2019 Kia Niro vs. 2019 Subaru Crosstrek

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

Compared to metal, the Niro’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Crosstrek has a metal gas tank.

Both the Niro and the Crosstrek have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 Crosstrek’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 Subaru covers the Crosstrek. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Crosstrek ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

There are over 22 percent more Kia dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it 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 42 points higher than the Crosstrek.

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th, 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 45 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia third in reliability. Subaru is ranked 6th.

Engine

The Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 145) than the Crosstrek’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Kia Niro is faster than the Subaru Crosstrek (automatics tested):

 

Niro

Crosstrek

Zero to 30 MPH

3.6 sec

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

9.9 sec

10.2 sec

Quarter Mile

17.6 sec

17.8 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Niro

Crosstrek

 

 

 

n/a

23 city/29 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Manual

 

FE

52 city/49 hwy

27 city/33 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

 

LX/EX

51 city/46 hwy

n/a

 

 

Touring

46 city/40 hwy

n/a

 

Regenerative brakes improve the Niro’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek 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 Subaru Crosstrek (6 to 7). This means the Niro produces up to 1.1 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek.

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

Brakes and Stopping

The Niro stops shorter than the Crosstrek:

 

Niro

Crosstrek

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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 Crosstrek Limited’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Crosstrek (106.3 inches vs. 104.9 inches).

The Niro Touring handles at .82 G’s, while the Crosstrek Premium pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Niro Touring executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the Crosstrek Limited (27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Crosstrek’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Chassis

The Niro is 4.3 inches shorter than the Crosstrek, making the Niro easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Niro has .3 inches more front headroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and .9 inches more rear legroom than the Crosstrek.

The front step up height for the Niro is 2 inches lower than the Crosstrek (15.5” vs. 17.5”). The Niro’s rear step up height is 1.8 inches lower than the Crosstrek’s (16.2” vs. 18”).

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Niro easier. The Niro’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29 inches, while the Crosstrek’s liftover is 30.9 inches.

Ergonomics

The engine computer on the Niro automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Crosstrek’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

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 Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 Crosstrek has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Premium/Limited.

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 Crosstrek’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 Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Niro and the Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek 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 Crosstrek doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Kia Niro and the Subaru Crosstrek, 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 Crosstrek isn’t in the top three.

© 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