2019 Kia Niro EV vs. 2019 Chevrolet Volt

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Volt 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 Volt doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Niro EV and the Volt 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.

Warranty

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 Volt’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 Volt. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Volt ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

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.

Engine

The Niro EV’s electric motor produces 52 more horsepower (201 vs. 149) than the Volt’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Kia Niro EV is faster than the Chevrolet Volt:

Niro EV

Volt

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.6 sec

23.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.5 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

108 MPH

101 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Niro EV gets better fuel mileage than the Volt running on electricity (123 city/102 hwy vs. 113 city/99 hwy MPGe).

On the EPA test cycle the Niro EV gets better fuel mileage than the Volt running its gasoline engine (123 city/102 hwy MPGe vs. 43 city/42 hwy).

The Niro EV’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 239 miles on a full charge. The Volt can only travel about 53 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Kia Niro EV higher (10 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Volt (3 to 7). This means the Niro EV produces up to 36.3 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Volt every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Niro EV

Volt

Front Rotors

12 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10 inches

The Niro EV stops much shorter than the Volt:

Niro EV

Volt

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

181 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 Volt 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 Volt’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 Volt’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Niro EV is 1.4 inches wider in the front and .6 inches wider in the rear than on the Volt.

For better maneuverability, the Niro EV’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Volt’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.4 feet).

Chassis

The Niro EV is 8.2 inches shorter than the Volt, making the Niro EV easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Niro EV has 6.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Volt (96.6 vs. 90.3).

The Niro EV has 2.3 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Volt.

Cargo Capacity

The Niro EV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Volt (18.5 vs. 10.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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 Volt’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro EV has a standard rear wiper. The Volt doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The Niro EV’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet charges extra for heated mirrors on the Volt.

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 Volt’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 Volt 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 Volt doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Niro EV and the Volt 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 Volt doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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

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