How much is your car worth?
Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.
Both the Niro Plug-In Hybrid 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, 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 Leaf has not been fully 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 Leaf’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 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.
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.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 573.2 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Leaf’s range is only 226 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 45 minutes for only an 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 53 hours and 40 minutes.
For superior ride and handling, the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid 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 Plug-In Hybrid 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 Plug-In Hybrid is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Leaf.
The Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 650 pounds less than the Nissan Leaf.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid is 4.9 inches shorter than the Leaf, making the Niro Plug-In Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has 4.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Leaf (97.1 vs. 92.4).
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has 2 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear legroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Leaf.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat folded (54.5 vs. 30 cubic feet).
To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid 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.
When two different drivers share the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Leaf doesn’t offer a memory system.
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 Leaf doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The power windows standard on both the Niro Plug-In Hybrid and the Leaf 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 Leaf prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s standard front power windows open 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 front passenger window doesn’t open automatically. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and its driver’s window also automatically closes.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’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.
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 Leaf’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 Leaf doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid 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 Plug-In Hybrid’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 Plug-In Hybrid and the Leaf offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium 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.
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 Leaf doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Niro Plug-In Hybrid will retain 37.82% to 38.4% of its original price after five years, while the Leaf only retains 25.21% to 25.92%.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid will be $3951 to $4355 less than for the Nissan Leaf.
The Kia Niro outsold the Nissan Leaf by almost two to one during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.