2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid vs. 2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid 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 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and the Niro Plug-In Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid weighs 778 to 898 pounds more than the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 35 percent more Honda dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s warranty.

Engine

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 73 more horsepower (212 vs. 139) than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity (117 city/102 hwy vs. 110 city/99 hwy MPGe).

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 47 miles, 81% further than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s 26-mile range.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid higher (8 out of 10) than the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid (7). This means the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid produces up to 5.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid:

 

Clarity

Niro

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has larger tires than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid (235/45R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid (108.3 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

Passenger Space

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has 4.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid (101.5 vs. 97.1).

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has .5 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, 7.3 inches more rear hip room and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

Ergonomics

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Touring has a standard 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 Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Niro Plug-In Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

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

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

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