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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I have a lot of time before I trade my current car for a new car. I’ve been doing some research and so far, I’m between Toyota Prius or 2018 or latest Kia niro HEV. So far, I’m leaning more on the niro because there’s more space and the ground clearance is way higher than the Prius; however, I’ve been told from multiple people that KIA cars are just crap and are not reliable. So I’m asking you guys that own a niro for over a year or more if you guy’s car has been reliable so far ? Has there been a lot of maintenance on your car ? I hope you guys take your time to answer my question because I’m really leaning into this car , but don’t want to buy it then break on me. Thank you and have a good weekend !
 

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Hi Chris,
Welcome to the Forum. I've had Kia's since 2013 (a Sorento) with just standard servicing (apart from a faulty relay). Kia have been in the top 5 of the JD power listings for the last few years.
Toyota were at this stage in the 70's trying to forge a name for themselves in the open market. Now they are one of the most respected marques available for reliability.
apart from the 2.4 engine debacle (which as far as I am aware was traced back to the engine assemblers in NA) they are as good as anything else on the road. But because of the Stigma you can get a higher spec'd car for the same price an equivalent Toyota.
As well as the Prius the Corolla Hybrid is also getting rave reviews up here in Canada.
I recommend test driving as many as you can and make the decision from there.
Good luck.
 

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I've had 5 Prius since 2004 and they were all bullet proof. My last Prius had 166k. mi. on it when I decided for various reasons to try out a Niro. I've owned my Niro for a year and a half and have been very pleased with it. No trouble at all. I think Kia got a bad rap in it's early years. I think now their vehicles are all top quality. I would say almost or equal to Toyota. I think the dealer is an important factor to consider when you buy a car in todays day and age with all their complexities.
 

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Two years and a few days, and 30,000 miles. Zero issues. One guy here went 157,000 miles before selling it, no major issues (and almost zero maintenance), Year one in the US I believe J.D. Power rated it as the most reliable new car. But no online anecdote, including mine should really sway you. Any car, even a new Prius could be a lemon. You might take a look at Consumer Reports though, but I think the Korean cars are darned close to the Japanese cars for reliability. And they all look better than the Gen4 Prius.

You might also want to take a look at the Ioniq. Similar shape and aerodynamics to the Prius, same drivetrain as the Niro. Technically more room inside too, but it depends on what gear you put in your car on a regular basis. Costs less (and you may be able to negotiate with them more easily), and better mpg. I even think it looks better than the Niro, but that is a personal taste issue. I needed the Niro shape to carry bicycles and still be able to sleep in the car otherwise I would have bought the Ioniq. You can get additional forum anecdotes about reliability on the Ioniq forums that will apply equally to Niros.
 

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i bought my 2018 PHEV niro in august 2018 but i don’t drive much so it only has about 5300 miles on it. the only problem I've had is that the lcd screen went blank a few times after i first got it. cycling the car on and off brought it back and it hasn‘t happened again in the last year. i think the PHEV is a better choice if you do mostly short trips. my price was about the same with the rebates and i do all my local driving on the battery except when i need heat. but i don’t think you can go wrong with any toyota product if you prefer the prius. the niro gets good ratings from CR but the prius is rated even better. in evaluating cars i ask owners after they've had them for a year or so whether they’d return it for a full refund if they could. i definitely would not.
 

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I don't know if you can make any generalization between any one car company or model that will be anything more than one persons opinion. My father bought a Prius in 2007 and totally loved it, and it worked without any issue until 2016 when it started it get catastrophic electrical failures. Effectively the wires inside the car rotted out. Is that the fault of the car, the manufacturing, or just that it was 9 years old and that is how long the car lasted? He went out and bought another Prius and again is very happy.
My wife owned a Kia Sportage and it lasted just as long but eventually the heating/AC just were not working well and so we decided to buy new. I looked at the Prius but really liked the Niro and went with that. So far the only things that have gone "wrong" is a gas tank door needed adjusting and a set of bolts on the rear door tighening. All done without any issue with our dealer. FlNiro makes the best point. Its most important that you buy from a good dealership that will look after you. The reports of problems here on the forum are likely more exasperated by a bad dealer who either won't go to bad for the customer to get the parts, or get the technical service people in who need to fix the issue. I don't know if you head over to a Toyota site if you'd find the same types of issues.
I know our Niro's have worked flawlessly.
 

