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Kelley Blue Book: 2 hybrids compared: The 2021 Kia Niro and the 2021 Hyundai Ioniq

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
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+0.12%

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

The Hyundai Ioniq

Hyundai

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
HYMTF,
-1.56%

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.

Also see: How long will my EV battery last? Here’s what to know

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
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-1.24%

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
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-0.55%

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.

Hyundai Ioniq

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.

Learn more: What is EV, BEV, HEV, PHEV? Here’s your guide to types of electric cars

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.

Similarities

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.

Check out: Onyx, nightfall, midnight—call it what you want, black is the new black in cars

Compare the specs: 

2021 Kia Niro

2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

Popular Powertrains

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)

Specs

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.

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