2019 Lexus UX Series vs. 2019 Kia Niro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Brake which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Niro doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The UX 250h has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Niro doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the UX Series and the Niro have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The UX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Niro’s (6/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked fifth.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.

Engine

The UX 200’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 30 more horsepower (169 vs. 139) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 36 more horsepower (175 vs. 139) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Transmission

The UX Series has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Niro doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the UX Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Niro:

 

UX Series

Niro

Front Rotors

12 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the UX Series has larger tires than the Niro (225/50R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The UX Series’ tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Niro FE/LX/EX’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the UX Series has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Niro FE/LX/EX.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the UX Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Niro doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the UX Series’ turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Niro’s (34.2 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Passenger Space

The UX Series has .4 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room and 4 inches more rear hip room than the Niro.

Cargo Capacity

The UX Series has a much larger cargo area than the Niro with its rear seat up (21.7 vs. 19.4 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the UX Series’ available liftgate can be opened just by a gesture, leaving your hands completely free. The Niro doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Kia. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 45% lower rating, Kia is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

The UX Series has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Niro doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The UX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Niro doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the UX Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Niro doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the UX Series F SPORT has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Niro doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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

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