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There are always "people" willing to spout off without knowing the facts. Was Kia reliability suspect in the past? Sure, but now?

2019 Top Ten Carmakers according to Consumer Reports:
  1. Lexus
  2. Mazda
  3. Toyota
  4. Porsche
  5. Genesis
  6. Hyundai
  7. Subaru
  8. Dodge
  9. Kia
  10. Mini
Not bad.

Oh, and Tesla?

23. Tesla

Ouch.
 

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I don't know if you can make any generalization between any one car company or model that will be anything more than one persons opinion. My father bought a Prius in 2007 and totally loved it, and it worked without any issue until 2016 when it started it get catastrophic electrical failures. Effectively the wires inside the car rotted out. Is that the fault of the car, the manufacturing, or just that it was 9 years old and that is how long the car lasted? He went out and bought another Prius and again is very happy.
My wife owned a Kia Sportage and it lasted just as long but eventually the heating/AC just were not working well and so we decided to buy new. I looked at the Prius but really liked the Niro and went with that. So far the only things that have gone "wrong" is a gas tank door needed adjusting and a set of bolts on the rear door tighening. All done without any issue with our dealer. FlNiro makes the best point. Its most important that you buy from a good dealership that will look after you. The reports of problems here on the forum are likely more exasperated by a bad dealer who either won't go to bad for the customer to get the parts, or get the technical service people in who need to fix the issue. I don't know if you head over to a Toyota site if you'd find the same types of issues.
I know our Niro's have worked flawlessly.
Re the Sportage, the service schedule doesn't take into consideration the HVAC system losing gas. We bought an 06 Mini cooper the same time we got our Sorento and the HVAC was intermittent. A recharge and service later and it was working as good as new.
Had the Kia dealership[ do a service on my Sorento HVAC after 3 years and the change was definitely noticeable.
No idea why manufacturers continue to ignore this system in their maintenance schedules.
 

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Can somebody who really knows clear something up for me? I know Kia and Hyundai have the same parent company but are they really separate entities as much as the sales people would have you believe? Are they both manufactured in separate plants or are any models made at the same place and just get different badges put on them? Like the Entourage (when it was made) was the exact same van as the Sedona. They had to be made at the same factory, no?
 

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... And they all look better than the Gen4 Prius.
you got that right! :ROFLMAO:
You might also want to take a look at the Ioniq. Similar shape and aerodynamics to the Prius, same drivetrain as the Niro. Technically more room inside too, but it depends on what gear you put in your car on a regular basis. Costs less (and you may be able to negotiate with them more easily), and better mpg. I even think it looks better than the Niro, but that is a personal taste issue. I needed the Niro shape to carry bicycles and still be able to sleep in the car otherwise I would have bought the Ioniq. You can get additional forum anecdotes about reliability on the Ioniq forums that will apply equally to Niros.
My son-in-law has the Ioniq HEV in the mid-trim level. It has a couple of things that annoy me compared to my Niro. There's a "funny" feel to the brake pedal when first applied, and a small sound that digs into me. My guess is many people won't hear or feel it, so it's just me. The other is I had issues seeing some of the gauges, especially with the sun out and my sunglasses on. The power bar on the left side is just so faint compared to the gauges in my Niro. Of course, his is a couple if years old, and maybe the high-end trim has a dash more like the Niro. Again, just something that picks at me. The split back window (high/low) takes some getting used to, but I think the Prius has one too.

On my normal work commute I could get 60 MPG regularly from his Ioniq, and that includes 70 MPH freeway and some good sized hills to go up and down. Can't compare to my Niro PHEV, which shows 130 MPG when I get home, mainly burning gas for heat. In the summer I can get home with no gas at all. :)
 

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Can somebody who really knows clear something up for me? I know Kia and Hyundai have the same parent company but are they really separate entities as much as the sales people would have you believe? Are they both manufactured in separate plants or are any models made at the same place and just get different badges put on them? Like the Entourage (when it was made) was the exact same van as the Sedona. They had to be made at the same factory, no?
The controlling share of Kia was bought by Hyundai in 2015 however they started sharing tech in the late 90's when Hyundai stepped in to bail Kia out of trouble.
Some models are shared underpinnings like the Sorento/Santa Fe and Sportage/Tucson. i don't believe there is a car that looks exactly the same for each marque although the Sportage would be the closest. They seem to be almost spec'd to appeal to different customers.
there are a lot of Hyundai badged parts on your KIA,
 

