The 2021 Kia Niro is a hybrid that doesn’t say so in its name, while the 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid leaves no doubt. Here’s how they compare.
2021 Kia Niro
2021 Kia Niro starting price: $25,865
Above average: Fuel economy averages near 50 mpg; reasonably priced; outstanding warranties.
Below average: Desirable driver-assistance features add cost; despite crossover SUV look, all-wheel drive isn’t available.
Consensus: The 2021 Kia
Niro is one of three Niro variants with fuel-efficient drivetrains. Depending on your situation and needs, you could choose a standard hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or electric vehicle (EV). With this standard hybrid model, there’s nothing to plug in.
2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid starting price: $24,405
Above average: Competitive pricing; Ioniq Hybrid has a total cruising range of nearly 700 miles and up to 59 mpg combined; driver-assistance features are standard; outstanding powertrain warranty and lifetime battery warranty.
Below average: Subdued styling; no all-wheel-drive option; livelier Sport mode causes a dip in city mileage to 40 mpg.
Consensus: The 2021 Hyundai
Ioniq is a hatchback that is made for three different buyers. We concentrate on the standard Ioniq Blue Hybrid, but it is also available as an Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric Hyundai Ioniq EV, both of which are available in a limited number of states. The electric is being dropped after this year.
Niro vs. Ioniq: mileage matters
Kia Niro hybrid
The 2021 Kia Niro is a conventional hybrid, just like the grandfather of the genre, the Toyota
Prius. With the Niro, there’s nothing to plug-in. Just fill the gas tank and go. From there, you’ll enjoy fuel economy averaging around 50 mpg.
Another plus with the Kia Niro hybrid is that buyers will enjoy generous cargo space from its SUV-inspired shape. Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, Apple
CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and a 6-speaker audio system.
The Kia Niro Hybrid is powered by a combination gas/electric powertrain. It is made up of a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder and synchronous permanent magnetic electric motor-generator. The two combine for a total system output of 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Power is delivered to the front wheels through a 6-speed dual-clutch automated transmission.
The fuel economy from the Niro can be as high as 53 city/48 highway, depending on trim level. These trims range from entry-level LX to the LXS, Touring, Touring SE, and EX Premium.
The Hyundai Ioniq lineup comprises three different variations, including fully electric (EV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), and the standard Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid that we discuss here. Ioniq Blue is one of the most fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles on the road today, averaging 59 miles per gallon combined.
The Ioniq is refined and comfortable; you really don’t realize you are driving a hybrid. The cabin features mainstream features that are well laid out. Offering premium build quality, Hyundai has done its homework using materials including recycled plastics, wood, sugar cane, and even volcanic stone. A standard 8-inch touchscreen is here, while upper trims offer an available 10.25-inch display.
Power for the Ioniq comes from a 1.6-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-4 gas-powered engine and a 32-kW electric motor-generator for a total system output of 139 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque. As with the Niro, the Ioniq uses a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Using this combination drives the Ioniq Hybrid seamlessly and includes adequate muscle for daily driving. For those who are more enthusiastic with their pedal skills, there are paddle shift levers to channel their inner race car driver.
Both use a 1.6-liter Atkinson-cycle gas engine and 32 kW electric motor-generator for power; warranties.
2021 Kia Niro advantages
Cargo space; roomy back seat; compact dimensions; SUV-inspired looks.
2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid advantages
High mileage; well-crafted interior; lower base price.
Which one is right for me?
The 2021 Kia Niro offers good looks and great mileage in an SUV-style body. There’s plenty of cargo space when the second row is folded down.
The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid delivers great fuel economy in a conventional hatchback body style. The interior has the look and feel of a more expensive vehicle.
Compare the specs:
|2021 Kia Niro||2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid|
|Engine||1.6 I4 Gas/Electric Hybrid||1.6 I4 Gas/Electric Hybrid|
|Horsepower||139 hp @ 5,700||139 hp @ 5,700|
|Torque||195 lb-ft @ 2,400 rpm||104 lb-ft @ 5,700 rpm (engine only)|
|Transmission||6-spd DCT||6-spd DCT|
|Fuel Economy||50 mpg (53 city/48 hwy)||59 mpg (58 city/60 hwy)|
|Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||10 years/100,000 miles|
|NHTSA Safety Rating||4 stars||N/A|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||106.3 inches||106.3 inches|
|Overall Length||171.5 inches||176.0 inches|
|Width||71.1 inches||71.7 inches|
|Height||60.4 inches||56.9 inches|
|Turning Diameter||35.0 feet||34.8 feet|
|Headroom, Front||40.1 inches||39.1 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.1 inches||37.4 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.7 inches||42.2 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||41.7 inches||35.7 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||56 inches||55.0 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||55.2 inches||52.9 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||100.9 cubic feet||96.2 cubic feet|
|Cargo Volume||19.4/54.5 cubic feet||26.5 cubic feet|
This story originally ran on KBB.com.