2019 Toyota C-HR vs. 2019 Kia Niro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The C-HR’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Niro doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The C-HR (except LE) offers optional Safety Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Niro doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the C-HR 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The C-HR’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Niro runs out after 100,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the C-HR for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Niro.

There are over 59 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the C-HR’s warranty.

Reliability

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

Engine

The C-HR’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 5 more horsepower (144 vs. 139) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The C-HR has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Niro (13.2 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The C-HR 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 C-HR’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Niro:

 

C-HR

Niro

Front Rotors

11.75 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.3 inches

The C-HR stops much shorter than the Niro:

 

C-HR

Niro

 

60 to 0 MPH

131 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

147 feet

152 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the C-HR has larger standard tires than the Niro (215/60R17 vs. 205/60R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the C-HR LE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Niro FE/LX/EX.

Suspension and Handling

The C-HR XLE handles at .80 G’s, while the Niro EX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

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

Ergonomics

The C-HR’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.

If the windows are left open on the C-HR the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Niro can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The C-HR Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Niro’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Consumer Reports rated the C-HR’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Niro’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

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

The C-HR’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.

Economic Advantages

The C-HR will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the C-HR will retain 54.77% to 54.9% of its original price after five years, while the Niro only retains 38.62% to 39.64%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota C-HR will be $1499 to $7953 less than for the Kia Niro.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Toyota C-HR and the Kia Niro, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Toyota C-HR outsold the Kia Niro by 76% during 2018.

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

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