3 Strong Reasons the 2023 Kia Niro Makes the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid a Poor Choice
When shopping for a compact crossover hybrid SUV in 2023, two top choices include the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid and the Kia Niro. While it hasn’t reached North American dealer lots so far in early 2023, Toyota’s reputation for quality and reliability, along with the new Fifth Generation Toyota Hybrid System, means the forthcoming Corolla Cross Hybrid faces big expectations as it rolls off Toyota’s Huntsville, Alabama assembly line. So, how does it compare to the Kia Niro hybrid SUV?
The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Toyota’s press release reveals that the 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid will come in five grades (LE, XLE, S, SE, and XSE), each with standard all-wheel drive (AWD) powered by a 194-horsepower hybrid powertrain. Additionally, all Corolla Cross Hybrid grades also feature Toyota Safety Sense 3.0, a new Toyota Multimedia System, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the “Hey Toyota” voice-activated Intelligent Assistant, and over-the-air updates to navigation maps and vehicle system software.
3 reasons to choose the 2023 Kia Niro over the Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
While the new Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid presents an attractive, modern package, it suffers when compared to the 2023 Kia Niro in three critical areas:
- The 2023 Kia Niro has a better standard warranty than Toyota. The Toyota press release says the new Corolla Cross Hybrid has a 36-month or 36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty that “applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items.” Additionally, Toyota provides 60-month or 60,000-mile coverage to the powertrain and a 60-month warranty against corrosion perforation with unlimited miles. Hybrid system components have an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty that covers “repairs needed to correct defects in materials or workmanship,” and hybrid battery coverage extends to 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Kia greatly surpasses Toyota’s basic and powertrain warranties with its 60-month or 60,000-mile basic and 120-month or 100,000-mile powertrain warranties. However, its 60-month or 100,000-mile anti-perforation corrosion warranty falls short of Toyota’s coverage. Finally, Kia’s 60-month or 60,000-mile roadside assistance plan also surpasses Toyota’s 24-month or unlimited miles offering.
- The EPA estimates the base model 2023 Kia Niro fuel economy at 53 mpg in the city and 54 mpg on the highway, and other trims at the same city rating but only 45 mpg on the highway. However, Car and Driver tested a Niro EX Touring that returned 39 mpg under highway driving. Still, for comparison, Toyota estimates the Corolla Cross Hybrid will get an underwhelming combined 37 mpg. Still, that number isn’t confirmed and could be either higher or lower than the initial estimate.
- While the non-hybrid 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross price starts around $24,395, pricing for the new Corolla Cross Hybrid isn’t set at this time, but most experts estimate a starting price in the $27,000 range. For comparison, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) lists the 2023 Kia Niro’s starting MSRP at $26,590, making the Corolla Cross Hybrid a touch more expensive.
The Corolla Cross Hybrid has a few advantages over the Niro
While the Kia Niro enjoys some advantages over the Corolla Cross Hybrid, the Toyota has more horsepower, a larger cargo capacity, and features standard AWD. Additionally, Toyota provides ToyotaCare to cover regular factory-scheduled maintenance at no cost for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Unfortunately, despite an excellent standard warranty, Kia does not offer a complimentary vehicle maintenance plan.