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Discussion Starter #1
I was curious if anybody else is weighing these two cars. We started our search for a compact suv (HRV, CX3, Encore) but came upon the Niro with much better mpg and much nicer interior/value. More recently found out about the Ioniq and these were our thoughts on the two:

Niro
- better styling
- more comfortable (for us at least)
- seated higher
- better rear visibility (not the best to begin with, but the ioniq rear pillars and spoiler really restrict your view)

Ioniq
- better mpg
- more interior capacity
- lifetime warranty on the battery (1st owner)
- braking and acceleration were 'perceived' to be slightly better.

For us the lifetime warranty seems like a significant reassurance. Kia told us their cost on it is 2600, so we figure it would be 3-4k to replace. However this is our first hyrbrid and we are not sure how long they really last. We keep our cars 10-15 years and our understanding is a hybrid wouldn't be worth much then due to battery concerns/replacement. For us, we would just give the car to one of our kids to drive at that point to save buying them a used car and keep the lifetime warranty going.

Are our concerns valid with the battery or do they really last much longer than what people think (ie 15-20 years)?

Appreciate any advice.
 

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Niro share a lot of components with the Ioniq. The whole powertrain is essentially shared between the two with a few little tuning differences, the 1.6 GDI, four-cylinder from the Kappa engine family that is the basis for both cars. Both cars ride on the same 103-inch wheelbase, and the track width is similar as well. The main difference between the Niro and the Ioniq that the Kia is a CUV while the Hyundai is a sedan.
 

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There are some threads in the "Niro vs the Competition" forum that have some discussion on the two. I'm looking at the Niro LX and Ioniq SEL and test drove both back-to-back. Test report here:http://www.kianiroforum.com/forum/54-kia-niro-versus-competition/1873-test-drove-niro-ioniq-today.html

I completely disagree with you about styling. The Kia seems to be modeled after a pregnant guppy. Both cars have similar cargo space with seats folded down. Passenger space is better in the Niro, especially the back seat. The Niro has better overall utility, I think. I like the roof racks and possible towing ability of the Niro. The Ioniq is a better deal with BSD and RCTA standard and the better battery warranty. Hyundai is assuming the risk of battery longevity that Kia doesn't want to take. Neither has LKAS in North America for some reason.

I came away from my test drive dissatisfied with both. They were both extremely sluggish and slow. I am still unable to make up my mind which I like better.
 

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Welcome gb...where you from?
I'm in the same boat as you....considering both options. Personally I lean towards the Niro. I like the dash layout better as well as the ease of entry/exit.
Unfortunately, I'm in Canada and we don't have any Ioniq info at all to compare. Interesting, since the car is supposed to be in the dealer's lot on Wednesday! Hyundai.ca doesn't have any info on battery warranty that I can find.

Anyway, I hope others will chime in here with some information for both of us!
 

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I have driven neither. I've sat in both. I could see myself purchasing a Niro and never purchasing an Ioniq. The Ioniq is just too low to the ground and too hard to get out of. If you're young and flexible, either car will do. If you're old and stiff, those extra MPG ain't worth it.
 

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Welcome gb...where you from?
I'm in the same boat as you....considering both options. Personally I lean towards the Niro. I like the dash layout better as well as the ease of entry/exit.
Unfortunately, I'm in Canada and we don't have any Ioniq info at all to compare. Interesting, since the car is supposed to be in the dealer's lot on Wednesday! Hyundai.ca doesn't have any info on battery warranty that I can find.

Anyway, I hope others will chime in here with some information for both of us!
Did you by any chance check with dealers? Sometimes they have information that hasn't made its way to the internet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Welcome gb...where you from?
I'm in the same boat as you....considering both options. Personally I lean towards the Niro. I like the dash layout better as well as the ease of entry/exit.
Unfortunately, I'm in Canada and we don't have any Ioniq info at all to compare. Interesting, since the car is supposed to be in the dealer's lot on Wednesday! Hyundai.ca doesn't have any info on battery warranty that I can find.

Anyway, I hope others will chime in here with some information for both of us!

I live in the Chicago area.

