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With the announcement of a plug-in RAV4 for 2021 (available mid-2020), Kia has some serious competition coming. While the Niro I'm certain will still be lower priced, people are going to fixate on two significant areas: range and size. The RAV4 is expected to have a US EPA range of 39 miles, which blows the Niro out of the water. Assuming that normal cautious driving will allow exceeding that range, as we can do with the Niro, it might approach 50 miles real world. And the larger size will bode well for users wanting a little more space. Perhaps slightly less important to less-knowledgeable shoppers is that the Toyota Prius Prime (which the RAV4 will likely mirror in many ways) has both a heat pump and the ability to go full throttle without starting the ICE. And of course, although Toyota hasn't announced the battery size, with its MPGe rating and the expected range, the battery is very likely to be large enough to qualify for the full $7500 US federal tax credit.

I have to say that if it had been available when I leased my Niro, it would have been a very difficult choice between the two. One thing I was looking for was EV range, so at first I was looking at the Honda Clarity (47 miles). However, once I drove that car I was overall unimpressed with the overall package. The Chevy Volt (53 miles) was also tempting, but since it had been discontinued it was more difficult to find a top trim model at the time, plus it was lacking some features I desired (adaptive cruise, heated wheel, cooled seats). After those two, there's nothing else in the PHEV realm that can touch a Kia or Hyundai in range and features.

But now Toyota is finally stepping up to the plate. Not only will have the best EV range of any CUV, but also likely the best performance. Over 300 HP, all wheel drive, and expecting an 90 MPGe rating. The Niro PHEV is rated at 105 MPGe, but in a smaller package, FWD only, and nowhere near as powerful a drivetrain. In fact, the RAV4 is going to be close to the Audi e-Tron in total power (the Audi has 355 HP, not counting a boost mode) and performance, and beat it handily in efficiency (Audi 74 MPGe). The announced Ford Escape PHEV will be in the same market, but it's not expected to have anywhere near the EV range of the RAV4, and likely not as well equipped.

So, how many would consider jumping ship to something like this? I have to be honest that it would be tempting, especially with the heat pump and full EV power. Since I'm in a lease, and there will likely still be a couple of years remaining when the RAV4 Prime is available, I doubt I could consider it. But who knows, stranger things happen every day... :)
 

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When I was out looking for a replacement car last year, I did take a look at Toyota for their Prius and Rav4. What got me was the price. I was not considering a plug in, just a HEV. The Prius started around the $5k more than the Niro and that was for a base stripeed down model and as soon as you started to put in any extras to make the car considered comfortable, it easily added an extra $10k to the price. The Rav4 was getting close $15k+ when you started to look at a similar spec in comfort features. I would highly doubt that the cost of the PlugIn version will be any cheaper. I guess you are going to get those people who are willing to spend whatever for the car they want.

There are those of us as well that just want a comfortable car that will hopefully be reliable and get us around without breaking the bank. I agreed to spend a chunck more money upfront to get from a regular ICE car to an HEV based on running costs and the knowledge that gas prices are not likely to stay low here in Canada. The savings of running my HEV will offset the cost outlay for the HEV purchase.

You could say that Kia and the Niro have far more competition from all the other EV cars that will be coming out soon from all the other manufacturers in there was really only 1 choice for an EV two years ago and that was Tesla. Now there are 4-5 options, and in the next 2-3 years there likley will be multiple real options to choose from. Great for anyone who is planning to buy in a few years. Perhaps those who decided to take on a 3 year lease.
 

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I'm going to comment on vehicle size. I don't know if the RAV4 has dramatically changed in the last couple of years, but while they are bigger vehicles, they have a LOT less driver space and front passenger space. The RAV4 is one of the smallest vehicles out there (for driver and front passenger space).

Our Niro's aren't big vehicles on the outside, but they are more spacious than most vehicles out there.
 

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Back to your question. My Niro is 4 months old, I plan to keep it for 4 years. I'm certain the landscape will be completely different then for PHEV's and EV's. I don't have a clue what I'll buy then, but hoping it's an EV.
 

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More competition (especially in the much needed PHEV and EV sector) is always welcome.
But, as others have mentioned, price is going to be a huge factor in this. The Niro has an outstanding entry price, and even loaded, is still a great value.
Plus, it's just so comfortable to drive!
 

