2019 Kia Niro EV vs. 2019 Volkswagen e-Golf

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the Niro EV and the e-Golf 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, 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. The e-Golf’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

The Niro EV comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Kia will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the e-Golf.

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

There are over 18 percent more Kia dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Niro EV’s warranty.


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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th, 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 11 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.


The Niro EV’s electric motor produces 67 more horsepower (201 vs. 134) and 77 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 214) than the e-Golf’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Niro EV’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 239 miles on a full charge, almost twice as far as the e-Golf’s 125-mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

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



Front Rotors

12 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

10.7 inches

The Niro EV stops shorter than the e-Golf:



70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Niro EV has larger tires than the e-Golf (215/55R17 vs. 205/55R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Niro EV has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the e-Golf.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro EV’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the e-Golf (106.3 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Niro EV is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the e-Golf.

For better maneuverability, the Niro EV’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the e-Golf’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.8 feet).

Passenger Space

The Niro EV has 3.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the e-Golf (96.6 vs. 93.5).

The Niro EV has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the e-Golf.


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 e-Golf only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Niro EV has standard extendable sun visors. The e-Golf doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 e-Golf’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 e-Golf 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 e-Golf doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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

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