2020 Kia Niro EV vs. 2020 Nissan Leaf

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

Both the Niro EV and the Leaf 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Niro EV the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Leaf has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

The Niro EV comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Leaf’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro EV 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Nissan covers the Leaf. Any repair needed on the motor, batteries, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Leaf ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Niro EV’s reliability 11 points higher than the Leaf.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 7th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 2 places higher in reliability than Nissan.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

The Niro EV’s electric motor produces 54 more horsepower (201 vs. 147) and 55 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 236) than the Leaf’s standard electric motor. The Niro EV’s electric motor produces 41 lbs.-ft. more torque (291 vs. 250) than the Leaf PLUS’ standard electric motor.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Niro EV is faster than the Nissan Leaf:

Niro EV

Leaf

Leaf PLUS

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

7.5 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

15.8 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.7 MPH

87.6 MPH

93.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

On the EPA test cycle the Niro EV gets better fuel mileage than the Leaf:

MPGe

Niro EV

Electric Motor

123 city/102 hwy

Leaf

Electric Motor

123 city/99 hwy

PLUS S Electric Motor

118 city/97 hwy

PLUS SV/SL Electric Motor

114 city/94 hwy

The Niro EV’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 239 miles on a full charge, 60% further than the Leaf’s standard 149-mile range and 6% further than the Leaf PLUS’ 226-mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

For better stopping power the Niro EV’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Leaf:

Niro EV

Leaf

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.5 inches

The Niro EV stops much shorter than the Leaf:

Niro EV

Leaf

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

For better traction, the Niro EV has larger tires than the Leaf (215/55R17 vs. 205/55R16).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Niro EV has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Leaf S.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

For superior ride and handling, the Kia Niro EV has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Nissan Leaf has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Niro EV has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Leaf’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Niro EV is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Leaf.

The Niro EV’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55% to 45%) than the Leaf’s (56.9% to 43.1%). This gives the Niro EV more stable handling and braking.

The Niro EV EX handles at .80 G’s, while the Leaf pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

The Niro EV is 4.2 inches shorter than the Leaf, making the Niro EV easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Niro EV has 4.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Leaf (96.6 vs. 92.4).

The Niro EV has 2 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Leaf.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

The Niro EV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Leaf with its rear seat folded (53 vs. 430 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Niro EV has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Leaf doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The Niro EV’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch. The Leaf

The power windows standard on both the Niro EV and the Leaf have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Niro EV is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Leaf prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Niro EV’s front power windows 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 Leaf’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Niro EV’s power window, power lock and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Leaf’s power lock and cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Niro EV’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Leaf and aren’t offered on the Leaf S.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Niro EV EX Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Leaf doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Niro EV has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Leaf doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Niro EV’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Leaf doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/10

Consumer Reports® recommends the Kia Niro EV, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Nissan Leaf isn't recommended.

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its April 2020 issue and they ranked the Kia Niro EV EX Premium higher than the Nissan Leaf SL PLUS.

The Kia Niro outsold the Nissan Leaf by almost two to one during 2019.

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

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