Avoiding the 2021 Kia Niro and Settling for the 2021 Toyota Prius Would Be a Mistake

Now, when it comes to shopping for a fuel-sipping hybrid, choosing the 2021 Toyota Prius may seem like a good idea. But is the Toyota Prius the best option available? Not necessarily. In fact, if you aren’t sold on this year’s new Prius, you should probably consider the 2021 Kia Niro. Because avoiding this year’s Niro and settling for the Prius instead? Well, that might be a mistake.

2021 Kia Niro parked
2021 Kia Niro | Kia

Choose the 2021 Kia Niro if you want an electric vehicle

Odds are, if you’re shopping for a hybrid, it’s because you want to cut down on fuel consumption. If that’s the case, then you’re going to want to check out the Kia Niro EV. While the automaker has yet to unveil details about the 2021 model, the 2020 Kia Niro EV boasts an all-electric range of 239-miles. It’s also able to charge 80% in about 1 hour and 15 minutes if you’re using a compatible 50 kW DC fast charger. And even better? The Kia Niro EV is eligible for federal and state tax rebates in certain states. As for the Toyota Prius? It can’t be had as an electric vehicle, only a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid.

2020 Kia Niro EV parked
2020 Kia Niro EV | Kia

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The IIHS gave the 2021 Kia Niro better safety ratings 

Safety ratings are crucial when it comes to shopping for a new car. After all, no one wants to buy a vehicle that wasn’t made with their safety in mind. Fortunately, both the 2021 Toyota Prius and this year’s Kia Niro come well-equipped to put your safety first. But, unfortunately, while both vehicles do come outfitted with a long list of safety features, it’s the Kia Niro that earned better safety ratings from the IIHS.

In fact, according to the IIHS, this year’s Prius struggled in numerous crash tests. Not only did it earn an ‘Acceptable’ passenger-side small overlap frontal rating, but the IIHS reports that this year’s Prius also earned an ‘Acceptable’ rating when it came to driver injury measures related to the torso, pelvis, and legs. Its headlights also earned an ‘Acceptable’ rating, which is fairly disappointing.

As for the 2021 Kia Niro? According to the IIHS, it fared much better in crash tests. This year’s model earned a ‘Good’ rating in all crashworthiness tests, as well as a ‘Superior’ front crash prevention: vehicle-to-vehicle rating. Unfortunately, the Niro did take a hit for its LATCH ease-of-use. But all in all? The IIHS gave this year’s Niro significantly better safety ratings than it did the Prius.

2021 Kia Niro driving down an empty road
2021 Kia Niro | Kia

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The 2021 Kia Niro is the more spacious option of the two

Now that we’ve got safety out of the way, let’s talk space. If you plan on having passengers join you, you’re going to want a vehicle that’s able to seat them comfortably. Fortunately, the 2021 Kia Niro can. According to Consumer Reports, the front seats are wide enough to accommodate most drivers, while the rear seats offer up more than enough space for passengers. 

And when compared to the Toyota Prius? This year’s new Kia Niro offers up more front and rear headroom. It also boasts more second-row legroom and shoulder room than its Toyota competition. As for cargo space? This year’s Kia Niro continues to have the edge over the Toyota Prius.

The interior of the 2021 Kia Niro.
The interior of the 2021 Kia Niro. | Kia

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How to determine which of this fuel-sippers is right for you

We’ve covered the differences between the Toyota Prius and the Kia Niro. And when it comes down to it? There are plenty of reasons to choose this year’s Niro over its Toyota competition. Regardless, before finalizing your purchase, we recommend taking each of these fuel-sippers out for a test drive.