2019 Kia Niro vs. 2019 Honda HR-V

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 HR-V doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To help make backing safer, the Niro EX/S Touring/Touring’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The HR-V doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Niro and the HR-V 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, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

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 HR-V’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 Honda covers the HR-V. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the HR-V 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 21 points higher than the HR-V.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia third in reliability. Honda is ranked 9th.

Engine

The Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 68 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Niro is faster than the Honda HR-V:

 

Niro

HR-V

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

9.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83 MPH

82.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Niro gets better fuel mileage than the HR-V:

 

 

Niro

H-RV

 

FWD

FE

52 city/49 hwy

28 city/34 hwy

 

LX/EX

51 city/46 hwy

n/a

 

Touring

46 city/40 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

 

n/a

27 city/31 hwy

LX

 

 

n/a

26 city/31 hwy

Sport/EX/EX-L/Touring

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Niro’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The HR-V doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Honda HR-V (3). This means the Niro produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the HR-V every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The Niro stops shorter than the HR-V:

 

Niro

HR-V

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Niro S Touring/Touring’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the HR-V (225/45R18 vs. 215/55R17).

The Niro S Touring/Touring’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the HR-V’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Niro S Touring/Touring has standard 18-inch wheels. The HR-V’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Kia Niro 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 Honda HR-V has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

The Niro has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Niro flat and controlled during cornering. The HR-V 4x2 suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro’s wheelbase is 3.5 inches longer than on the HR-V (106.3 inches vs. 102.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Niro is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the HR-V.

The Niro Touring executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the HR-V EX-L AWD (27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the HR-V’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Passenger Space

The Niro has .6 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front hip room, .8 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear hip room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the HR-V.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the Niro (except FE/LX/S Touring), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The HR-V doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Niro Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The HR-V doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Niro and the HR-V have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Niro is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The HR-V prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Niro’s standard front power windows open 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 HR-V’s front passenger window doesn’t open automatically. The Niro EX/S Touring/Touring’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and its driver’s window also automatically closes.

The Niro’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The HR-V LX/Sport’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Niro has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The HR-V has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the EX/EX-L/Touring.

When the Niro 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 HR-V’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Niro Touring keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The HR-V doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Niro’s optional (except FE/LX/S Touring) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The HR-V doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Niro LX/EX/S Touring/Touring has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The HR-V doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Niro’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 HR-V doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Niro and the HR-V offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Niro EX/S Touring/Touring has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The HR-V doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Niro (except FE/LX/S Touring) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The HR-V doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Kia Niro and the Honda HR-V, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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 HR-V isn’t in the top three.

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

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