Kia Sportage Hybrid vs. Kia Niro Hybrid: affordable and efficient SUVs compared

By James Walker
Blue SUV hybrid parked in front of house - Electric and hybrid car

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Kia's design and technology offerings just keep getting better and this is especially obvious with the Kia Sportage Hybrid and Kia Niro Hybrid. Both of these fuel-efficient SUVs provide buyers with striking styling, a range of driver assists and warranties that are hard for other manufacturers to beat. Which of these SUVs suits you best depends on what you're looking for in a new vehicle. This guide will compare the two and provide you with all the information you need to decide if either are right for you.

Kia Sportage Hybrid

The first thing to notice about the Kia Sportage Hybrid is its bold, extroverted styling featuring blade-shaped headlight accents and sharp rear styling. A muscular, imposing SUV, the Kia Sportage Hybrid is a refreshing entry to the compact crossover segment which has seen its share of rounded, generic shapes in recent years. The newest version of the Kia Sportage Hybrid is longer than its predecessor, giving it ample rear seat legroom and more cargo space than ever before in the trunk area. The Kia Sportage Hybrid features a modern, connected interior with quality materials and the option of large infotainment screens. Also included in every Kia Sportage Hybrid is a split-level luggage compartment which makes this compact crossover even more versatile.

Powertrain

The Kia Sportage Hybrid received praise from reviewers for its responsive and fuel-efficient powertrain which combines a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor to produce a total of 226 horsepower. Available in front- and all-wheel drive versions, journalists enjoyed the hybrid version of the Kia Sportage for the low-end responsiveness produced by the electric motor. The Kia Sportage Hybrid is rated at a very respectable 5.6 L/100 km in the city and 5.3 L/100 km on the highway. A new platform with a longer wheelbase than its predecessor means that the Kia Sportage Hybrid is a comfortable and efficient way to travel.

Technology

The Kia Sportage Hybrid brings plenty of technology to the table with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard on every trim level. All models come with a digital gauge display. An 8.0-inch infotainment screen comes standard on the entry-level models, while a 12.3-inch screen with crisper graphics is available as an option and comes as standard on the higher trim packages. Also available as upgrades are a premium Harmon/Kardon stereo system, wireless phone charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Higher trim packages come with a panoramic glass roof and upgraded lighting.

Safety

The Kia Sportage Hybrid comes with a number of safety systems as standard. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking features on all models, as does lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. A blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert capabilities is available as an optional extra. The Kia Sportage Hybrid scored top marks in the vast majority of IIHS crash safety tests.

Kia Niro Hybrid

The Kia Niro Hybrid is the smallest SUV in the Kia range and currently comes with softer, more rounded styling than the Kia Sportage Hybrid while delivering even better fuel economy. The Kia Niro Hybrid comes at a very reasonable price and continues to help its buyers' wallets over time with its efficiency and excellent warranty. Plus, its powertrain makes it stand out in its segment as rivals like the Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona don't offer hybrid options.

Powertrain

Like the Kia Sportage Hybrid, the Kia Niro Hybrid is powered by a combination of a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, though here the duo produces a combined total of 139 horsepower. Efficiency is further improved by a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission which minimizes shift times to provide zippy driving dynamics. Reviewers reported that the Kia Niro Hybrid comes with a confident, controlled ride which makes off-roading comfortable and easy. They also praised the SUV's multi-purpose steering wheel paddles which can be used for shifting gears or adjusting regenerative braking levels depending on drive mode. The Kia Niro Hybrid is rated at 4.4 L/100 km in the city and 4.9 L/100 km on the highway.

Technology

Positioned as the entry to Kia's SUV lineup, the Kia Niro Hybrid comes with fewer standard technology features than the Kia Sportage Hybrid, though Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are still standard on every model. Two-zone automatic climate control is standard across the range, as is an 8.0-inch infotainment screen with a larger 10.3-inch screen available. The Kia Niro Hybrid was designed from day one to incorporate a hybrid powertrain, so it loses no interior space as do other vehicles which were adapted to fit electric motors.

Safety

The Kia Niro Hybrid again trails its larger sibling in standard safety equipment, though all but the entry model feature automatic high beams and lane-keep assist. Forward collision warning, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring are all available as extras. Like the Kia Sportage Hybrid the Kia Niro Hybrid scored highly in IIHS crash safety testing.

The Kia Sportage Hybrid and Kia Niro Hybrid are both excellent options in the hybrid SUV market. If you're looking for something simpler and smaller, the Kia Niro Hybrid could be perfect for you, while the Kia Sportage Hybrid's extra space and safety features make it a great family vehicle. Both SUVs feature excellent fuel economy and some of the best warranties on the market today. The Kia Sportage Hybrid and Kia Niro Hybrid are both definitely worth checking out if you’re in the market for an efficient new vehicle. 

We hope that this guide has given you all the information you need on these compelling hybrid SUVs. Kijiji Autos has a wide range of both vehicles for sale, as well as their competitors like the Ford EscapeHonda CR-VHonda HR-V and Nissan Kicks. Kijiji Autos features a suite of advanced search filters to help you find your ideal car quickly and offers online financing which can help you get behind the wheel sooner. Start your search with Kijiji Autos today.

James Walker is a motoring writer with a love of all cars fast and slow. Old or new, exotic or cheap, if it's on wheels and has a story he wants to tell you about it.

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