2019 Kia Niro vs. 2019 MINI Cooper Clubman

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 MINI Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer height-adjustable 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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Niro (except FE/S Touring)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Niro EX/S Touring/Touring’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Niro and the Cooper Clubman 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 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 Cooper Clubman’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro 6 years and 50,000 miles longer than MINI covers the Cooper Clubman. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Cooper Clubman ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 6 times as many Kia dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Niro’s warranty.

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 Cooper Clubman.

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 MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 12th.

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 MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 17th.

Engine

The Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 5 more horsepower (139 vs. 134) and 33 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 162) than the Cooper Clubman’s standard 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Niro

Clubman

 

FWD

 

n/a

24 city/33 hwy

1.5 3 cyl. Turbo/Manual

 

 

n/a

26 city/32 hwy

2.0 4 cyl. Turbo/Manual S

 

FE

52 city/49 hwy

24 city/32 hwy

1.5 3 cyl. Turbo/Auto

 

LX/EX

51 city/46 hwy

22 city/29 hwy

2.0 4 cyl. Turbo/Auto S

 

Touring

46 city/40 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

 

n/a

22 city/32 hwy

1.5 3 cyl. Turbo/Manual

 

 

n/a

21 city/30 hwy

2.0 4 cyl. Turbo/Manual S

 

 

n/a

23 city/31 hwy

1.5 3 cyl. Turbo/Auto

 

 

n/a

22 city/31 hwy

2.0 4 cyl. Turbo/Auto S

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 MINI Cooper Clubman (3 to 7). This means the Niro produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Cooper Clubman every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Kia Niro comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Cooper Clubman.

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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

The Niro stops shorter than the Cooper Clubman:

 

Niro

Clubman

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Cooper Clubman (106.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Cooper Clubman’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.1 feet).

Passenger Space

The Niro has 8.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Cooper Clubman (100.9 vs. 92.5).

The Niro has .3 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 3.1 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Cooper Clubman.

Cargo Capacity

The Niro has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Cooper Clubman with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 17.5 cubic feet). The Niro has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Cooper Clubman with its rear seat folded (54.5 vs. 47.9 cubic feet).

The Niro’s cargo area is larger than the Cooper Clubman’s in every dimension:

 

Niro

Clubman

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

31.8”/64”

28.9”/60.8”

Max Width

48.2”

n/a

Min Width

41”

40”

Height

36”

30”

The Niro’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Cooper Clubman’s two swing out doors impair rear visibility, need a lot of clearance, and can block loading in tight quarters.

Ergonomics

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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Niro’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. MINI does not offer a locking feature on the Cooper Clubman’s standard power windows.

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

The Niro’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Cooper Clubman’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

Smart Key standard on the Niro LX/EX/S Touring/Touring allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The MINI Cooper Clubman’s Start/Stop Switch doesn’t unlock the doors or the trunk.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Cooper Clubman 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 has standard extendable sun visors. The Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Cooper Clubman’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 Cooper Clubman 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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Cooper Clubman.

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 Cooper Clubman doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Niro, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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