2020 Kia Niro vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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 2020/08/12

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Niro and the Outlander Sport 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Kia Niro is safer than the Outlander Sport:

Niro

Outlander Sport

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.32/.48

.68/.36

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 Outlander Sport was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.

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 2020/08/12

There are over 2 times as many Kia dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Niro’s warranty.

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 12 points higher than the Outlander Sport.

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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th, 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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Kia 11 places higher in reliability than Mitsubishi.

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 2020/08/12

The Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 145) than the Outlander Sport ES/SP/SE’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 28 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 167) than the Outlander Sport GT’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Kia Niro is faster than the Outlander Sport 2.0 4-cylinder:

Niro

Outlander Sport

Zero to 60 MPH

8.9 sec

10.1 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83 MPH

78.4 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 2020/08/12

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

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

Outlander Sport

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

24 city/30 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

2.4 DOHC 4-cyl.

23 city/28 hwy

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Niro’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (5). This means the Niro produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Outlander Sport every 15,000 miles.

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 2020/08/12

The Niro stops shorter than the Outlander Sport:

Niro

Outlander Sport

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Niro Touring’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outlander Sport’s 55 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 Outlander Sport’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Niro’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Outlander Sport (106.3 inches vs. 105.1 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 Outlander Sport.

The Niro Touring Special Edition handles at .82 G’s, while the Outlander Sport 4WD pulls only .76 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 Outlander Sport SE 4WD (27.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Passenger Space

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The Niro has 3.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Outlander Sport (100.9 vs. 97.5).

The Niro has .7 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and 1.1 inches more rear legroom than the Outlander Sport.

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 2020/08/12

The Niro has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Outlander Sport with its rear seat folded (54.5 vs. 49.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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

The Niro’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 Outlander Sport’s front passenger window doesn’t open automatically. The Niro EX Premium’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and its driver’s window also automatically closes.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Outlander Sport only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 Outlander Sport’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 Outlander Sport has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/GT.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Niro has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Outlander Sport’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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Niro EX Premium’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Niro’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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Niro and the Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Niro Touring/Touring Special Edition/EX Premium has a standard Advanced Smart Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Outlander Sport doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/08/12

Insurance will cost less for the Niro owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Niro will cost $130 to $1985 less than the Outlander Sport over a five-year period.

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