2020 Kia Niro vs. 2020 Jeep Renegade

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 2020/01/21

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Autonomous Emergency Braking optional in the Niro as “Superior.” The Renegade scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The Niro LXS/Touring/Touring Special Edition/EX Premium’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 Renegade doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Niro and the Renegade 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors 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 front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Niro its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Renegade was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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

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

Reliability

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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’s reliability 19 points higher than the Renegade.

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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 17th, 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 Jeep vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Jeep is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Jeep vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 17 places higher in reliability than Jeep.

Engine

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The Niro has more powerful engines than the Renegade:

Torque

Renegade 1.3 turbo 4-cylinder

210 lbs.-ft.

Renegade 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder

175 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Niro is faster than the Jeep Renegade:

Niro

Renegade Turbo

Renegade 2.4 4-cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

9.3 sec

9.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

17.3 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83 MPH

78.1 MPH

80 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Niro

FWD

LX 1.6 4-cyl. Hybrid

52 city/49 hwy

LXS/EX 1.6 4-cyl. Hybrid

51 city/46 hwy

Touring 1.6 4-cyl. Hybrid

46 city/40 hwy

Renegade

FWD

1.3 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

1.3 turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

Trailhawk 1.3 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Niro’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Renegade doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Niro uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Renegade with the 1.3 turbo 4-cylinder engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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The Niro offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Renegade doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Niro stops much shorter than the Renegade:

Niro

Renegade

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Niro LX/LXS/EX Premium’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Renegade’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the Renegade (106.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Niro is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Renegade.

The Niro Touring Special Edition handles at .82 G’s, while the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Niro Touring Special Edition executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4 (27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Renegade Trailhawk 4x4’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.3 feet). The Niro’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Renegade’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.3 feet).

Chassis

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The design of the Kia Niro amounts to more than styling. The Niro has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Renegade (.35 to .37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Niro get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Niro has standard flush composite headlights. The Renegade has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

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The Niro has .5 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front hip room, .1 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and .1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Renegade.

The front step up height for the Niro is 3.9 inches lower than the Renegade (15.5” vs. 19.4”). The Niro’s rear step up height is 3.4 inches lower than the Renegade’s (16.2” vs. 19.6”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Niro has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Renegade with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The Niro has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Renegade with its rear seat folded (54.5 vs. 50.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Niro easier. The Niro’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29 inches, while the Renegade’s liftover is 30.2 inches.

The Niro’s cargo area is larger than the Renegade’s in every dimension:

Niro

Renegade

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

31.8”/64”

28.9”/59”

Max Width

48.2”

n/a

Min Width

41”

37.6”

Height

36”

33.7”

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 2020/01/21

When two different drivers share the Niro (except FE/LX/S Touring), the optional 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 Renegade doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Niro 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 Renegade doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Niro has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Renegade doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the Niro’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Renegade’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Niro’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Renegade’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

The Niro has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Renegade only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

When the Niro with available tilt-down mirrors 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 Renegade’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

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

The Niro has a 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. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Renegade.

Both the Niro and the Renegade offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Niro Touring/Touring Special Edition/EX Premium has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Renegade doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Kia Niro EX Premium has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Renegade doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Niro owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Niro will cost $315 less than the Renegade over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Kia Niro will be $1929 to $2981 less than for the Jeep Renegade.

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

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