First produced in 1997, the Prius has led the hybrid market for over 20 years.
The Kia Niro is newer to the hybrid market: it was first introduced in 2017.
The 2019 Kia Niro is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
However, to get the exact Kia Niro that's a Top Safety Pick, drivers would need to add extra-cost add ons like Autonomous Emergency Braking and HID Headlights.
In this head-to-head, we’ll compare the Toyota Prius and the Kia Niro in safety, fuel economy, and price.
The Prius line of hybrids comes stocked with a lot of standard safety features. The Prius LE has Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS)71 with Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA)72. The Kia Niro has comparable parking assist features, but those come in an optional package that costs extra.
Also, Prius LE AWD-e drivers will have an all-wheel-drive system that engages as necessary at speeds of up to 43 mph in low-traction situations73. Niro drivers wanting a similar feature won’t find it at any trim level. The Niro only comes with front-wheel-drive.
But the greatest standard safety feature the Prius comes with is Toyota Safety Sense® P (TSS-P)24. This advanced safety suite includes: Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)2322, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)20, Automatic High Beams (AHB)18, and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)39.
The Niro offers similar safety features in its DriveWise package. To get these features, drivers will have to select the Kia Niro Touring (MSRP $32,250) since it's not available on the Niro FE. Approximate safety features can be added to the Niro LX and EX models, but they cost an extra $1,450 or $1,950, respectively.
When it comes to fuel economy, the Prius is a pure performer when compared to the Niro.
The Prius L Eco has an EPA-estimated 58/53/56 MPG (city/hwy/comb)48.
To compare, the Niro's front-wheel-drive FE model only has an EPA-estimated 52/49/50 MPG (city/hwy/comb).
Want AWD and better fuel economy? The Prius LE AWD-e has the highest MPG of all Toyota vehicles48 on the market.
If you live in a snowy area, Toyota has you covered. The Prius LE/XLE AWD-e is great for anyone needing to brave the snow-covered roads in winter or difficult road conditions at any time of year.
The Kia Niro does not come in an all AWD model.
Excellent fuel economy is not the only thing you'll get with a Prius. For those looking for a more economical car price, look no further than the Toyota Prius. The 2019 Toyota Prius LE starts at an MSRP of $24,98012.
The Kia Niro EX has a higher base MSRP of $26,400. Despite the Niro's almost $2,000 price bump, it lacks a few features that come standard on the Prius. One such feature is Toyota Safety Sense® P (TSS-P)24.
The base Niro model doesn't have safety features comparable to TSS-P24. To have similar features come standard, Niro drivers will have to get the Kia Niro Touring model (MSRP $32,250). The mid-level Niro models, Niro LX, and Niro EX, have similar safety features, but they cost extra. To get them on the Niro LX, drivers will have to add $1,450 to the price tag. Niro EX drivers will need to add an extra $1,950.
Another feature that comes standard on the Prius is ToyotaCare. This no-cost maintenance plan lasts for 2-years/25,000-miles11. ToyotaCare also comes with a Roadside Assistance plan that lasts 3-years/unlimited miles38.
The Kia Niro's factory scheduled maintenance program costs extra. However, they do have a Roadside Assistance plan that lasts 60-months/unlimited miles.
If you're looking for a 2019 hybrid that has it all, consider the 2019 Pruis. Not only does it come with many more features than the Niro, many of those features come standard at no extra cost.
Two of those standout features are Toyota Safety Sense® P (TSS-P)24 and ToyotaCare11. Even with these solid features, the Toyota Prius starts at a lower base MSRP12 than the Kia Niro. The Prius LE has an MSRP of $24,98012. The 2019 Kia Niro EX has a higher MSRP of $26,400 while missing out on many safety elements that come standard on the Prius.
Safety features that come standard on the Toyota Prius LE include parking safety features that cost extra on the Niro. These are Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS)71 with Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA)72.
Both the 2019 Toyota Prius and the Kia Niro were a Top Safety Pick by the Institute for Highway Safety45.
With the Kia Niro only being introduced two years ago in 2017, it can’t beat the solid history of the Pruis in safety, fuel economy, and price. In this head-to-head, the winner is clear: the 2019 Prius.