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The Cooper SE has a standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Niro EV doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The Cooper SE has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Niro EV doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
The Cooper SE has standard Assist eCall, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Niro EV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Cooper SE and the Niro EV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.
The Cooper SE’s corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Niro EV’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).
MINI pays for scheduled maintenance on the Cooper SE for 3 years and 36,000 miles. MINI will pay for tire rotations, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Niro EV.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that MINI vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks MINI 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Cooper SE can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Niro EV doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The Cooper SE offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Niro EV’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The Cooper SE has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Niro EV doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The MINI Cooper SE may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 700 pounds less than the Kia Niro EV.
The Cooper SE is 1 foot, 8.8 inches shorter than the Niro EV, making the Cooper SE easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Cooper SE’s rear seats recline. The Niro EV’s rear seats don’t recline.
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Cooper SE easier. The Cooper SE’s trunk lift-over height is 25.4 inches, while the Niro EV’s liftover is 29 inches.
The Cooper SE uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Niro EV uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The Cooper SE has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Niro EV doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Cooper SE offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Niro EV doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
If the windows are left open on the Cooper SE the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Niro EV can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Cooper SE’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Niro EV’s power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
The Cooper SE’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Niro EV’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Cooper SE to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Niro EV doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Cooper SE detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Niro EV doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Cooper SE offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Niro EV doesn’t offer cornering lights.
When the Cooper SE with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Niro EV’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Cooper SE’s optional rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Niro EV offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Cooper SE’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Niro EV doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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