The Most Expensive 2023 Kia Niro Hybrid Costs About the Same as a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Base Model

Hybrid vehicles are becoming more popular in the U.S. Sales jumped 76% in 2021, according to Reuters, including sales on hybrid SUVs. Recently, South Korean automaker Kia announced pricing information about its fully redesigned Niro hybrid SUV model. Here’s what you need to know:

How much is a 2023 Kia Niro hybrid model?

There are three trims on offer for the 2023 Kia Niro: the base LX, EX, and SX. The LX starts at $26,490, the EX at $29,090, and the SX at $32,490.

Kia explains that the newly designed Niro will be larger than the previous generation. This will bump the cargo capacity from 19.8 cubic feet in the 2022 model to 22.8 in the newest model. Kia states that with the changes in size and ground clearance, the Niro will have 50% more cargo room than the Tesla Model 3.

The 2023 Kia Niro will have a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 32kW electric motor to generate 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Kia states the powertrain will get 53 combined mpg with a range of 588 miles. For the higher-end trims with 18-inch wheels, fuel economy dips slightly to 49 mpg. You can also enjoy the new “Green Zone Drive Mode,” which switches the hybrid system to electric drive mode for driving in residential areas or nearby hospitals and schools. Navigation cues and driving history will help the system know when to engage.

All 2023 Kia Niro hybrid models will come with Kia’s bundle of warranties. The basic warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles, and the limited powertrain warranty covers 10 years or up to 100,000 miles. There are plenty of driver aids as well, including forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, safe exit warning, driver attention warning, blind spot collision warning, and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance systems. 

How does the 2023 Kia Niro compare to the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

A 2023 Kia Niro hybrid compact SUV model parked near fields of wheat next to grassy hills
2023 Kia Niro | Kia America

The starting price for the top Kia Niro hybrid model trim – the SX – is close to the starting price for another hybrid SUV, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Car and Driver estimates its starting price is $31,000 compared to the Niro Hybrid SX’s $32,490. There are seven trim levels available for the RAV4 Hybrid: the base LE, XLE, SE, XLE Platinum, XSE, the all-new Woodland Edition, and Limited. 

All RAV4 Hybrid models are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine coupled with two electric motors and standard all-wheel drive. The result is 219 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque, which is less economical than the Niro at 40 combined mpg but is quick off the line. Car and Driver reviewers clocked it going 0 to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, more than half a second faster than the gas-only model.

The RAV4 Hybrid is 6 inches longer than the Niro and will give you a lot more interior space. Cargo space-wise, the RAV4 Hybrid is in another league compared to the Niro, with 37.6 cubic feet among all trims. There are also lots of small bins and cubbies for cargo throughout the SUV. 

Safety-wise, the RAV4 Hybrid comes with the Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver aids that compares well to the Niro’s plethora of aids. Dynamic radar cruise control, frontal collision warning, road sign assist, lane tracing assist, and lane departure are all standard. That system is part of why the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2022.

The new-for-2023 Woodland Edition gives drivers better off-road capabilities. Upgrades like all-terrain tires, a Toyota Racing Development (TRD) suspension kit, a roof rack, mud flaps, all-season floor mats, and bronze-colored wheels are included.

Which is the better hybrid SUV?

It depends on what you value more in a hybrid SUV. There’s plenty to like about the Kia Niro, starting with the price. The updated looks are great inside the cabin and on the exterior. There’s more room than previous models and some of the best fuel economy numbers in the hybrid SUV segment. Kia’s warranty coverage is also a huge plus, and you won’t be lacking any technology inside. The top trim will get you plenty of extra features to enjoy.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid price is a step up from the Niro. Additionally, it’s hard to argue that the base RAV4 has as many features as the Niro’s top trim, the SX. It’s not as efficient either, with much lower fuel economy numbers. However, you will have much more power and standard all-wheel drive to handle it. You’ll have comparable safety features and a lot more room for cargo.

RELATED: The 2022 Kia Niro Is the Cheapest Hybrid SUV of 2022, According to U.S. News