2019 Honda HR-V vs. 2019 Kia Niro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

Both the HR-V and the Niro have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

The HR-V’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Niro 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 HR-V’s warranty.

Reliability

The engine in the HR-V has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Niro has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda HR-V is faster than the Kia Niro:

 

HR-V

Niro

Zero to 60 MPH

9.5 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

17.3 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

82.2 MPH

80.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Transmission

The HR-V 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 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the HR-V’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Niro:

 

HR-V

Niro

Front Rotors

11.5 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.3 inches

The HR-V stops much shorter than the Niro:

 

HR-V

Niro

 

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

152 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the HR-V has larger tires than the Niro (215/55R17 vs. 205/60R16).

The HR-V’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Niro FE/LX/EX’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the HR-V has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Niro FE/LX/EX.

Suspension and Handling

The HR-V has 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.

The HR-V EX-L AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Niro EX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The HR-V EX executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Niro EX (27.8 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The HR-V Sport/EX/EX-L/Touring 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 HR-V has .8 inches more front shoulder room and 1.9 inches more rear legroom than the Niro.

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

Cargo Capacity

The HR-V has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Niro with its rear seat up (24.3 vs. 19.4 cubic feet). The HR-V has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Niro with its rear seat folded (58.8 vs. 54.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

Consumer Reports rated the HR-V’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Niro’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the HR-V owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the HR-V will cost $275 less than the Niro over a five-year period.

The HR-V will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the HR-V will retain 47.71% to 48.19% of its original price after five years, while the Niro only retains 38.62% to 39.64%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Honda HR-V will be $2254 to $4968 less than for the Kia Niro.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Honda HR-V and the Kia Niro, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Honda HR-V outsold the Kia Niro by over three to one during the 2018 model year.

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

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