2019 Kia Niro vs. 2019 Toyota C-HR

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

Both the Niro and the C-HR 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, 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 C-HR’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 Toyota covers the C-HR. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the C-HR 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 22 points higher than the C-HR.

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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, 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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia fifth in reliability, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 56 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 139) than the C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Niro is faster than the Toyota C-HR:

 

Niro

C-HR

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

10.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83 MPH

77.4 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

Niro

C-HR

 

 

FE

52 city/49 hwy

27 city/31 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 C-HR 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 C-HR 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 Toyota C-HR (3). This means the Niro produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the C-HR every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The Niro stops much shorter than the C-HR:

 

Niro

C-HR

 

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

137 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 C-HR XLE/Limited’s 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the C-HR (106.3 inches vs. 103.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Niro is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the C-HR.

The Niro Touring handles at .82 G’s, while the C-HR XLE pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Niro Touring executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the C-HR XLE (27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .59 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Niro has 17.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C-HR (100.9 vs. 83.8).

The Niro has 2 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front hip room, 7 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 5.7 inches more rear legroom, .3 inches more rear hip room and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the C-HR.

Cargo Capacity

The Niro has a larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the C-HR with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 19 cubic feet). The Niro has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the C-HR with its rear seat folded (54.5 vs. 36.4 cubic feet).

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 C-HR’s liftover is 31 inches.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Niro to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Toyota doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the C-HR.

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 C-HR 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 C-HR doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 C-HR 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 C-HR’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 C-HR 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 C-HR 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 C-HR doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

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

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Kia Niro and the Toyota C-HR, 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 C-HR isn’t in the top three.

The Kia Niro outsold the Toyota C-HR by 6% during 2017.

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

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