When you can’t decide between a fuel or electric car, hybrid vehicles bring the best of both worlds. They run on a combination of electric and gas power. The electric part is charged by the fuel engine and through regenerative braking, so you won’t have to worry about plugging in the car. Refuel stops are as quick as it gets, and you won’t have to map out routes based on the availability of electric charge stations. To take full advantage of all these benefits, however, you have to find the best hybrid car. Two top automakers are Kia and Toyota. This head-to-head between Kia Niro Hybrid vs. 2023 Prius might help you decide which is the best option for you.
Kia Niro Hybrid vs. 2023 Prius: Side-By-Side Comparison
|Kia Niro Hybrid
|Year of release
|Up to 588 miles per full tank
|Up to 640 miles per full tank
|Acceleration (0 to 60mps)
|Number of seats
|22.8 cu. ft.
|20.3 cu. ft.
Kia Niro Hybrid vs. 2023 Prius: What’s the Difference?
Hybrid cars may sound like a new invention, but the first hybrid vehicle was actually designed by Ferdinand Porsche in 1900. Almost 100 years later, in 1995, Toyota Prius became the first hybrid vehicle prototype produced in modern times.
Two years later, Generation I Prius was launched as a concept car on the Japanese market. Five years later, in 2000, an improved Generation I rocked the automotive world and became the first mass-produced hybrid car in the world. While this vehicle has never been known for its beauty, the 2023 Prius — part of the fifth generation — brings major improvements in both performance and aesthetics.
Rather late at the party, Kia launched its first hybrid model in 2011 and debuted the Niro model in 2016. The subcompact utility vehicle might not be as old as the Prius, but it is more spacious and likely a better choice for families.
The most visible difference between Kia Niro Hybrid and the 2023 Prius is the type of vehicle they are. Kia Niro is a subcompact SUV. It is not as large as your average utility vehicle, but it isn’t tiny either. A compact exterior and spacious interior make it the perfect family car to use in the city. It is also great for cityscapes and camping trips. However, the car is not the most stylish out there.
The 2023 Prius, like all previous Prius versions, is a sedan. While previous versions were notoriously unstylish, the new variant brings a major improvement. Elegant lines and a glass — albeit fixed — roof boosts its aesthetic factor. A lower profile compared to the earlier versions give it a sporty edge that further increases its appeal. It is also the perfect size to drive in the city. However, this isn’t the car to get if you need generous cargo space.
For most people, the most important aspect of a car is its performance. Both Kia Niro and the 2023 Prius are reliable hybrids, but the Prius is one notch above the Kia. Its greatest advantage is the more powerful powertrain that delivers 196 horsepower. It can get from zero to 60 miles per hour in 7.1 seconds, and it can reach a top speed of 113 miles per hour.
Kia has similar acceleration to Toyota at 7.1 seconds from zero to 60, but the powertrain and top speed are inferior. This car can output power up to 139 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque and reach a top speed of 104 miles per hour. The plug-in version is more powerful, but the same is true for the 2023 Prius Prime, which is the plug-in version of the hybrid model.
However, even if the Prius is more powerful, it loses some points when it comes to fuel economy. While both Kia Niro and the 2023 Prius are rated at 53 miles per gallon in the city and about 54mpg on the highway, Kia has a better fuel economy than Toyota in real life.
Both Kia Niro Hybrid and the 2023 Prius are primarily advertised as family cars. However, if Toyota wins in terms of power, Kia has an edge in terms of comfort. Measuring 174 inches in length and 60.8 inches in height, the Niro Hybrid model features a roomy interior with plenty of leg and headspace for all occupants.
A power sunroof in the front half of the car provides plenty of light and allows passengers to enjoy the outdoors during the ride. The car also features a dual-zone auto climate control, a digital key for easy access, a power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment, and driver’s seat memory.
Beyond driver and passenger comfort, the Niro Hybrid also features plenty of cargo capacity. With the back seat backrests raised, the trunk provides 22.8 cubic feet of capacity, which is more than the 2023 Prius provides. With the backrests folded, the capacity goes up to 63.7 cubic feet, which is plenty for most people.
The 2023 Prius has a cargo capacity of 20.3 cubic feet, and things don’t change drastically when you fold the rear seats. In fact, the sedan’s capacity only goes up to 23.8 cubic feet, quite disappointing for a car this size.
Cargo capacity aside, the Prius doesn’t make up for it with passenger comfort. While the driver and front passengers can enjoy plenty of leg and headroom, the opposite is true for the rear passengers. To streamline the design, Toyota lowered the total height of this car by two inches compared to its previous version. The sedan’s curves are smooth and good-looking, but the height is lower than 55.9 inches at the back. The panoramic roof that covers both the front and rear of the car might not be enough to make up for it.