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My wife is planning on trading her CX5 for the RAV4 Prime.

I love my Niro but after my lease is up my next car will be full electric. I really want a Tesla but they’re just egregiously out of my budget. So probably going to go with a used Kona EV, used Niro EV, or used Soul EV (latest gen). Used Bolt’s are cheap right now but the seats are awful and no radar cruise.
 

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With the announcement of a plug-in RAV4 for 2021 (available mid-2020), Kia has some serious competition coming. While the Niro I'm certain will still be lower priced, people are going to fixate on two significant areas: range and size. The RAV4 is expected to have a US EPA range of 39 miles, which blows the Niro out of the water. Assuming that normal cautious driving will allow exceeding that range, as we can do with the Niro, it might approach 50 miles real world. And the larger size will bode well for users wanting a little more space. Perhaps slightly less important to less-knowledgeable shoppers is that the Toyota Prius Prime (which the RAV4 will likely mirror in many ways) has both a heat pump and the ability to go full throttle without starting the ICE. And of course, although Toyota hasn't announced the battery size, with its MPGe rating and the expected range, the battery is very likely to be large enough to qualify for the full $7500 US federal tax credit.

I have to say that if it had been available when I leased my Niro, it would have been a very difficult choice between the two. One thing I was looking for was EV range, so at first I was looking at the Honda Clarity (47 miles). However, once I drove that car I was overall unimpressed with the overall package. The Chevy Volt (53 miles) was also tempting, but since it had been discontinued it was more difficult to find a top trim model at the time, plus it was lacking some features I desired (adaptive cruise, heated wheel, cooled seats). After those two, there's nothing else in the PHEV realm that can touch a Kia or Hyundai in range and features.

But now Toyota is finally stepping up to the plate. Not only will have the best EV range of any CUV, but also likely the best performance. Over 300 HP, all wheel drive, and expecting an 90 MPGe rating. The Niro PHEV is rated at 105 MPGe, but in a smaller package, FWD only, and nowhere near as powerful a drivetrain. In fact, the RAV4 is going to be close to the Audi e-Tron in total power (the Audi has 355 HP, not counting a boost mode) and performance, and beat it handily in efficiency (Audi 74 MPGe). The announced Ford Escape PHEV will be in the same market, but it's not expected to have anywhere near the EV range of the RAV4, and likely not as well equipped.

So, how many would consider jumping ship to something like this? I have to be honest that it would be tempting, especially with the heat pump and full EV power. Since I'm in a lease, and there will likely still be a couple of years remaining when the RAV4 Prime is available, I doubt I could consider it. But who knows, stranger things happen every day... :)
Did you lease your Niro and give up the Federal Tax Credit??
 

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I'm going to comment on vehicle size. I don't know if the RAV4 has dramatically changed in the last couple of years, but while they are bigger vehicles, they have a LOT less driver space and front passenger space. The RAV4 is one of the smallest vehicles out there (for driver and front passenger space).

Our Niro's aren't big vehicles on the outside, but they are more spacious than most vehicles out there.
I agree for this, the 2020 Hybrid looks huge compared to mine (fellow at my work place has one), but tried to sit in the front, and did not get the extra room that the Niro does! (my 2 cents)


Now, the RAV4 Prime is a good competition for all new PHEV models that will arrive in 2020 (Subaru Crosstek AWD, Mitsubishi Outlender AWD). But one thing to not forget, THE PRICE..!! 😉

The Toy RAV4 Prime will not come cheap. A Canadian Niro HEV SX Touring cost ~ 35.000$, a Niro PHEV SX cost ~ 40.000$. A Toyota RAV4 Hybrid "full top" Limited AWD is 45.104$.. So, i would say.. that the top "prime" version will be around 52 to 57.000$ Canadian.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I agree that price will be a huge factor. When I was shopping, the Prius Prime wasn't (and still isn't) available in my state, so wasn't on my radar and I had no idea what it was priced at. And the comments about interior size, other than a rental a couple of years ago I have no experience with a RAV4. But I do think it's grown a tad, so perhaps the interior isn't as cramped. I agree that the Niro is extremely comfortable and doesn't feel cramped at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Did you lease your Niro and give up the Federal Tax Credit??
Lease, yes. But that doesn't mean I didn't get the credit. It came off the MSRP of the car before the lease payments are calculated. It's the one way that someone that can't qualify for the credit on their tax return, or at least the full amount. While I can easily take the tax credit myself, I still took it as a lease to minimize my payments and because I didn't intend to keep it long term. And that's not any sort of knock on the car itself. I just knew that in three years there will be so many full EVs available I didn't want to be tied to a PHEV. Now I might stay with a PHEV, if the range increases and my other desires are met. But I'm pretty sure I'll be going full EV when my lease is up.
 

