2019 Hyundai Nexo vs. 2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Nexo has a standard Limited to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid 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 Nexo has standard Blue Link, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 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 Nexo and the Niro Plug-In Hybrid 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.

The Hyundai Nexo weighs 716 to 955 pounds more than the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The Nexo’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s (7/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Engine

The Nexo’s electric motor produces 22 more horsepower (161 vs. 139) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 195) than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Hyundai Nexo higher (10 out of 10) than the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid (7). This means the Nexo produces up to 11.8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Nexo

Niro Plug-In Hybrid

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Nexo has larger standard tires than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid (225/60R17 vs. 205/60R16). The Nexo Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid (245/45R19 vs. 205/60R16).

The Nexo Limited’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 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Nexo has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid. The Nexo Limited has standard 19-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Nexo’s wheelbase is 3.5 inches longer than on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid (109.8 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Nexo is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

Passenger Space

The Nexo has 4.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid (101.3 vs. 97.1).

The Nexo has .3 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear legroom, 5.2 inches more rear hip room and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Nexo’s rear seats recline. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Nexo has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid with its rear seat up (29.6 vs. 19.4 cubic feet). The Nexo has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid with its rear seat folded (56.5 vs. 54.5 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Nexo Limited’s power liftgate, leaving your hands completely free. The Nexo’s power liftgate can also be opened or closed by pressing a button. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The Nexo uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid 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 Nexo 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Nexo detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Nexo’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.

Both the Nexo and the Niro Plug-In Hybrid offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Nexo 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.

The Nexo Limited’s Remote Smart 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 Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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