A similarity between the two hybrid vehicles is the infotainment systems, which are Android-based in both the Kia Niro and the 2023 Prius. The systems, like all things Android, are intuitive and easy to use. They are compatible with iPhone and Android devices, feature Apple CarPlay, and allow for seamless interaction with all your car’s functions.
However, despite these similarities, there are also a few crucial differences. The 2023 Prius features a proprietary 12.3-inch display manufactured by JBL specifically for Toyota vehicles. The display pairs with an in-car audio system from the same brand. The audio quality is excellent, but Kia, once again, steals the spotlight.
Its Niro Hybrid features a 20-inch driver-centric interface with touchscreen capabilities. The interface has entertainment, navigation, and diagnostic capabilities for an immersive driving experience. A further 10-inch heads-up display shows the driver key performance and vehicle information that allows you to check stuff like speed and turn-by-turn directions without distracting yourself from driving. The Harman Kardon Premium audio delivers equally crisp and clear sounds like JBL.
Kia and Toyota might not bring the same level of autonomous driving and safety as Tesla brings, but both automakers take safety seriously. Both vehicles are packed with cameras and sensors designed to make your life easier in traffic.
Kia Niro features forward, blind spot, and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist. You’ll also get help when changing lanes, while the lane following assist feature can help you maintain the vehicle centered in its lane. Navigation-based smart cruise control is a great feature for long rides.
The 2023 Prius features similar sensors and comes with an integrated backup camera that shows you what’s happening behind the vehicle when you put the car in reverse. A safe exit assist and multiple anti-collision sensors make it a breeze to drive this car in the heaviest of traffic. The Prius also features anti-collision systems designed to help detect cyclist and pedestrian traffic. The system activates automatic emergency braking if you don’t react.
Other safety features on the Prius include automatic high beams and road sign assist. All these systems together make the Prius more feature-packed than the Niro as far as safety is concerned.
Price is often a deciding factor, especially when looking for an affordable family car. While the two makes aren’t set worlds apart, Kia Niro Hybrid is slightly more affordable. Actual prices vary depending on the selected trim and customizations but start at $26,590 MSRP for the LX variant.
The most expensive trim, the 2023 Niro SX Touring, includes a power sunroof as standard, LED projector lights, and more driving assist functions, but it isn’t exactly expensive. Prices start at $34,890. Kia offers loans and leasing options through Kia Finance, but contracts are typically carried out through authorized dealers. Financing conditions might vary based on the provider.
The 2023 Prius’s starting price is $27,450 for the LE model and goes up to $34,465 for the Limited edition. Similar to Kia, the “luxury” trim comes with multiple add-ons, including LED daytime running lights, 19-inch wheels (instead of the 17-inch on the LE), and a fixed glass roof as standard. When opting for the high-class model, the Prius is actually cheaper than the Niro.
Financing from Toyota is also more straightforward. Deals and offers are available directly on the automaker’s website and are easy to apply for. At the moment, for instance, the 2023 Prius LE AWD can be leased for $299 per month for 36 months, with $3,999 due at signing. Special offers also include discounts for UBER drivers, as well as military and college grad rebates.
Kia Niro Hybrid vs. 2023 Prius: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Kia Niro Hybrid and the 2023 Prius are two of the most popular hybrid cars currently on the market.
- Both vehicles feature front-wheel drive as standard. However, the Prius can be customized to all-wheel drive on demand.
- The entry-level version of the 2023 Prius is more expensive than the entry-level of the Kia Niro Hybrid. However, the high-end trim of the Kia Niro is more expensive than the top trim of the Toyota.
- Both vehicles pack multiple safety features, but the 2023 Prius is a notch over the Kia Niro with more driver-assist options. The Prius also wins in terms of performance.
- Kia Niro Hybrid is more spacious and features a better infotainment system. However, both Kia and Toyota’s infotainments are based on Android, and they are both intuitive to use.
Kia Niro Hybrid vs. 2023 Prius: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Get?
Kia Niro Hybrid and the 2023 Prius are two promising hybrid cars. Each comes with its strengths and drawbacks, so deciding between them comes down to your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for the ultimate family car that comes with lots of space, the Niro could be your best bet. However, you’ll have to sacrifice some power.
If you’re more interested in performance and elegance, the redesigned 2023 Prius can give you both. However, you’ll have to settle for a reduced cargo capacity and fewer infotainment options. Price-wise, the two cars are similar, and you can get loans or leases from both automakers.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©dencg/Shutterstock.com.