2019 Kia Niro vs. 2019 Chevrolet Equinox

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Kia Niro 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 Equinox doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

The Niro 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 Equinox doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Niro and the Equinox have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

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

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Niro’s reliability 62 points higher than the Equinox.

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.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia third in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 18th.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Niro is faster than the Chevrolet Equinox 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.:

 

Niro

Equinox

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

9.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83 MPH

81.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Niro gets better fuel mileage than the Equinox Diesel:

 

 

Niro

Equinox

 

FWD

FE

52 city/49 hwy

28 city/39 hwy

 

LX/EX

51 city/46 hwy

n/a

 

Touring

46 city/40 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

 

n/a

28 city/38 hwy

 

On the EPA test cycle the Niro gets better fuel mileage than the Equinox:

 

 

Niro

Equinox

 

FWD

FE

52 city/49 hwy

26 city/32 hwy

1.5 Turbo

 

LX/EX

51 city/46 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

2.0 Turbo

 

Touring

46 city/40 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

 

n/a

25 city/30 hwy

1.5 Turbo

 

 

n/a

22 city/28 hwy

2.0 Turbo

Regenerative brakes improve the Niro’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Equinox doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Niro uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Equinox with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Kia Niro higher (7 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Equinox (3 to 5). This means the Niro produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Equinox every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Niro offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Equinox doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

The Niro stops shorter than the Equinox:

 

Niro

Equinox

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Niro FE/LX/EX’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Equinox’s standard 65 series tires. The Niro S Touring/Touring’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Equinox Premier’s optional 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

The Niro Touring handles at .82 G’s, while the Equinox LT AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Niro Touring executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Equinox LT AWD (27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Equinox’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The Niro’s turning circle is 6.8 feet tighter than the Equinox w/19” wheels’ (34.8 feet vs. 41.6 feet).

Chassis

The Niro is 11.6 inches shorter than the Equinox, making the Niro easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Niro has .1 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear headroom than the Equinox.

The front step up height for the Niro is 1.7 inches lower than the Equinox (15.5” vs. 17.2”). The Niro’s rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the Equinox’s (16.2” vs. 17.5”).

Ergonomics

The Niro EX/S Touring/Touring’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Equinox’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

The Niro has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Equinox doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Niro has a 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. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Equinox.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Niro, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Chevrolet Equinox isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Niro first among small SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Equinox isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos