2019 Kia Niro vs. 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

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 Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Niro (except FE/LX/S Touring) offers optional Parking Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Niro and the Ioniq Hybrid 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, 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 and rear cross-path warning.

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 22 points higher than the Ioniq Hybrid.

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.

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 Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 6th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia third in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 10th.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Niro is faster than the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid:

 

Niro

Ioniq

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

9.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83 MPH

80.8 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

The Niro stops much shorter than the Ioniq Hybrid:

 

Niro

Ioniq

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

152 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Niro has larger standard tires than the Ioniq Hybrid (205/60R16 vs. 195/65R15).

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 Ioniq Hybrid’s standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Niro FE/LX/EX has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Ioniq Hybrid. The Niro S Touring/Touring’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels optional on the Ioniq Hybrid Limited.

Suspension and Handling

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

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

Chassis

The Niro is 4.5 inches shorter than the Ioniq Hybrid, making the Niro easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Niro has 4.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Ioniq Hybrid (100.9 vs. 96.2).

The Niro has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Ioniq Hybrid.

Ergonomics

The Niro’s standard front power windows lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Ioniq Hybrid’s standard power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro has a standard rear wiper. The Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

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 Ioniq Hybrid’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 Ioniq Hybrid 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 Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Ioniq Hybrid doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

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

Consumer Reports performed a comparison test in its September 2017 issue and they ranked the Kia Niro EX higher than the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid SEL.

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 Ioniq Hybrid isn’t in the top three.

The Kia Niro outsold the Hyundai Ioniq by over two to one during 2017.

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

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