2019 Kia Niro vs. 2019 Nissan Rogue

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 Rogue doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Niro and the Rogue 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, 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 Rogue’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 Nissan covers the Rogue. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Rogue 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 30 points higher than the Rogue.

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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia third in reliability. Nissan is ranked 11th.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Niro is faster than the Nissan Rogue 4 cyl.:

 

Niro

Rogue

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

17 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Niro

Rogue

 

FWD

FE

52 city/49 hwy

33 city/35 hwy

Hybrid

 

LX/EX

51 city/46 hwy

26 city/33 hwy

4 cyl.

 

Touring

46 city/40 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

 

n/a

31 city/34 hwy

Hybrid

 

 

n/a

25 city/32 hwy

4 cyl.

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 Rogue S/SV/Hybrid’s standard 65 series tires. The Niro S Touring/Touring’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Rogue SL’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

The Niro Touring handles at .82 G’s, while the Rogue SL 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 1.6 seconds quicker than the Rogue SL AWD (27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is 2.8 feet tighter than the Rogue’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.6 feet).

Chassis

The Kia Niro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the Nissan Rogue.

The Niro is 1 foot, 1 inches shorter than the Rogue, making the Niro easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Niro is 7.6 inches shorter in height than the Rogue, making the Niro much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

The design of the Kia Niro amounts to more than styling. The Niro has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the Rogue (.319 to .336) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Niro get better fuel mileage.

Ergonomics

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Niro has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Rogue doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

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 Rogue doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Niro and the Rogue 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 Rogue 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 Rogue’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 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 Rogue has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SV/SL.

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 Rogue’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 Rogue doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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 is only available on the Rogue SV/SL.

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 Rogue doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Kia Niro and the Nissan Rogue, 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 Rogue was rated second in its category.

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

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