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The controlling share of Kia was bought by Hyundai in 2015 however they started sharing tech in the late 90's when Hyundai stepped in to bail Kia out of trouble.
Some models are shared underpinnings like the Sorento/Santa Fe and Sportage/Tucson. i don't believe there is a car that looks exactly the same for each marque although the Sportage would be the closest. They seem to be almost spec'd to appeal to different customers.
there are a lot of Hyundai badged parts on your KIA,
Are any models made in the same factory?
 

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No, there is a separate assembly plant for Kia. I'm not entirely sure which parts are built where, but the "platform" for the Ioniq and Niro is near identical, and the drivetrain (other than wheels and shock tuning) is completely identical. The software is nearly identical, varying only in the display (different gauges and such). Service is completely interchangeable, meaning we could get service at standalone Hyundai dealers.

On paper, you can make a case for separate companies that own each other's stock, but everyone believes Hyundai is the majority owner of Kia. Chaebol's (large Korean company) structure is corporate but usually control is through a single family or person.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Two years and a few days, and 30,000 miles. Zero issues. One guy here went 157,000 miles before selling it, no major issues (and almost zero maintenance), Year one in the US I believe J.D. Power rated it as the most reliable new car. But no online anecdote, including mine should really sway you. Any car, even a new Prius could be a lemon. You might take a look at Consumer Reports though, but I think the Korean cars are darned close to the Japanese cars for reliability. And they all look better than the Gen4 Prius.

You might also want to take a look at the Ioniq. Similar shape and aerodynamics to the Prius, same drivetrain as the Niro. Technically more room inside too, but it depends on what gear you put in your car on a regular basis. Costs less (and you may be able to negotiate with them more easily), and better mpg. I even think it looks better than the Niro, but that is a personal taste issue. I needed the Niro shape to carry bicycles and still be able to sleep in the car otherwise I would have bought the Ioniq. You can get additional forum anecdotes about reliability on the Ioniq forums that will apply equally to Niros.
Ya, I was also looking at the Ioniq and was amaze how good mpg it can get, but my main problem was the ground clearance
Two years and a few days, and 30,000 miles. Zero issues. One guy here went 157,000 miles before selling it, no major issues (and almost zero maintenance), Year one in the US I believe J.D. Power rated it as the most reliable new car. But no online anecdote, including mine should really sway you. Any car, even a new Prius could be a lemon. You might take a look at Consumer Reports though, but I think the Korean cars are darned close to the Japanese cars for reliability. And they all look better than the Gen4 Prius.

You might also want to take a look at the Ioniq. Similar shape and aerodynamics to the Prius, same drivetrain as the Niro. Technically more room inside too, but it depends on what gear you put in your car on a regular basis. Costs less (and you may be able to negotiate with them more easily), and better mpg. I even think it looks better than the Niro, but that is a personal taste issue. I needed the Niro shape to carry bicycles and still be able to sleep in the car otherwise I would have bought the Ioniq. You can get additional forum anecdotes about reliability on the Ioniq forums that will apply equally to Niros.

yes I was also looking at the ioniq and I must say it looks better than the Prius especially with the milage it gets. One thing im just concerned about is ground clearance (which I forgot to mention in my topic). I’m currently driving Honda crz and it’s just about 5.6 of ground clearance and there’s just places that I scrape the front bottom of my fender. Which is one of the reason I was looking more on the niro because I believe it’s just about 6.1 which is little bit higher than my crz and I’m sure I won’t scrape as much. I kinda prefer a little higher ground clearance , but if it comes where There’s no niro in my area then I would probably pick the ioniq as a last resort or the Prius
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i bought my 2018 PHEV niro in august 2018 but i don’t drive much so it only has about 5300 miles on it. the only problem I've had is that the lcd screen went blank a few times after i first got it. cycling the car on and off brought it back and it hasn‘t happened again in the last year. i think the PHEV is a better choice if you do mostly short trips. my price was about the same with the rebates and i do all my local driving on the battery except when i need heat. but i don’t think you can go wrong with any toyota product if you prefer the prius. the niro gets good ratings from CR but the prius is rated even better. in evaluating cars i ask owners after they've had them for a year or so whether they’d return it for a full refund if they could. i definitely would not.
I was also looking at the plug in version as well, my main problem is that I live in a apartment and I don’t have any place To plug my car I have this charging ports that’s about 10 miles away. I believe the electric range on the niro is 25 right ? Wouldn’t that be a waste for me? I’m just wondering
 

