If we can charge our phones, why not our cars too? The latest in plug-in hybrid technology allows for even better fuel economy estimates by combining the option for electric power with the flexibility of a hybrid engine.
While both the Prius Prime and Kia Niro PHEV have exceptional fuel economy, the 2021 Prius Prime has a higher EPA-estimated MPG combined rating and a lower starting MSRP of $28,220.
Not to mention, you get more standard interior features like Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The Kia Niro Hybrid Plug-In misses out on Amazon Alexa compatibility on all trim levels.
See which of these plug-in hybrids has more than just great gas mileage. Compare them in the categories of performance, interior, and reliability as well.
Published Date: 04/06/2021
Overall performance is usually one of the main things drivers consider when buying a vehicle, and with good reason. No one wants fuel economy gains at the expense of a dull, slow driving experience.
Both the 2021 Prius Prime and the 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid have three trim options, however, the starting MSRP for the Prius Prime is $28,220, while the Niro Plug-In Hybrid MSRP starts at $29,490. Not only is the Prius Prime’s MSRP less to begin with, it also offers a lot of standard features that won't add on to your total at checkout.
One standard advantage for peak performance at night are the LED headlights featured on the Prius Prime. To get these on the Niro you'd need to upgrade to the most expensive trim, the EX Premium, which starts at an MSRP of $36,390.
Additionally, the Prius Prime comes standard with a 1.8L 4-cylinder hybrid engine, while the Niro Plug-In Hybrid has a smaller 1.6L 4-cylinder engine.
The combination of electric and gas power puts out big numbers for these plug-ins. The Prius Prime has an EPA-estimated 55/53/54 (hybrid mode mpg city/highway/combined) MPG rating which surpasses the EPA-estimated 48/44/46 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating for the 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid. The Prius Prime also has an EPA-estimated MPGe of 133. The Kia Niro only has a combined MPGe of 105.
Some say it's the little touches that complete your ride. That's especially true in 2021. People have an expectation of comfort and connectivity. With the Prius Prime, attention to detail is standard.
When you want more ways to listen, the Prius Prime has Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Amazon Alexa compatibility standard. Similarly, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid does have Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, but lacks Amazon Alexa compatibility.
While you listen to the latest hits, enjoy your drive with the standard 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support in the Prius Prime XLE and Limited. While the Niro EX and EX Premium have a 10-Way Power Driver's Seat Adjustment, w/ 2-way Power Lumbar Support, it'll cost Niro drivers more. The starting MSRP for the Prius Prime XLE is $30,000 and $33,290 for the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX.
Keep your interior looking good with the cargo area lightweight tonneau cover standard in the Prius Prime LE and XLE. A cargo cover on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid is only standard on the EX and EX Premium. Not only that, but the Prius Prime has more cargo space. The cargo volume for the Prius Prime is 19.8 cu. ft. For the Niro it's only 19.4 cu. ft.
After committing to a new car ensuring you get a return on your investment can be as simple as looking at consumer reviews.
The 2021 Prius Prime received a 4.5-Star Consumer Reliability rating on KBB.com while the 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid got a 4.2-Star Consumer rating. Toyota also received the 2021 Best Resale Value: Brand according to Kelley Blue Book®. Kia did not receive this distinction.
Prius Prime drivers also get factory-scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, plus extended Roadside Assistance for three years and unlimited mileage with the ToyotaCare plan. On the other hand, Kia offers prepaid maintenance plans which vary in coverage and cost. The Kia Roadside Assistance program lasts for 5 years/unlimited mileage.
Plus, Prius Prime offers a Hybrid Battery warranty of 120 months/150,000 miles. Kia’s website does not list an additional warranty for their hybrid battery - Niro PHEV comes with Kia’s 5-year/60,000 mile limited basic warranty.
As technology continues to advance, cars are becoming smarter and using less gas. The 2021 Prius Prime and 2021 Niro Plug-In Hybrid take this to the next level.
With an EPA-estimated 55/53/54 (hybrid mode mpg city/highway/combined) MPG rating for the Prius Prime, it outdoes the EPA-estimated 48/44/46 (city/highway/combined) MPG rating for the 2021 Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid.
The Prius Prime is also covered by the ToyotaCare plan, which has factory-scheduled maintenance for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and Roadside Assistance for 2 years, unlimited mileage. Kia, on the other hand, includes roadside assistance but drivers must purchase a prepaid maintenance plan.
Beyond fuel economy estimates and coverage, both vehicles have slight differences in interior features too.
When you want a car that doesn't require as many trips to the pump and that is consumer-approved, the 2021 Prius Prime is the car of the future.