2018 Kia Niro vs Toyota Prius V

2018 Kia Niro vs Toyota Prius V

2018 Kia Niro vs Toyota Prius V

When it comes to hybrid-only passenger vehicles the first name most people inevitably think of is the Toyota Prius. The Toyota isn’t the only hybrid-only model in town anymore now though, and the likes of the Toyota Prius V now face stiff competition from the 2018 Kia Niro which also adopts the infinitely more popular crossover SUV body style. So, let’s see how the two compare.


The Toyota Prius used to be more than just a fuel-efficient car. It used to be a symbol of environmentalism. With so many hybrid and plug-in hybrids around, that’s perhaps not as much a distinction–but it’s look definitely is. The Prius calls attention to being different with a distinct style that isn’t always attractive.

The Kia Niro is environmentally-friendly as well as being a great passenger vehicle. Instead of looking quirky and odd, the Kia adopts the highly desirable SUV body style, which straightaway makes it far more desirable for ordinary consumers than the Toyota.


Both of these vehicles are designed to seat up to five people, but the crossover styling of the Niro means more interior space, even though the Prius V is actually more than 11 inches longer. The wagon body style of the Prius V delivers greater cargo capacity, but passengers are better taken care of in the front and rear of the Kia with plenty of extra legroom. It obviously depends on whether cargo or passenger capacity is more important to you, but the majority of buyers are likely to favor passenger space, so the Kia wins again.

Fuel economy

Buyers might assume the Niro crossover is bigger, heavier and therefore less fuel efficient than the Prius V, but that’s not actually the case. The Niro hybrid boasts ratings as good as 52 mpg in the city, 49 mpg on the highway and 50 mpg combined, and the plug-in hybrid version of the Niro delivers 105 MPGe combined. The best fuel economy rating offered by the Toyota is a fairly mundane 42 mpg combined, which falls well short of what the Kia can deliver.

Comfort, quality and safety

Just by looking at the two vehicles you could probably work out that the Toyota costs a little more than the Kia. That’s not to put down the quality and style of the Niro interior in any way though, because it’s actually very good, especially for the money. All Niro models come standard with dual-zone climate control, LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, at least a 7.0-inch color touchscreen for infotainment, and the quality of the fit and materials is very good.

It’s a similar story with the Prius V, but the quality is just a little better and the Toyota offers more in terms of standard and optional safety features and equipment. Safety is a big deal with Toyota and this model is no exception. The Niro hasn’t been tested yet by the NHTSA and IIHS, but it is expected to score well when it does get tested. However, the Prius V has been tested and gets top marks from both agencies, and therefore a win in this section.