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Service: 610-816-0382
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2017 Kia Niro vs Nissan Rogue

The term "compact crossover" covers a pretty wide spectrum of vehicles, and you only have to look at models like the 2017 Kia Niro and the Nissan Rogue to see proof of that. They are both technically in the same segment, but the Kia is hybrid-only and noticeably smaller than the Nissan. But which of them is better? Let's take a closer look to find out.

2017 Kia Niro vs Nissan Rogue

Styling: Kia Niro

Kia has been radical with the powertrain of the Niro, but the opposite could be said of the Niro's exterior styling. The Kia Niro is an attractive crossover that checks all the boxes for this type of vehicle, but it's certainly more conservative and less striking than something like the latest Sportage.

The Rogue is instantly recognizable as a Nissan, and now sits perfectly in the company's crossover lineup as it shares a common design theme with its siblings. In the front, the Nissan is bold and aggressive, but from the side it conforms to current crossover styling and could be mistaken for any number of models.

Powertrains: Kia Niro

If Kia had gone down a purely fuel economy focused route with the hybrid-only powertrain of the Niro, it might have had a problem with performance. However, the Niro is like a crossover with a split personality: fun and engaging in its Sport mode but sensible, mild-mannered, and very frugal in standard mode. The combined system output is 139 horsepower and the torque rating is 195 lb.-ft., and the latter of those two figures is the important one here.

Like the Niro, the Rogue has a take-it or leave-it approach to powertrains with the same one powering all versions. In this case, it's a 2.5-liter inline-four mated to a CVT transmission, which is capable of producing 170 horsepower but only 175 lb.-ft. of torque. We have to make the Kia Niro the winner here for its hybrid-only boldness and the fun delivered by its extra torque.

Fuel Economy: Kia Niro

Guess what? The Kia Niro can be absolutely stunning when it comes to fuel economy ratings for a crossover of this size, but you're not too shocked by that, are you? In its most frugal form, the Kia delivers EPA ratings of 52 mpg in the city, 49 mpg on the highway, and 50 mpg combined, which is currently pretty unbeatable in this class.

The Nissan is no slouch in this area either, but the 26 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined of the standard model is no match for the Kia. Even Rogue Hybrid, with its EPA ratings of 33/35/34 mpg, can't come close to the Niro's performance.

Interior: Nissan Rogue

The Kia has a spacious interior with a good amount of room for passengers and cargo for a vehicle of its size. The seating position isn't as high as some rivals, which may or may not be an issue for some buyers. You won't notice anything particularly flashy or lavish about the design of the interior, but the materials and build quality are all good for a vehicle with such competitive pricing.

With 105.8 cu.-ft. of passenger volume, compared to the Kia's more modest 97.1 cu.-ft., you'll find more available space inside the Nissan Rogue. The front seats in the Rogue really are superb, and an available third-row bench seat gives the Nissan a big leg up against many of its compact crossover rivals. The overall quality is at least a match for the Niro, so the extra capacity gives this section to the Nissan.

Learn More about the Kia Niro

There's no question about the Nissan Rogue being an excellent compact crossover. We only need to look at the sales figures to realize that. The 2017 Kia Niro is a bold move from the South Korean automaker, though, and the fact that it trounces the hybrid version of the Rogue for fuel economy really is a feather in its cap. Since it also costs a thousand dollars less than the Nissan, the Kia Niro is definitely our choice of these two.