2019 Kia Niro EV vs. 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Niro EV and the Crosstrek Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning 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 Crosstrek Hybrid’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 Subaru covers the Crosstrek Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Crosstrek Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

There are over 22 percent more Kia dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Niro EV’s warranty.

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Niro EV’s standard electric motor produces 53 more horsepower (201 vs. 148) than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Niro EV gets better fuel mileage than the Crosstrek Hybrid running on electricity (123 city/102 hwy vs. 99 city/80 hwy MPGe).

On the EPA test cycle the Niro EV gets better fuel mileage than the Crosstrek Hybrid running its gasoline engine (123 city/102 hwy MPGe vs. 36 city/35 hwy).

The Niro EV’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 239 miles on a full charge. The Crosstrek Hybrid can only travel about 17 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 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (6 to 7). This means the Niro EV produces up to 12.9 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Crosstrek Hybrid every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Niro

Crosstrek

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.2 inches

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro EV’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Crosstrek Hybrid (106.3 inches vs. 104.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Niro EV is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Crosstrek Hybrid.

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

Chassis

The Niro EV is 3.6 inches shorter than the Crosstrek Hybrid, making the Niro EV easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Niro EV has .3 inches more front headroom and .1 inches more rear headroom than the Crosstrek Hybrid.

The front step up height for the Niro EV is 2 inches lower than the Crosstrek Hybrid (15.5” vs. 17.5”). The Niro EV’s rear step up height is 1.8 inches lower than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s (16.2” vs. 18”).

Cargo Capacity

The Niro EV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat up (18.5 vs. 15.9 cubic feet). The Niro EV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat folded (53 vs. 43.1 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Niro EV easier. The Niro EV’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29 inches, while the Crosstrek Hybrid’s liftover is 30.7 inches.

The Niro EV’s cargo area is larger than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s in almost every dimension:

Niro

Crosstrek

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

31.8”/64”

28.9”/63.1”

Max Width

48.2”

53”

Min Width

41”

43”

Height

36”

30”

Ergonomics

The engine computer on the Niro EV automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid’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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Niro EV EX Premium has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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

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