2019 Toyota Mirai vs. 2019 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Mirai’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Toyota Mirai are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Mirai has standard 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 Plug-In Hybrid 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 Mirai and the Niro Plug-In Hybrid 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.

The Toyota Mirai weighs 801 to 914 pounds more than the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Mirai for 3 years and 35000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

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 Mirai’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 Mirai’s electric motor produces 12 more horsepower (151 vs. 139) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (247 vs. 195) than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Mirai’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid:

 

Mirai

Niro Plug-In Hybrid

Front Rotors

11.6 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.41 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Mirai has larger tires than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid (215/55R17 vs. 205/60R16).

The Mirai’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 Plug-In Hybrid’s standard 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Mirai has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Mirai’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid (109.5 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

Passenger Space

The Mirai has .8 inches more front legroom and 4.1 inches more rear hip room than the Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Mirai offers cargo security. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s sport utility bodystyle defeats cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Mirai. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The Mirai uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The Mirai’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 Plug-In Hybrid’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

On a hot day the Mirai’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Niro Plug-In Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Mirai’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

The Mirai’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Kia only offers heated mirrors on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium.

The Mirai has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Mirai has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium. The Mirai also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Niro Plug-In Hybrid.

The Mirai has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the car heater warms up. A heated steering wheel is only available on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium.

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

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

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