Shopping for a new hybrid means you can expect great gas mileage estimates. However, a truly great hybrid sedan also includes industry-leading standard features that come at no additional cost. Looking at the 2021 Prius vs. Niro, we'll find out which vehicle brings more to the table.
To start, the 2021 Prius has better fuel economy estimates than the Niro. The base model 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 53/48/50 MPG rating.
Aside from hybrid performance, the Prius comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) and a Safety Connect®️ trial. The Kia Niro, for its part, has its own available suite of safety features called Kia Drive Wise and UVO link services available.
You can count on your Prius to help keep you safe and withstand the wear-and-tear of daily driving with the ToyotaCare plan. This includes factory-scheduled maintenance, plus 24/7 roadside assistance. Kia has complimentary roadside assistance, but you will have to purchase a prepaid maintenance plan.
The Prius and Niro have a lot more to offer than what we've seen thus far. To get an idea of which hybrid is for you, take a look at the most important features each has to offer in performance, safety, and reliability.
Published Date: 05/17/2021
The 2021 Toyota Prius has it all, giving drivers excellent EPA-estimated fuel economy and available AWD-e to take you farther.
Both the Prius and Niro have starting MSRPs under $25,000. While there's not much difference in price with a starting MSRP of $24,525 vs. $24,690, the Prius L Eco comes with a lot more.
One advantage is fuel economy. The base model Prius L Eco has an EPA-estimated 58/53/56 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating while the Kia Niro LX has an EPA-estimated 53/48/50 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating. Even the Prius LE and XLE AWD-e have an EPA-estimated 51/47/49 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating. Comparatively, the Niro LXS and EX Premium have an EPA-estimated 51/46/49 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating and the Touring and Touring Special Edition have a lower EPA-estimated 46/40/43 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating.
Now with the 2021 Prius, you can also get the available AWD-e on the LE and XLE AWD-e. The AWD-e system operates at speeds of up to 43 mph and provides better traction for bad weather like heavy rain and snow. Looking at the Kia specs page, it makes no mention of AWD on any trim they have.
Every 2021 Prius has a full suite of active safety features so you don’t have to choose between trim level and safety features.
Every Prius has Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0). Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 comes with: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Road Sign Assist (RSA). The Niro does have its own suite of safety features called Kia Drive Wise. This includes Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning(RCCW), Forward Collision Avoidance Assist w/ Pedestrian Detection (FCA-Ped), Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), and Driver Attention Warning (DAW) w/ Leading Vehicle Departure Alert (LVDA). The comparable High-Beam Assist (HBA) and the features mentioned above are only standard on the LXS or higher. Plus, if you want Forward Collision Avoidance-Assist w/ Cyclist Detection (FCA-Cyc), Smart Cruise Control (SCC) w/ Stop & Go, and Lane Following Assist (LFA) you'd need to get the Niro Touring or higher.
The Toyota Prius also comes with a Safety Connect®️ trial. This includes: Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance, and Automatic Collision Notification with a 3-year trial subscription. The Kia Niro Touring and higher come with similar Kia’s UVO link services. With the standard Lite package, UVO link includes features like 911 Connect and Maintenance Reminders complimentary for up to five years.
In terms of passive safety features, the Prius comes standard with a Driver and Front Passenger Advanced Airbag System, driver and front passenger front seat-mounted side airbags, passenger seat cushion airbag, driver's knee airbag, and front and rear curtain shield airbags. The Niro has Dual Front Advanced Airbags, Dual Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags, Full-Length Side Curtain Airbags, and a Driver's Side Knee Airbag.
The safety features in both of these hybrids have been put to the test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Prius received a 2019 Top Safety Pick from the IIHS while the Kia Niro received the 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick+ with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights.
Buy your next hybrid with confidence knowing that it is backed by warranties and maintenance programs to help ensure your vehicle will last. Toyota’s legendary reputation for Quality, Durability, and Reliability is one reason why the Prius beats the Niro.
All new Toyota Prius’ come with the ToyotaCare plan. The ToyotaCare plan includes factory-scheduled maintenance and 24/7 roadside assistance. Toyota drivers receive factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Plus, the roadside assistance program for the Prius lasts for three years and unlimited miles. Kia offers a roadside assistance program for 5 years or 60,000 miles, but their maintenance program, Kia Care Choice, costs extra. The exact cost is dependent on the plan you buy.
Looking beyond the warranty, customers on KBB.com gave the 2021 Prius a 4.8-Star Consumer Reliability rating. The 2021 Niro received 4.5 out of 5 stars in the same category.
Toyota has recently lengthened their Hybrid Battery Warranty to 10 years from date of first use, or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. Kia has a limited powertrain warranty for 10 years, or 100,000 miles. The warranty page does not specifically mention a hybrid battery warranty.
Vehicles are adding so much tech these days that it's worth considering what each competitor has. The Toyota has plenty.
The base trim Niro Hybrid LX has a 8-inch touchscreen while the base Prius L Eco has a 7-inch touchscreen. However, if you opt for the Prius Limited you'll get an 11.6-inch touchscreen. The Niro Hybrid's EX Premium trim only has a 10.25-inch touchscreen.
Prius also comes out ahead in the number of speakers too. The base model Niro Hybrid LX has six speakers, the same as the base model Prius L Eco. Again, if you choose the Prius Limited model you get ten JBL®️ speakers. The Niro Hybrid EX Premium has only eight Harman Kardon® speakers.
The Prius LE and higher models come with Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) with Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA). This makes parking easier and less stressful by helping to avoid forward and rearward collisions at speeds of 9 miles per hour or less. The Niro Hybrid's Parking Distance Warning-Reverse is not available on the base model LX. To get it you'd have to opt for the EX Premium model-the highest price model available.
If an affordable price is at the top of your car wish list, you’ll be happy to know that both the Prius and Niro have MSRPs starting under $25,000.
Continuing on this price-saving theme, all 2021 Toyota Prius trims come with a suite of active safety features called Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0). The Kia Niro does have its own suite of safety features called Kia Drive Wise. However, you’d need to get the LXS model (starting at an MSRP of $26,090) or higher to get comparable features.
With more standard features and the reputation of being one of the first readily available hybrids, the 2021 Toyota Prius is a true winner.