HomeTop Stories2023 Toyota Prius vs. 2023 Kia Niro

2023 Toyota Prius vs. 2023 Kia Niro

The Toyota Prius, which has become synonymous with hybrid cars for the past 20 years, is fresh off a full redesign for 2023. The eccentric styling, quirky interior and weak powertrain of the previous generation can now be seen in the rearview mirror. The new Prius now has an attractive appearance, a sleeker interior and a significantly increased power. It is even more efficient than the previous model. But it’s not the only hybrid car you should consider.

The Kia Niro has been on the market since 2016 and, like the Prius, was also redesigned for the 2023 model year. The new Niro has one stylish bold design, excellent technology and a more spacious interior. But is Kia’s hybrid good enough to take on the long-running Prius? Edmunds experts compare them to find out which one is the best buy.

FUEL CONSUMPTION AND POWER The Prius and Niro are two of the most efficient hybrids you can buy, but the Prius drinks fuel more slowly. The base front-wheel drive model has an impressive EPA estimate of 57 mpg in combined city and highway driving, but that drops to 52 mpg combined in the higher trims. With all-wheel drive, those estimates are 3 mpg lower in combined driving. The front-wheel drive-only Niro is rated at 53 mpg combined in the base trim, but the less efficient higher trims are rated at 49 mpg combined.

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When Edmunds drove the best-specced versions of both hybrids on his real-world test route, the difference was greater. The Prius met its EPA estimate by achieving 52.3 mpg, but the Niro got 47.7 mpg, slightly short of its EPA estimate.

Not only is the Prius more fuel efficient, its 194 horsepower hybrid powertrain (196 horsepower with all-wheel drive) is significantly more powerful than the Niro’s, which produces just 139 horsepower. That ample amount of power propelled the Prius from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds, an impressive 2 seconds faster than the Niro. More power and better fuel economy make it an easy win for the Toyota.

Winner: Toyota Prius

TECHNOLOGY AND INTERIOR SPACE The base trims of both hybrids feature 8-inch touchscreen displays and digital instrument clusters. The Niro offers a larger 10.25-inch touchscreen on all other trims. The Prius offers an even bigger 12.3-inch touchscreen, but to get it you’ll need to add it as an option or buy the highest trim level.

A benefit to the Prius is standard wireless connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration; you’ll need a USB cable to connect to most Niro trims. It also includes forward-thinking USB-C ports instead of the Niro’s older USB-A ports.

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Cargo space behind the rear seats is almost the same: 20.3-23.8 cubic feet in the Prius and 22.8 cubic feet in the Niro. That’s a significant amount and more than you’d get in a sedan. Front seat space is similar, but the Niro has more passenger room in the rear.

Winner: draw

COMFORT AND DRIVE Ride comfort is excellent in both hybrids, which is not always the case with small cars. Their seats are also comfortable, although the Niros are on the firm side but have more support to keep you in place. As with most hybrids, both engines get noisy under hard acceleration, but the Niro does a better job of keeping wind and tire noise out.

Based on our testing, the Prius drives better without a doubt. Both hybrids are great around town, but the Prius’ faster acceleration comes in handy on the highway. It also drives much better, making it more fun to drive. The Prius’ superior driving dynamics give it the win here.

Winner: Toyota Prius

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PRICES AND VALUE The Prius’s starting price of $28,545 is slightly higher than the Niro’s starting price of $27,915. Both base models are equipped the same way, but for an extra $1,400 you can add all-wheel drive to any Prius trim. The mid-level trims are also closely matched in terms of features, but the Prius is again a bit more expensive, though its extra power and mpg justifies the extra cost. Priced similarly to the Niro, the top trim of the Prius offers optional features at an additional cost that the Niro does not, including a self-parking system, heated rear seats and an all-round vision camera system.

If warranties are important to you, Kia’s base five-year/60,000-mile warranty exceeds Toyota’s three-year/36,000-mile warranty. However, Toyota offers two years or 25,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance.

Winner: tie

EDMUNDS SAYS: The Toyota Prius and Kia Niro are both highly regarded hybrids by Edmunds. But as with any comparison, there is a winner. The Toyota Prius takes the win here thanks to its superior power, fuel efficiency and available four-wheel drive.


This story was provided to The Associated Press by the Edmunds car website.

Michael Cantu is a contributor to Edmunds and is on Instagram.

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