2020 Kia Niro vs. 2020 Lexus NX Series

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 2020/01/28

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 NX Series scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Compared to metal, the Niro’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Lexus NX Series has a metal gas tank.

Both the Niro and the NX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

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 NX Series’ 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro 4 years and 30,000 miles longer than Lexus covers the NX Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the NX Series ends after only 6 years or 70,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Kia dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Niro’s warranty.

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 2020/01/28

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 Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

NX Series

FWD

300 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

AWD

300h 2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

33 city/30 hwy

300 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

300 F Sport 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Kia Niro uses regular unleaded gasoline. The NX 300 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Kia Niro higher (7 out of 10) than the Lexus NX Series (3 to 7). This means the Niro produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the NX Series every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

© 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 2020/01/28

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 NX Series doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Niro stops shorter than the NX Series:

Niro

NX Series

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

127 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 NX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The Niro Touring’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the NX Series F Sport’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the NX Series (106.3 inches vs. 104.7 inches).

The Niro Touring Special Edition handles at .82 G’s, while the NX 300 pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Niro Touring Special Edition executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the NX 300h AWD (27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Niro’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the NX Series’ (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Kia Niro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 850 to 900 pounds less than the Lexus NX Series.

The Niro is 11.2 inches shorter than the NX Series, making the Niro easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 NX Series (.34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Niro get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The Niro has 29.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the NX Series (100.9 vs. 71.6).

The Niro has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more rear headroom and 1.3 inches more rear legroom than the NX Series.

The front step up height for the Niro is 2.6 inches lower than the NX Series (15.5” vs. 18.1”). The Niro’s rear step up height is 1.8 inches lower than the NX Series’ (16.2” vs. 18”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Niro has a much larger cargo volume than the NX Series with its rear seat up (19.4 vs. 17.7 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 NX Series’ liftover is 31.2 inches.

Ergonomics

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

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 NX Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Niro (except FE/LX/S Touring) offers an optional 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 NX Series doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 $170 to $1210 less than the NX Series 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 $6980 to $10632 less than for the Lexus NX Series.

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

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