2019 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 Kia Niro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

For enhanced safety, the GMC Terrain’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Kia Niro doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Terrain are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Niro doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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

The Terrain Denali offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Niro only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Terrain has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Niro doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Terrain 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Terrain the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Niro has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Terrain’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Niro’s (6/100,000 vs. 5/100,000).

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Terrain for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Niro.

There are over 2 times as many GMC dealers as there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Terrain’s warranty.

Engine

The Terrain’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 31 more horsepower (170 vs. 139) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 195) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The Terrain’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 113 more horsepower (252 vs. 139) and 65 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 195) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

The Terrain’s 1.6 turbo diesel produces 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 195) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Kia Niro:

 

Terrain

Niro

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

80.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Terrain’s standard fuel tank has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Niro (14.9 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Terrain’s standard fuel tank has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Niro (15.6 vs. 11.9 gallons).

The Terrain has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Niro doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the GMC Terrain, 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 Terrain’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Niro:

 

Terrain 1.5T/Diesel

Terrain 2.0T

Niro

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

10.3 inches

The Terrain stops much shorter than the Niro:

 

Terrain

Niro

 

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

152 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Terrain has larger standard tires than the Niro (225/65R17 vs. 205/60R16). The Terrain’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Niro (235/50R19 vs. 225/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Terrain has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Niro FE/LX/EX. The Terrain’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Niro S Touring/Touring.

The Terrain has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Niro doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Terrain Denali AWD handles at .79 G’s, while the Niro EX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Terrain Denali AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Niro EX (27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Terrain 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.

The Terrain uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Niro doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Terrain has 2.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Niro (103.2 vs. 100.9).

The Terrain has .7 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear legroom, 3.5 inches more rear hip room and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Niro.

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

Cargo Capacity

The Terrain has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Niro with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 19.4 cubic feet). The Terrain has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Niro with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 54.5 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Terrain SLE/SLT/Denali’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Niro doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Terrain (except SL) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Niro doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

The Terrain has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Niro has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Terrain offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Niro doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Terrain’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Niro does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Terrain’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 power windows’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

On a hot day the Terrain’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Niro can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

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

The Terrain SLT/Denali has standard 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 Terrain and the Niro offer available heated front seats. The Terrain Denali also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Niro.

Both the Terrain and the Niro offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Terrain 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 Terrain Denali’s optional Automatic Parking Assist 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.

Recommendations

The GMC Terrain outsold the Kia Niro by over three to one during 2017.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos