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To help make backing safer, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’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 Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Niro Plug-In Hybrid and the Clarity Fuel Cell 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 available rear parking sensors.
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, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Niro Plug-In Hybrid the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Clarity Fuel Cell has not been tested, yet.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Clarity Fuel Cell’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.
Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro Plug-In Hybrid 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Honda covers the Clarity Fuel Cell. Any repair needed on the motor, batteries, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Clarity Fuel Cell ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.
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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 3 places higher in reliability than Honda.
On the EPA test cycle the Niro Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Clarity Fuel Cell (110 city/99 hwy vs. 67 city/66 hwy MPGe).
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Clarity Fuel Cell’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
For better maneuverability, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the Clarity Fuel Cell’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.4 feet).
The Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 850 to 950 pounds less than the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid is 1 foot, 9.2 inches shorter than the Clarity Fuel Cell, making the Niro Plug-In Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has 1 inch more front headroom, 2 inches more rear headroom and .7 inches more rear legroom than the Clarity Fuel Cell.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Clarity Fuel Cell (19.4 vs. 11.8 cubic feet).
To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s cargo door uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Clarity Fuel Cell’s useful trunk space.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Clarity Fuel Cell’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The power windows standard on both the Niro Plug-In Hybrid and the Clarity Fuel Cell have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Clarity Fuel Cell prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid has a standard rear wiper. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer a rear wiper.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
When the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Clarity Fuel Cell’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
On extremely cold winter days, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Clarity Fuel Cell doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Kia Niro outsold the Honda Clarity by over two to one during 2019.
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