I have driven neither. I've sat in both. I could see myself purchasing a Niro and never purchasing an Ioniq. The Ioniq is just too low to the ground and too hard to get out of. If you're young and flexible, either car will do. If you're old and stiff, those extra MPG ain't worth it.
I agree, we would let the mpg go for the ride height in the Niro. I had some back issues and sitting low to the ground is not ideal for me but it will mainly be my wife's car. We test drove a civic too and the ioniq feels much more comfortable to us and not as low. The civic certainly has some pep but the styling feels more for a college student than a family of 4, in addition to the ride height. Our big sticking point is the lifetime warranty offered by Hyundai and not by Kia on the battery.

There are some threads in the "Niro vs the Competition" forum that have some discussion on the two. I'm looking at the Niro LX and Ioniq SEL and test drove both back-to-back.
I had read your review. I think my perspective was a little different. I felt the ioniq was quicker than the Niro although it was not that big of a difference and may be situational. Overall I think we can live with the sluggishness. Styling wise, I feel the ioniq is a pretty bland look that is pretty typical for hyundai sedans. The Niro, the rear looks sporty, the front end is not very appealing though and wish they went with boxier headlights like their other models.

We are also considering waiting until the plugins come out but are not sure what to expect in pricing as this might just put it out of our range even with the rebates. It sounds like the plugins will have more pep too.

Another advantage to the Ioniq, while not a buying decision point for us, is the tech it has. Blue link and the ability to remote start the car, etc. I don't believe Kia has tech like this. Outside of that you get other features as you noted with the Ioniq that do not come with the Niro. Another example of this is you can get 10 way driver seat with Lumbar on the Ioniq at the 25k point. For the Niro it appears you need to go to the 29k price point (EX w/tech).

Niro share a lot of components with the Ioniq. The whole powertrain is essentially shared between the two with a few little tuning differences, the 1.6 GDI, four-cylinder from the Kappa engine family that is the basis for both cars. Both cars ride on the same 103-inch wheelbase, and the track width is similar as well. The main difference between the Niro and the Ioniq that the Kia is a CUV while the Hyundai is a sedan.
Right I was aware of that, just with everything being the same it would have been ideal if Kia also had the same warranty on it.

The bottom line for us is we really preferred the Niro for overall utility, but the warranty coverage of the ioniq and future value that will have for us is making us think the Ioniq might be the way to go and we'd just live with the ride height difference as there are some other features we'd get still that the Niro is missing to offset this (ex Lumbar support).
 

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I think the ride height of the Niro is not very different from the Ioniq. We should be able to calculate the seat height difference of each above ground from the specs:

Overall height is + 3.9" Niro.
Front headroom is + 1" Niro.

So subtract headroom difference from overall height and get + 2.9" greater front seat height above ground in the Niro. That's a help getting in and out but not a big help.

As far as battery life goes, Hyundai has been selling the LG Chem lithium-ion polymer batteries in the hybrid Sonata since 2010. I'm not aware of any excessive battery degradation or failure problems with the hybrid Sonatas, but longer term longevity and durability in actual automotive use is still unknown. I'm glad to have Hyundai take the long term risk and not myself. Strange that Kia doesn't offer the same warranty.
 

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The high end seat can be bought from the dealer separately independent of trim, around $1,800 (if you shop for used seats from wrecking yards, you can do much better - the seat is not exclusive to the Niro). You can also fit lumbar support pillows into place for a song.

The battery warranty is not as different between the two companies as it might seem. Very few hybrid batteries are ever replaced, warranty or no, and if they fail because of a defect, they will almost certainly do so in the first 60,000 miles. Neither warranty protects against normal battery degradation. Neither will tell you what normal degradation is so you have to trust them. From what I have read elsewhere, such batteries degrade at about 1% of capacity a year, and that is for full electrics, not hybrids. One of the reasons that hybrid batteries last so long (versus cell phone or laptop batteries) is a very aggressive battery management algorithm that keeps the battery from discharging below 30% or charging over 70%. Cellphone and laptop batteries don't do that and can last as little as two years.

"Lifetime" has little meaning, it is more of a marketing term like "unlimited". The fine print reveals the truth. Emotionally, I'd like lifetime too, but rationally I know that 60,000 miles is effectively the same thing.
 

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The high end seat can be bought from the dealer separately independent of trim, around $1,800 (if you shop for used seats from wrecking yards, you can do much better - the seat is not exclusive to the Niro). You can also fit lumbar support pillows into place for a song.

