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Service: 610-816-0382
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2017 Kia Niro vs Honda CR-V

Yes, the 2017 Kia Niro is a hybrid-only model, but focusing only on that that could mean overlooking how it stands up as a crossover in its own right against its competition. So, let's see how it stands up against one of the compact crossover segment's big hitters (that's not even available in hybrid form right now), the Honda CR-V.

2017 Kia Niro vs Honda CR-V

Styling

The 2017 Kia Niro isn't as overtly SUV-styled as something like the Sportage, seeming quite a bit more car-like than its non-hybrid sibling. In fact, the Niro is probably more like a wagon, which will greatly appeal to some buyers who may not have found their match in the current crop of crossovers. The Niro's style isn't polarizing or unpleasant, but it's also probably fair to say styling isn't its greatest strength either.

Considering how important crossover styling is to their incredible success, the Honda CR-V's success may come as some surprise. Like its biggest Japanese rival, the RAV4, the Honda CR-V is an awkward-looking design that's not obviously attractive. The CR-V also hasn't changed much in recent years, making its awkward style an aging one as well.

Powertrains

The Niro uses a combination of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine, an electric motor, a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery, and a CVT transmission to drive the front wheels. The gas engine on its own produces 104 horsepower and the electric motor weighs in with a further 43 horsepower, so the total output of the hybrid system is 139 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. Unfortunately, the Niro doesn't have an all-wheel drive option yet.

The CR-V offers two engines to buyers, which are a standard 184 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 1.5-liter turbo-four developing 190 horsepower. That's obviously more power than there is on offer with the Niro. With no hybrid option for the CR-V, though, the CR-V doesn't give drivers as many options as the Niro.

Interiors

The cabin of the Niro is spacious and comfortable. Four people can ride easily, and the wide passenger compartment can handle five without too much stress. A large and practical cargo bay that's not hindered by all-wheel-drive hardware makes it a very capable hauler. Top trim levels have excellent quality materials and appointments, while lower spec models deliver everything we'd expect for the price with a little more too.

Much of what we've just said about the interior of the Niro also applies to the CR-V, but the Honda is a little higher quality in most areas than the Kia. There's more front leg room in the Honda and quite a bit more cargo space, so this is a win for the Honda.

Fuel Economy

If you want stellar fuel economy from a crossover, look no further than the 52 mpg in the city, 49 mpg on the highway and 50 mpg combined the Niro FE delivers. Even the least fuel-efficient top of the range version is still rated at 46 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and 43 mpg combined, which is very impressive indeed.

With the 1.5-liter turbo engine and front-wheel drive, the best fuel-efficiency ratings the CR-V can muster are 28 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg combined. That's not bad, but it's not in the same ballpark as the Kia.

Learn More about the Kia Niro

Anyone who knows about the current auto market doesn't need to be told that the Honda CR-V is a very good, very capable, and very big-selling compact crossover. But it can't compare with the options that the 2017 Kia Niro offers, with its hybrid powertrain, stunning fuel economy, practical interior, and competitive pricing.