,

2019 Kia Niro

Starting Price: $24,485 | Price Yours

Above Average: 50 mpg combined fuel economy; respectable acceleration in Sport mode; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility in all trims

Below Average: Some other hybrids get better fuel economy and have more range in full-electric mode

Consensus: The 2019 Kia Niro is a roomy and spacious hybrid small SUV that earns 50 mpg combined. Power may be low, but its quick-shifting 6-speeed dual-clutch automatic and a sporty suspension make it fun to drive. The Niro comes with Kia’s legendary warranty, but its resale value is yet to be tested.
 

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2019 Mini Clubman

Starting Price: $25,650 | Price Yours

Above Average: Mini sportiness combined with practicality and good storage space; long wheelbase makes for smooth ride; powered swing-out doors help with loading and unloading.

Below Average: Backseat is neither well shaped nor well cushioned; price increases quickly when you add options.

Consensus: The 2019 Mini Clubman brings Mini style and sensibility to a somewhat more practical package, with a 4-door wagon-like body and swing-out doors in the back for cargo loading. It comes offered with a choice of engines, transmissions, and either front- or all-wheel drive, and retains the personalization options and style for which Mini has become known. Beware, however, that options can cause the price to escalate quickly.
 

The 2019 Kia Niro and 2019 Mini Clubman are relative rarities in the automotive world, in that they are both 4-door hatchbacks that are more akin to wagons rather than crossovers or SUVs.

Each offers plenty of room for four passengers, plus the versatility of easy loading through the rear and plenty of usable space for cargo. They are both also relatively nimble, with the Mini Clubman offering a longer wheelbase than the Mini Cooper, making for a smoother ride without a loss of handling characteristics, and the Niro having an agile suspension and decent acceleration.

RELATED: Read our Mini Clubman Review

The most significant difference is the powertrain. The Mini comes standard with a 3-cylinder turbo, with optional upgrades to a 2.0-liter turbo or an even more powerful 2.0-liter turbo in the John Cooper Works version. It also offers a choice of either manual or automatic transmissions and either front- or all-wheel drive. The Kia Niro is only a hybrid, with power coming through an automatic transmission and only front-wheel drive. There is an optional plug-in hybrid version and a pure electric on offer as well.

RELATED: Read our Kia Niro Review

Similarities

4-door hatchbacks; nearly identical starting prices; base models make similar power.

Kia Niro Advantages

Hybrid, with considerably better fuel economy; longer warranty; optional plug-in hybrid and EV.

Mini Clubman Advantages

Optional John Cooper Works version makes much more power; optional manual transmission; optional all-wheel drive.

Final Recommendation

Mini Coopers have a very specific appeal due to their retro-cool sensibility, and they offer tons of personalization options. They’re also fun to drive and offer decent power. The 2019 Mini Clubman only ups that factor with its easy-opening rear hatch and good cargo space.

But unless you simply must have that Mini cool factor or you really want the power from the John Cooper Works model, then the Niro is the winner here. Despite its hybrid powertrain, it offers an equivalent level of performance, a low-slung chassis that’s fun in corners, and 50 mpg combined.  Add to that Kia’s legendary warranty and it’s the clear choice.

Ready to buy? Find a Kia Niro or a Mini Clubman on sale at a dealership near you

  2019 Kia Niro 2019 Mini Clubman
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 1.6-liter I4 hybrid 1.5-liter turbo I3
Horsepower 139 hp @ 5,700 rpm 134 hp @ 4,400 rpm
Torque 195 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 162 lb-ft @ 1,250 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd  Manual, 6-Spd
Fuel Economy 50 mpg (52 city,/49 hwy) 28 mpg (24 city,/34 hwy)
Also Available 1.6-liter I4 plug-in hybrd, EV   2.0-liter turbo I4; 8-Spd automatic
Specs    
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles  4 years/50,000 miles 
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating n/a n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 106.3 inches 105.1 inches
Overall Length 171.5 inches 168.3 inches
Width 71.1 inches  79.6 inches 
Height 60.4 inches 56.7 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet n/a
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches 40.2 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 38.0 inches
Legroom, Front 41.7 inches 41.4 inches
Legroom, Rear 37.4 inches 34.3 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 56.0 inches 54.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.2 inches 52.8 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 100.9 cu. ft. n/a
EPA Cargo Volume 54.5 cu. ft. 47.9 cu. ft.
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