Radiator hoses

    Inspection Check radiator hoses for the following (1) Improper attachment (2) Leaks (3) Cracks (4) Damage (5) Loose connections (6) Chafing (7) Deterioration Coolant level Check the coolant level in the coolant reservoir. Make sure

     Important Safety Notice

    Proper service methods and repair procedures are essential for safe, reliable operation of all motor vehicles as well as personal safety of the operator. The service procedures and descriptions in this shop manual provide general directions for