Nissan Kicks Vs. Kia Niro

By Justin Cupler | April 8th, 2019

When you need room for passengers and cargo but don’t want to cruise around in a massive SUV, a subcompact crossover may be a great option for you. Two good subcompact options are the 2019 Nissan Kicks and 2019 Kia Niro. Both offer plenty of passenger and cargo space, but they have distinct differences that cater to different Saginaw area families. Find out which is best for you below.

Exterior

Being just a year old, the 2019 Nissan Kicks is one of the newest additions to the subcompact crossover segment. And because it took over for the wildly styled Nissan Juke, it’s understandable why Nissan styled it so aggressively. Sure, it is not as polarizing as the Juke, but it attracts lots of stares with its stubby nose, forward-leaning rear hatch, floating roof, sharp body lines, black body cladding, and Nissan’s signature boomerang-like lighting.

Though it has an advanced powertrain, which once meant it was virtually a requirement to boast funky styling, the 2019 Kia Niro has surprisingly toned-down looks. It sits lower and wider than the Kicks, giving it more of a high-riding hatchback look as opposed to a crossover appearance. This makes it a great option for buyers looking for something a bit different that is not too extroverted.

In terms of exterior look-good bits, the 2019 Nissan Kicks and 2019 Kia Niro both have plenty of stylish options to draw in buyers. The Kicks has available LED lighting, 17-inch alloy wheels, dark-chrome accents, and more. The 2019 Kia Niro boasts available 18-inch wheels, several grille options, LED taillights, and HID headlights to dress up the outside.  

 

Measurement 2019 Nissan Kicks 2019 Kia Niro Difference
Length 169.1 inches 171.5 inches -2.4 inches
Width 69.3 inches 71.1 inches -1.8 inches
Height 62.4 inches 60.4 inches +2  inches
Wheelbase 103.1 inches 106.3 inches -3.2 inches
Ground Clearance 7 inches 6.3 inches +0.7 inches
Curb weight 2,639 to 2,672 pounds 3,106 to 3,199 pounds -467 to -527 pounds

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Kicks

  • Smaller and easier to zip around traffic
  • Lighter and nimbler
  • Eye-grabbing style

Advantage: 2019 Kia Niro

  • Looks are unique without being too dramatic
  • More upscale features, like larger wheel options

Interior

Though the Nissan Kick’s wild exterior does not transfer into the cabin directly, it has a few doses of sportiness, including a flat-bottom steering wheel, bolstered seats, circular air vents, and available contrast stitching.

Inside, the 2019 Kia Niro is very unassuming, especially for a hybrid, with a traditional setup that doesn’t scream “I’m an eco-friendly car.” It looks like any other crossover with exception of its various gauges and a few buttons here and there. For buyers seeking simplicity in appearance, the Niro is the perfect crossover.

Both crossovers cater to the younger crowd with their high-tech features. Standard features in the Kicks include a 7-inch touchscreen, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth audio streaming, a six-speaker audio system, and USB ports. The 2019 Kia Niro matches all that and shows off its more premium side with available leather seating with heat and ventilation, 110-volt power outlet, wireless charging pad, and more.

 

Despite being the smaller of the two crossover, the 2019 Nissan Kicks has more headroom and legroom up front, and hip room in the rear. In every other seating measurement, the 2019 Kia Niro beat the Nissan Kicks, and it wins handily with its extra 4.2 inches of rear legroom. The Kicks makes up for its tight rear seats with an extra 5.9 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats upright, but the Niro wins the max cargo measurement by 1.4 cubes with the seats folded.

 

Measurement 2019 Nissan Kicks 2019 Kia Niro Difference
Front headroom 40.7 inches 40.1 inches +0.6 inches
Front legroom 43.7 inches 41.7 inches +2 inches
Front shoulder room 53 inches 56 inches -3 inches
Front hip room 50.9 inches 53.7 inches -2.8 inches
Rear headroom 38.5 inches 39.1 inches -0.6 inches
Rear legroom 33.2 inches 37.4 inches -4.2 inches
Rear shoulder room 53.2 inches 55.2 inches -2 inches
Rear hip room 49.1 inches 48.3 inches +0.8 inches
Cargo capacity (behind second row) 25.3 cubic feet 19.4 cubic feet +5.9 cubic feet
Cargo capacity (second row folded) 53.1 cubic feet 54.5 cubic feet -1.4 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Kicks

  • More front headroom and legroom
  • Additional cargo room with the seats up
  • Sportier cabin

Advantage: 2019 Kia Niro

  • Significant rear legroom advantage
  • Traditional cabin styling
  • Big cargo room advantage

Performance

Small crossovers are rarely great performers, and the Nissan Kicks is that in a nutshell, but the Kia Niro has a little pep to it.

The 2019 Nissan Kicks comes standard with a 122-horsepower 1.6-liter engine that sprints it to 60 mph in an estimated 9.7 seconds. The Kia Niro’s gasoline engine is significantly less powerful at just 104 horsepower and 109 pound-feet of torque, but its electric motor boost total output to 139 horses and 195 pound-feet. This added power and the instant torque from the electric motor gives the Niro its impressive 8.6-second 0-to-60 sprint time.

Beyond being quicker, the 2019 Kia Niro is far more efficient than the Kicks.