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Price was also a deciding factor for our family. I was/am a Toyota guy but the Niro won me over. I now feel that currently the Korean auto manufactures can't be beat on value and features for the price.

I am anticipating needing a new vehicle in the future and KIA, Hyundia will be my first stop.
 

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I like the Rav4 specs vs niro.

Same wheelbase
120 vs 60 EV hp
Heat pump heater vs ice
More rugged looks
50% more EV range
3 in higher seating position

Cost??????

Hyundai future VisionT vs Niro II vs Rav4 TBD
 

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Did you lease your Niro and give up the Federal Tax Credit??
When you lease with Kia you don’t give it up. Kia passes the credit on to the consumer in the form of lease cash that lowers your adjusted cap cost. I fact, they give you about $300 more than what the Niro PHEV actually qualifies for. That’s in addition to any percent off the MSRP you negotiate during the transaction. Leasing the Niro PHEV or EV is a very attractive offer.

5874
 

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For sure the Rav4 Prime looks good on paper for anyone wanting an midsize SUV. But as a replacement for a Niro not so much. For my city car, the Niro still ticks off all the right boxes for me in terms of size, low operational costs, ease to drive, comfort, albeit somewhat pricy (EX Prem w SR). My two primary concerns is some major part failure that takes the car off the road for a week or more and resale value. Probably keep it at least 5 years, if reliability looks favorable, maybe longer.
We currently drive a '15 Outback 2.5i for my travel / hauling car which both my wife & I really like. It's our 2nd OB, fits us like old shoes but gets lousy mileage -- tough to break 22 in city & 30 on highway. Even though it is low mileage I may sell it in 1-3 years just to keep up with comfort & technology (though I'm not happy about of the doing away with knobs for radio & heat controls on many newer models). . The city mileage of the Rav4 Hybrid / Prime, Ford Escape PHEV, and Honda CR V Hybrid will all be looked at, primarily for the potential of 40 mpg overall. But on paper, the 2020 Outback still ticks off the most boxes for me. As said by others, a lot can change in 1-3 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For sure the Rav4 Prime looks good on paper for anyone wanting an midsize SUV. But as a replacement for a Niro not so much. For my city car, the Niro still ticks off all the right boxes for me in terms of size, low operational costs, ease to drive, comfort, albeit somewhat pricy (EX Prem w SR). My two primary concerns is some major part failure that takes the car off the road for a week or more and resale value. Probably keep it at least 5 years, if reliability looks favorable, maybe longer.
We currently drive a '15 Outback 2.5i for my travel / hauling car which both my wife & I really like. It's our 2nd OB, fits us like old shoes but gets lousy mileage -- tough to break 22 in city & 30 on highway. Even though it is low mileage I may sell it in 1-3 years just to keep up with comfort & technology (though I'm not happy about of the doing away with knobs for radio & heat controls on many newer models). . The city mileage of the Rav4 Hybrid / Prime, Ford Escape PHEV, and Honda CR V Hybrid will all be looked at, primarily for the potential of 40 mpg overall. But on paper, the 2020 Outback still ticks off the most boxes for me. As said by others, a lot can change in 1-3 years.
I came from an Outback to the Niro, and I agree it's a really nice car. Also agree with the MPG, as my average was 21 for the 18 months I had it. In fact, the MPG was the primary reason I traded. But I also felt the Outback was bigger than I need, and the Niro is a better fit. I don't need the larger size of the RAV4, but the EV range would be great, along with the heat pump. But if it's priced in the same range as the Niro, I could see a lot of people cross-shopping the two. I know I would.
 
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