Video Hero Image

2020 Prius vs. Niro Comparison

The Prius has come a long way from its original debut. First introduced in Japan in 1997, the Prius didn't hit the U.S. market until 2001. After a gradual start, it quickly became a front runner in the hybrid market.

Following the rising trend of hybrid gas/electric vehicles over the last two decades, Kia introduced the Kia Niro in 2017 to the United States consumer auto market. Let’s look at how these two hybrids matchup in today’s hybrid-vehicle climate.

Hybrid cars like the Prius and Niro are known for their fuel efficiency. When it comes to gas mileage, the 2020 Prius has higher rating estimates than the Niro. The base trim Prius L Eco has an EPA-estimated 58/53/56 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating while the base trim Niro LX only has an EPA-estimated rating of 52/49/50 (city/highway/combined) MPG.

The Prius also comes with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P). The Kia Niro, for its part, has a TSS-comparable suite called Kia Drive Wise and additionally keeps drivers connected with Kia UVO Link. For even more standard safety, Prius also comes with a trial of Safety Connect.

Another driver comfort is knowing that, if something does go wrong, you have a team behind you to count on. Reliability is key. In keeping with this, all leases and purchases of the 2020 Toyota Prius come with ToyotaCare. This factory-scheduled maintenance plan lasts for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. ToyotaCare also includes Roadside Assistance that lasts for three years and unlimited miles. Kia has pre-paid maintenance plan options that you can purchase at any time.

Although it seems the two hybrids have similar offerings, let’s take a closer look at the 2020 Toyota Prius vs. Kia Niro. Read on to see which hybrid performs better, provides more safety features, and is backed by a brand you can rely on.

Publish Date: 08/10/2020

2020 blue Prius splashing through a puddle


  • For a slightly lower starting MSRP, the 2020 Toyota Prius L Eco has higher EPA gas mileage estimated ratings than the Niro LX.
  • Prius has two AWD-e trim options while the Niro does not offer AWD.

When it comes to a high-performing vehicle, not many people think of hybrids. Other than gas mileage efficiency, they aren't usually standouts in terms of power or drivetrain capabilities. The 2020 Toyota Prius continues to shake that notion with another year of optional AWD-e.

Hybrid AWD and Fuel Economy

With similar starting MSRPs, the base model of the 2020 Prius is slightly less expensive at $24,325. The 2020 Niro starts at $24,590 and is only available in FWD, whereas the Prius has available AWD-e starting at $26,935 MSRP.

To avoid having to choose between fuel efficiency and AWD capability, the 2020 Prius offers two AWD-e options. The 2020 Prius’s two AWD-e trims (LE and XLE AWD-e) give you more choices than the Niro. AWD can help improve traction in adverse weather and road conditions. Even with AWD-e, the Prius LE and XLE AWD-e models both have an impressive EPA-estimated 52/48/50 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating.

All FWD 2020 Prius trims have higher EPA-estimated gas mileage ratings than the Kia Niro. The base model Prius L Eco has an EPA-estimated rating of 58/53/56 (city/highway/combined) MPG. The Kia Niro LX has an EPA-estimated rating of 52/49/50 (city/highway/combined) MPG.

Pink flamingo inflatable sled on top of the 2020 Prius


  • The Prius comes standard with TSS-P while you will need to upgrade to the Niro LXS for similar safety features.
  • Prius comes with knee airbags.

Whether you're driving to work or taking a road trip, it's important to feel safe when getting where you need to go.

Standard Safety Features

The Prius comes standard with a suite of active safety features called Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P). Toyota Safety Sense P comes with: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), and Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).

The Niro also has its own suite of safety features in the Kia Drive Wise package. This includes similar features to TSS-P, however, they are only available on the Niro LXS or higher which starts at $25,990. For Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, and Driver Attention Warning, Niro drivers will have to spend more to get comparable features.

The Toyota Prius also comes with Safety Connect. This year-long trial includes Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance, and Automatic Collision Notification. The Kia Niro has Kia’s UVO Link services with a variety of plans to choose from. To get 911 Connect, Vehicle Alarm Alert, and Roadside Assistance, the Care package is available for $9.99 per month.

The Prius comes standard with the Driver and Front Passenger Advanced Airbag System. This includes driver and front passenger front seat-mounted side airbags, passenger seat cushion airbag, driver's knee airbag, and front and rear curtain shield airbag. The Niro has driver, passenger, front head, rear head, and front side airbags, but skips out on the knee airbag.

Blue 2020 Prius parked in the woods


  • Leases and purchases of new Toyota Prius trims come standard with ToyotaCare which provides Roadside Assistance and a factory-scheduled maintenance plan.
  • Prius drivers can also benefit from an extended Hybrid Battery Warranty. The Kia Niro has a similar warranty that lasts for 10 years or 100,000 miles.
  • Kelley Blue Book® awarded the 2020 Niro a 4.8 out of 5-star Consumer Reliability rating while the 2020 Prius received a 4.9-star rating.

Beyond the active and passive safety features, all purchases and leases of new Toyota Prius models come standard with ToyotaCare.

Toyota Coverage and Awards

ToyotaCare comes with a factory-scheduled maintenance plan for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. ToyotaCare also includes Roadside Assistance for three years and unlimited miles. Kia offers a roadside assistance program, but their maintenance program, Kia Care Choice, costs extra. The exact cost is dependent on the plan you buy.

Toyota also recently extended their Hybrid Battery Warranty to 10 years from date of first use or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. Kia has a Hybrid System Warranty for 10 years or 100,000 miles.

When it comes to awards, the 2019 Prius received an 81 Quality and Reliability rating by J.D. Power while the 2019 Kia Niro received a 76. The 2020 Prius also received a Kelley Blue Book® 4.9-Star Consumer Reliability rating. On the other hand, the 2020 Niro received 4.8 out of 5 stars.

Not only can Toyota customers take advantage of ToyotaCare and an extended hybrid battery warranty, they can feel confident knowing their vehicle is backed by awards from Kelley Blue Book®.

Blue 2020 Prius parked in the woods

Conclusion: Prius vs. Niro

  • The Prius has the edge with a longer history of being a leader in the hybrid vehicle market.
  • Both the Niro and Prius have similar starting MSRPs.
  • Prius drivers get more standard safety features with TSS-P while drivers will have to get the Niro LXS or higher trims for the same offerings.

Hybrid cars offer a more eco-sensitive solution to fuel-conscious consumers.

While the technology for hybrid cars has been around since the late 1980s, the Toyota Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle: released in Japan in late 1997. The Kia Niro drove onto the scene 20 years later in 2017.

If an affordable price is at the top of your car wish list, you’ll be happy to note that the base model 2020 Toyota Prius is slightly cheaper than the Niro. It has a starting MSRP of $24,325 while the 2020 Kia Niro starts at $24,590.

Continuing on this price-saving theme, all 2020 Toyota Prius trims come with a suite of active safety features called Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P). The Kia Niro does have its own suite of safety features called Kia Drive Wise. However, you’d need to get the LXS trim (starting at an MSRP of $25,990) or higher to get the advanced Drive Wise features.

With a lower starting MSRP, more standard safety features, and the reputation of being a pioneer in hybrids, the 2020 Toyota Prius is a true winner.