The Kia Niro and Honda HR-V are two very different takes on the small crossover SUV segment. The Honda HR-V has been a big player in the subcompact crossover segment since its introduction in 2016, and its approach is straightforward. It is a crossover in the SUV idiom. The Niro, which was introduced only one model year later, seems like a much newer design largely because it is a segment-bender. Kia execs like to refer to it as a crossover SUV, but it is more a mashup of station wagon, hatchback, crossover, and hybrid.
Both vehicles offer four-cylinder powerplants, and both vehicles seat five, but the Niro is available only as a hybrid or plug-in hybrid. You wouldn’t choose either of them for classic automotive performance, but in terms of versatility, safety, interior room, and overall utility, they both stick the landing.