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I was also looking at the plug in version as well, my main problem is that I live in a apartment and I don’t have any place To plug my car I have this charging ports that’s about 10 miles away. I believe the electric range on the niro is 25 right ? Wouldn’t that be a waste for me? I’m just wondering
Yes BEV range is "officially" for pure BEV under most driving conditions, although in warm weather some can get 30+ with a light foot. In the winter when temps get below 40 F the mileage drops down 15-30% depending on how much you use the heat which is generated by the ICE.

In your current situation, the HEV would be your best bet -- unless you might foresee having a better charging option in a year or two after purchase. Also, if you're nearest charging station is a pay per charge vs plugging it into a regular 120 or 240 outlet at home, the cost per KW is much higher, negating some of the PHEV cost savings.

One other consideration is there is a $4,500 Fed Tax credit on the PHEV for those who can use a $4,500 tax credit. Depending on the amenities you want, the PHEV may only cost a couple hundred more than the HEV if you can take advantage of the tax credit.

Lastly, IMO, the PHEV is more complex than the HEV & it appears to me that a disproportionate number of people have reported PHEV problems compared to the HEV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes BEV range is "officially" for pure BEV under most driving conditions, although in warm weather some can get 30+ with a light foot. In the winter when temps get below 40 F the mileage drops down 15-30% depending on how much you use the heat which is generated by the ICE.

In your current situation, the HEV would be your best bet -- unless you might foresee having a better charging option in a year or two after purchase. Also, if you're nearest charging station is a pay per charge vs plugging it into a regular 120 or 240 outlet at home, the cost per KW is much higher, negating some of the PHEV cost savings.

One other consideration is there is a $4,500 Fed Tax credit on the PHEV for those who can use a $4,500 tax credit. Depending on the amenities you want, the PHEV may only cost a couple hundred more than the HEV if you can take advantage of the tax credit.

Lastly, IMO, the PHEV is more complex than the HEV & it appears to me that a disproportionate number of people have reported PHEV problems compared to the HEV.
ya. If the plug in was like 50 or more like the volt , I would probably considered buying on . But at the mean time, hev is the way to go for me. Thank you for replying i appreciate it !
 

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Ya, I was also looking at the Ioniq and was amaze how good mpg it can get, but my main problem was the ground clearance



yes I was also looking at the ioniq and I must say it looks better than the Prius especially with the milage it gets. One thing im just concerned about is ground clearance (which I forgot to mention in my topic). I’m currently driving Honda crz and it’s just about 5.6 of ground clearance and there’s just places that I scrape the front bottom of my fender. Which is one of the reason I was looking more on the niro because I believe it’s just about 6.1 which is little bit higher than my crz and I’m sure I won’t scrape as much. I kinda prefer a little higher ground clearance , but if it comes where There’s no niro in my area then I would probably pick the ioniq as a last resort or the Prius
If ground clearance is your big concern cross the Prius off your list. I can't count the number of times the plastic piece below the front bumper was dragged on the ground just going over normal dips, gulleys ect. And the plastic undershield got ripped off completely in one snow storm.
 

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I can echo everything that perk1329 said: I have a 2018 PHEV that has been trouble free and I have about the same miles that he does (not a lot of miles).

I have been a fan of Toyota quality since I purchased my first used Toyota about 35 years ago. It was 12 years old when I purchased it (in the New England rust belt) and I was amazed that (unlike the two Chevys I'd owned previously, which were both 2 years younger than the Toyota when I purchased them) it didn't rattle or collect dust inside when driving over dirt roads, that most of the bolts that held the car together had been treated with something that fought corrosion and they could be easily removed, unlike bolts on Chevys and Fords back in those days and that it had a few very subtle but appreciated features, like a lighted ignition switch that made it easier to insert the key in the switch in the dark. Each of those two old Chevys cost $200 when I purchased them (at 10 years and 90+k old), and they lasted a year. I paid $600 for the Toyota back in 1985 and I kept it for something like six years, and then I sold it to someone else for $200 who drove it for another year. He destroyed it by backing up with the driver's door open, and the door collided with a tree and totaled it. The Toyota was by far the better investment, at least, back in those days.

