2019 Kia Niro EV vs. 2019 Chevrolet Bolt

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Niro EV are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Chevrolet Bolt doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Niro EV has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Bolt doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Niro EV and the Bolt have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available front and rear parking sensors.


The Niro EV comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Bolt’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro EV 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Chevrolet covers the Bolt. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Bolt ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 18 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.


The Niro EV’s electric motor produces 1 more horsepower (201 vs. 200) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 266) than the Bolt’s electric motor.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Niro EV’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Bolt:

Niro EV


Front Rotors

12 inches

10.9 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.4 inches

The Niro EV stops much shorter than the Bolt:

Niro EV


70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Kia Niro EV has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Bolt has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Niro EV has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Bolt’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Niro EV has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Niro EV flat and controlled during cornering. The Bolt’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro EV’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Bolt (106.3 inches vs. 102.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Niro EV is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 3.3 inches wider in the rear than on the Bolt.

For better maneuverability, the Niro EV’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Bolt’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Passenger Space

The Niro EV has 2.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Bolt (96.6 vs. 94.4).

The Niro EV has .4 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Bolt.

Cargo Capacity

The Niro EV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Bolt with its rear seat up (18.5 vs. 16.9 cubic feet).


The Niro EV’s front power windows open or close 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 Bolt’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

When the Niro EV with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Bolt’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Niro EV EX Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Bolt doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Niro EV’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Bolt doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Niro EV has a standard Advanced Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Bolt doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

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