2019 Mitsubishi Outlander vs. 2019 Kia Niro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Outlander offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Niro doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Outlander (except ES/SE) offers an optional Multi-View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Niro only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Outlander and the Niro 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Outlander the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Niro has not been tested, yet.


The Outlander’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Niro’s (7/100,000 vs. 5/100,000).


The Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 27 more horsepower (166 vs. 139) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6 produces 85 more horsepower (224 vs. 139) and 20 lbs.-ft. more torque (215 vs. 195) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mitsubishi Outlander 4 cyl. is faster than the Kia Niro:




Zero to 60 MPH

9.2 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

17 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.1 MPH

80.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Outlander AWC’s standard fuel tank has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Niro (15.8 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Outlander FWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Niro (16.6 vs. 11.9 gallons).


The Outlander 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 Outlander’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Niro:




Front Rotors

11.6 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

10.3 inches

The Outlander stops much shorter than the Niro:





60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

149 feet

152 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Outlander has larger tires than the Niro (225/55R18 vs. 205/60R16).

The Outlander’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 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 Outlander has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Niro FE/LX/EX.

Passenger Space

The Outlander has standard seating for 7 passengers; the Niro can only carry 5.

The Outlander has 27.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Niro (128.2 vs. 100.9).

The Outlander has .5 inches more front headroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, 3.6 inches more rear hip room and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Niro.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Outlander’s middle row seats recline. The Niro’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Outlander’s cargo area provides more volume than the Niro.




Third Seat Removed

34.2 cubic feet

19.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

63.3 cubic feet

54.5 cubic feet

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Outlander SEL/GT has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The Niro doesn’t offer a power liftgate.


The Outlander has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Niro has no towing capacity.


The Outlander offers a 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 Outlander’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully 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 Niro’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully. Only its driver’s window closes automatically.

The Outlander ES/SE’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Niro’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Outlander SEL/GT’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Outlander SEL/GT detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Niro doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Outlander’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Niro EX/S Touring/Touring.

Both the Outlander and the Niro offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Outlander has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Niro doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.


The Mitsubishi Outlander outsold the Kia Niro by 50% during the 2018 model year.

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

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