2019 Kia Niro EV vs. 2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Kona Electric doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Niro EV EX Premium has standard Parking Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Kona Electric doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Niro EV and the Kona Electric 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, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

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 Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked third.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 5 places higher in reliability than Hyundai.

Engine

The Niro EV’s electric motor produces 31 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 260) than the Kona Electric’s electric motor.

Brakes and Stopping

The Niro EV stops much shorter than the Kona Electric:

Niro EV

Kona Electric

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

Suspension and Handling

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

Passenger Space

The Niro EV has 2.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Kona Electric (96.6 vs. 94.1).

The Niro EV has .5 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more front shoulder room, 2.6 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Kona Electric.

Cargo Capacity

The Niro EV has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Kona Electric with its rear seat folded (53 vs. 45.8 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Niro EV’s front power windows 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 Kona Electric’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro EV has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Kona Electric only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Kona Electric’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Niro EV’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Kona Electric doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

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 Kona Electric doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Niro EV EX Premium’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Kona Electric doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Kona Electric doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

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

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