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The Prius Prime’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Niro EV doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The Prius Prime has standard Safety Connect?, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Niro EV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Prius Prime and the Niro EV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Prius Prime the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Niro EV has not been tested, yet.
The Prius Prime’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Niro EV runs out after 100,000 miles.
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius Prime for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Kia doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Niro EV.
There are over 59 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Kia dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Prius Prime’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Kia is ranked 10th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Kia vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Kia is ranked fifth.
On the EPA test cycle the Prius Prime running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Niro EV (145 city/121 hwy vs. 123 city/102 hwy MPGe).
The Prius Prime’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 652 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Niro EV’s range is only 239 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 1 hour and 15 minutes for only an 80% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 59 hours.
The Prius Prime has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Niro EV doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For better maneuverability, the Prius Prime’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Niro EV’s (33.4 feet vs. 34.8 feet).
The Toyota Prius Prime may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the Kia Niro EV.
The front grille of the Prius Prime uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Niro EV doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Prius Prime has 1.5 inches more front legroom and 3.3 inches more rear hip room than the Niro EV.
The Prius Prime has a much larger cargo volume than the Niro EV with its rear seat up (19.8 vs. 18.5 cubic feet).
A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Prius Prime easier. The Prius Prime’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Niro EV’s liftover is 29 inches.
The Prius Prime Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Niro EV doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Prius Prime’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Niro EV’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
The Prius Prime Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Niro EV’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Prius Prime detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Niro EV doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
The Prius Prime XLE/Limited’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Niro EV’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.
The Prius Prime Limited’s Intelligent Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Niro EV doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
Consumer Reports? recommends the Toyota Prius Prime, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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