2018 MINI Cooper Clubman vs. 2017 Kia Niro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Cooper Clubman offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Niro doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Cooper Clubman’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Niro doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Cooper Clubman and the Niro have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and front parking sensors.

Warranty

The Cooper Clubman’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Niro’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper Clubman for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Niro.

Engine

The Cooper Clubman S’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 50 more horsepower (189 vs. 139) and 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 195) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The JCW Clubman’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 89 more horsepower (228 vs. 139) and 63 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 195) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Cooper Clubman has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Niro (13.2 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is available on the MINI Cooper Clubman, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Niro.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Cooper Clubman’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Niro:

 

Clubman

Clubman S

Niro

Front Rotors

11.6 inches

12.1 inches

10.5 inches

Tires and Wheels

The Cooper Clubman’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Niro Touring’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Cooper Clubman offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Niro’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Cooper Clubman can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Niro doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Cooper Clubman offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Niro’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Cooper Clubman has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Niro doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

Chassis

The Cooper Clubman is 3.2 inches shorter than the Niro, making the Cooper Clubman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Cooper Clubman uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Niro doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper Clubman’s available rear seats recline. The Niro’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Cooper Clubman easier. The Cooper Clubman’s trunk lift-over height is 27.2 inches, while the Niro’s liftover is 29 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waving your foot can open the Cooper Clubman’s available trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Niro doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The Cooper Clubman uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Niro uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The Cooper Clubman offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Niro doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Cooper Clubman’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Niro’s standard power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically. The Niro EX/Touring’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.

If the windows are left down on the Cooper Clubman the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Niro can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Cooper Clubman’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Niro’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper Clubman to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Niro doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Cooper Clubman offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Niro doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cooper Clubman detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Niro doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper Clubman offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Niro doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To better shield the driver’s vision, the Cooper Clubman has a standard dual-element sun visor that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The Niro doesn’t offer a secondary sun visor.

The Cooper Clubman’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Niro EX/Touring.

The Cooper Clubman offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Niro offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Cooper Clubman and the Niro offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Cooper Clubman has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Niro doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Cooper Clubman’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Niro doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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