2019 Volkswagen e-Golf vs. 2019 Kia Niro EV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The e-Golf has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Niro EV doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The e-Golf SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Niro EV doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The e-Golf has standard Car-Net, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Niro EV 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 e-Golf and the Niro EV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The e-Golf’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Niro EV’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the e-Golf gets better fuel mileage than the Niro EV (126 city/111 hwy vs. 123 city/102 hwy MPGe).

Tires and Wheels

The e-Golf has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Niro EV; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The e-Golf has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Niro EV doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

Chassis

The Volkswagen e-Golf may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the Kia Niro EV.

The e-Golf is 4.1 inches shorter than the Niro EV, making the e-Golf easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The e-Golf has a much larger cargo volume than the Niro EV with its rear seat up (22.8 vs. 18.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The e-Golf 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 climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Niro EV doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The e-Golf’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 EV’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the e-Golf the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows with the driver’s door power window switch. The driver of the Niro EV can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The e-Golf’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 EV’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the e-Golf SEL Premium has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Niro EV doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The e-Golf SEL Premium’s Parking Steering Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Niro EV doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 13 years. The Niro EV has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The Niro EV has never been chosen.

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

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