 

2019 Nissan Kicks 2019 Kia Niro Difference
Electric motor
AC Synchronous Permanent Magnet Motor
Electric horsepower
43 hp
Electric torque
125 lb-ft
Engine 1.6-liter 4-cyl 1.6-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 122 hp at 6,300 rpm 104 hp at 5,700 rpm
Torque 114 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm 109 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm
System horsepower
139 hp -17 hp
System torque
195 lb-ft -81 lb-ft
Transmission CVT 6-speed dual-clutch
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 9.7 seconds 8.6 seconds +1.1 seconds
MPG City 31 mpg* 46 to 52 mpg -15 to -21 mpg
MPG Highway 36 mpg* 40 to 49 mpg* -4 to -13 mpg
MPG Combined 33 mpg* 43 to 50  mpg* -10 to -17 mpg

 

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Kicks

  • Simpler powertrain
  • Lighter and nimbler

Advantage: 2019 Kia Niro

  • Significantly quicker
  • Huge fuel-economy advantage

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Nissan Kicks has a simple lineup of three trim levels — S, SV, and SR — and their starting prices range from $18,540 to $20,870**.

 

There are five trims in the 2019 Kia Niro lineup: FE, LX, EX, S Touring, and Touring. Their starting prices range from  $23,490 to $32,250.

2019 Nissan Kicks Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $18,540**

  • 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
  • CVT
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Hill-start assist
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Electric power steering
  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • Multireflector halogen headlights
  • Automatic headlights
  • Power mirrors
  • Roof rails
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Air conditioning
  • Power windows with driver’s one-touch-down
  • Power door locks
  • Keyless ignition
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Intermittent rear wiper
  • 12-volt power outlet
  • Four cargo-area tie-down hooks
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Painted shifter bezel with chrome accents
  • Six-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • Bluetooth streaming audio
  • Three USB ports
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Rearview camera

 

SV: $20,250**

  • All S features, plus
  • 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color, heated outside mirrors
  • NissanConnect infotainment with 7-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • 7-inch advanced driver-information center
  • Automatic climate control
  • Rear heater ducts
  • Keyless unlock
  • Remote ignition
  • Rear cargo cover
  • Chrome interior door handles and parking brake button
  • SiriusXM
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

SR: $20,870**

  • All SV features, plus
  • LED headlights with LED accents
  • Fog lights
  • Dark-chrome grille accent
  • High-gloss-black mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Body-color bumper inserts
  • Silver exterior door trim
  • Rear roof spoiler
  • 360-degree camera
  • Sport cloth seating with orange accents and stitching
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Black leatherette accents with orange stitching

2019 Kia Niro Key Features and Pricing by Trim

FE: $23,490

  • 1.6-liter engine with hybrid drive motor
  • Six-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Idle stop
  • Regenerative braking
  • Eco and Sport drive modes
  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Bi-function projector headlights
  • LED positioning lights
  • Auto-light-control headlights
  • LED high-mounted stop light
  • Body-color power mirrors
  • Acoustic windshield
  • Tinted rear glass
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Body-color outside door handles
  • Black wheel arches, side sills, and belt-line molding
  • Rear spoiler
  • Chrome grille surround
  • Matte black front grille
  • Gloss-black grille insert
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • 4.2-inch driver-information center
  • Outside temperature display
  • Overhead console with sunglasses holder
  • Cargo light
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Cloth seating
  • Six-way manual seats
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Driver-only air-conditioning option
  • Rear climate-control vents
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • UVO infotainment system
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Four-speaker AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM audio
  • Steering-wheel-mounted control
  • Two front center console power outlets
  • USB ports
  • Bluetooth connective
  • Power windows with one-touch-up/down driver’s glass
  • One-touch-down power passenger’s window
  • Cruise control
  • Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Hill-start assist

 

LX: $23,900

  • All FE features, plus
  • LED taillights
  • Roof rails
  • Rear center armrest  with cup holder
  • Hidden storage tray in cargo area
  • Smart key with push-button start

 

EX: $26,400

  • All LX features, plus
  • Front fog lights
  • LED daytime running
  • Power-folding, heated mirrors
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals
  • High-gloss black upper console panel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Cargo cover
  • Deluxe high-gloss door garnish
  • Deluxe door armrest covering
  • Satin-chrome inside door handles
  • Cloth-and-leather-trimmed seats
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Rear air-conditioning vent
  • Rear USB port
  • One-touch-up/down passenger’s window
  • Blind-spot detection
  • Lane-change assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert

 

S Touring: $28,800

  • All EX features, plus
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Gloss-black front grille
  • Metallic-color front grille insert
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Navigation
  • HD Radio
  • Eight-speaker Harman/Kardon Sound System with Clari-Fi

 

Touring: $32,250

  • All S Touring features, plus
  • HID headlights
  • Gloss-black grille insert
  • Power sunroof
  • LED room light
  • LED cargo light
  • 110-volt household plug
  • Deluxe scuff plates
  • Leather seating
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Memory system for seats and mirrors
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Front and rear parking sensors

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan Kicks?

Want a crossover that’ll grab eyeballs? The 2019 Nissan Kicks will do that and more. Plus, its extra cargo room with the seats up works well for families who need to haul people in the rear seats and cargo to their destination.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Kia Niro?

The 2019 Kia Niro is a great option for buyers who want the roominess of a small crossover without the expense of fueling one thanks to its up to 50 mpg combined rating. Plus, its extra low-end torque delivers more respectable 0-to-60 time.

 

Whether you zip to Midland for work every day or just head to Bay City for weekend getaways, the 2019 Nissan Kicks will get you there in style. Stop by Garber Nissan today to test drive the 2019 Kicks and see what it can offer your family. If you can’t make it to our Saginaw area showroom today, you can also check out our online inventory to see what 2019 Kicks models we have in stock and set up a test drive for later.

 

*2019 EPA Fuel Economy Estimates. Actual Mileage may vary with driving conditions – use for comparison only.

 

**Price is Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). MSRP excludes tax, title, license, options and destination charge. Dealer sets actual price.