Since those days, I've encouraged a lot of family and friends to get Toyotas and I've had at least two additional Toyotas of my own. I don't think any of the people who followed my advice regretted it, and most have thanked me for it. Similarly, I haven't had any regrets about the Toyotas that I've owned subsequently.

As an aside, I have also had a fair amount of experience with Hondas, and I consider them to be of comparable exemplary high quality with Toyotas and I don't think any other manufacturer today can outdo either Toyota or Honda on all around quality across all their models.

But lately I've soured on Toyota, for three reasons:
  • 35 years ago, my first Toyota was cheap. Since that time, the world has come to recognize Toyota quality, and now you have to pay for it. In this respect, I kind of think that Kia is today where Toyota was maybe 20 years ago: you can get a discount on Kia because they haven't yet earned the Toyota standard for quality, but they're close in quality, lagging in recognition.

  • Toyota had that problem several years ago with sudden acceleration and a lot of people suing them claiming that it was the car's fault, not the driver's. Um, I have first hand experience with someone who had a sudden acceleration problem in a BMW where it was pretty clearly her problem, not the car's, so I know this issue can swing both ways. But there was a lot of stuff that came to light about Toyota's software back when that was a hot topic that suggested that at least in some cases, it might be a Toyota software problem. I recently read that Toyota is still settling some number of those allegations to this day, even with much more recent model cars, albeit much more quietly.

  • I live in a part of the USA where air quality is horrible, and I was really PO'd with Toyota for opting to side against California on Federal Air Quality regulations. In all fairness, I have to recognize that Kia did the same, but I wasn't holding Kia to the same standard, and I note that Honda took an opposite approach, siding with California on the issue. So from an environmental perspective, I'm PO'd at Toyota, neutral for now on Kia, and applauding Honda.

So far, my 2018 Kia Niro PHEV strikes me as a very good quality car. I'd be happy to put my mother or wife or step daughter behind the wheel.

I should also point out that Toyota's history with the Prius has not been trouble free: I recall reading something about several Prius model years having a problem with burning oil, I think it was due to crud building up on the valve guides, but maybe I'm mistaken.

Where I've noticed problems with the Niro from following this forum is primarily in these areas:
  • Several people have had a problem with "hybrid system failure" that was eventually attributed to a blown fuse in the high voltage circuit. My impression is that 2017 HEVs were primarily affected by this and later models not so much.
  • There are a handful of people now (all in Canada I think?) who are having problems with 2019's that seem like transmission problems, or maybe they are software problems. There are enough people complaining about it to take it seriously, especially if you are a potential 2019 buyer in Canada.
  • Almost everyone who has had a problem that required dealer intervention has been astonished by how long it took the dealer to fix the problem. It would take the dealer's technicians days or weeks to diagnose the problem and then it would take days or weeks for the part (sometimes it was just a fuse) to be delivered from Korea. This points out that Kia has taken an approach with their dealer's support staff that seems to be along the lines of "we'll provide you with computer diagnostic systems that will diagnose every fault, so we don't need to train your technician in any respect aside from being aware of the high voltage hazards when servicing the car". Maybe Toyota is taking same approach today, not sure. But one of my best friends used to be a Toyota mechanic and 20 years ago, they were sending him to Toyota school for a couple of weeks almost every year.
One thing you should check out when doing your research is the NHTSA web site.If you click on "Vehicle" tab, you can see that 2019 Toyota Prius has 33 "Manufacturer Communications" and 4 "Complaints". The 2019 Kia Niro has 25 "Manufacturer Communications" and 7 "Complaints". You'll need to review them all to reach a conclusion about whether any of them have sufficient veracity to affect your decision. Incidentally, the 2018 Kia Niro HEV has 48/16 but the 2018 PHEV has 15/1. Maybe that just reflects a smaller population of owners, or maybe the 2018 PHEV was the sweetspot for the Kia Niro. In my experience, my 2018 PHEV has been pretty sweet.

Hope this info helps you to make a decision.
 
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