The battery warranty is not as different between the two companies as it might seem. Very few hybrid batteries are ever replaced, warranty or no, and if they fail because of a defect, they will almost certainly do so in the first 60,000 miles. Neither warranty protects against normal battery degradation. Neither will tell you what normal degradation is so you have to trust them. From what I have read elsewhere, such batteries degrade at about 1% of capacity a year, and that is for full electrics, not hybrids. One of the reasons that hybrid batteries last so long (versus cell phone or laptop batteries) is a very aggressive battery management algorithm that keeps the battery from discharging below 30% or charging over 70%. Cellphone and laptop batteries don't do that and can last as little as two years.

"Lifetime" has little meaning, it is more of a marketing term like "unlimited". The fine print reveals the truth. Emotionally, I'd like lifetime too, but rationally I know that 60,000 miles is effectively the same thing.
Very interesting post. If this is true, then Kia should just offer the "lifetime" warranty since there is little risk. Would be smart marketing.
 

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Pretty much comes down to personal preference: Style & Appearance, Comfort for person use (seating, getting in and out, interior arrangement), and Warranty.

I never looked at the IONIQ, just had an interest in the NIRO that developed into a quick buy in FEB of 2017.

Don't like the style of the IONIQ (again that's a personal preference and no reflection on what others may like). Mechanically, suspect one as good as the other but warranty is better on the IONIQ.
 

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I test drove the Niro back to back with the Ioniq finally, and I have to say both cars are very impressive. Personally I like the Ioniq better because of the better fuel economy, warranty, and styling. However I have to say I walked away from the Niro very impressed as well.

I think personal preference will dictate which one the buyer chooses, but if the buyer is after good fuel economy, both vehicles are very good options.
 

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Does the Niro has better cargo space than the Ioniq?
I looked at the Ioniq before purchasing the Niro. I really didn't like how you had to look through a split window in the rear view. And I was surprised how the extra couple of inches you sit higher in the Niro made all the difference between sliding in and out of the Niro vs. falling into and pulling myself out of the Ioniq.
 

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I looked at the Ioniq before purchasing the Niro. I really didn't like how you had to look through a split window in the rear view. And I was surprised how the extra couple of inches you sit higher in the Niro made all the difference between sliding in and out of the Niro vs. falling into and pulling myself out of the Ioniq.
My thoughts exactly. Those two issues were why I bought the Niro instead of the Ioniq. I really hated that 5 inch white band breaking up the rear window. Totally unacceptable to me. I understand that is also in the Prius. Cannot understand why anyone would buy a car with that blockage. Frankly, I'm surprised it passes regulatory safety standards.
 

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I prefer the flat load bay of the Niro as I have a heavy wheelchair to drag in and out of the trunk. It might have less usable space than the Ioniq, but it's enough for me. If I need more, I can fold the seats down.
 

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Saw a Ionic for the first time on the road. it looks like a Hyundai Sonata from the front and a Toyota Prius from the back. It was much more hatchback car looking. We pulled along side and it was easy to see that the Niro was taller and road higher. I think the platforms are nearly identical, so operation will be very similar. the Ionic looks to be more aerodynamic, so I expect that it will get a few MPG better. Basically if your looking for car styling go Ionic if you want more of the compact crossover go Niro. Although our Niro looks much more like a VW Golf Plus than it a true crossover.
 

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I prefer the flat load bay of the Niro as I have a heavy wheelchair to drag in and out of the trunk. It might have less usable space than the Ioniq, but it's enough for me. If I need more, I can fold the seats down.
Yes, by the numbers the Ioniq has more cargo space. 23.8 cu ft vs the Niros 19.something. The Prius has a tad more than the Ioniq at I think 25.4?

However, I bought the Niro for cargo space, because I think the usable cargo space on the Ioniq and Prius are less. It's angular, so I feel it limits how many boxes/suitcases you can fit. Plus, in the Prius and Ioniq, you very quickly begin blocking the lower part of the rear window (I agree with others who did not like the split rear window in either, although I found it especially limiting in the Ioniq, which I otherwise liked more than the Prius).

I took measurements and mentally did up things on how to fit various suitcases and other things into the Niro vs others and felt that i had a better space with the Niro. Or at least the same but more passenger space. If I didn't have a kid I probably would have ended up with the Ioniq.

If you *really* want space though, the Prius V is the way to go. You lose some more mileage, but get a mini-van of space in a wagon looking thing. Some of it's tech is out of date though (unless you spend through the nose) which is why I didn't go for it.
 
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