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I'm hoping we can get a discussion going here on arguably the Niro's closest rival: the Prius V.

While Kia is marketing the Niro as a crossover SUV, its dimensions belie any such crossover notions. Compare the dimensions to the Prius V "wagon":

Kia Niro
Wheelbase (est.) 106.3 in.
Length (est.) 171.5 in.
Width (est.) 70.9 in.
Height (est.) 60.4 in.

Toyota Prius V
Wheelbase 109.4 in.
Length 182.3 in.
Width 69.9 in.
Height 62 in.

The Prius V is actually taller! I think any of us interested in the Niro should also be giving the Prius V a hard look. The Niro will have more power, and presumably newer tech, but will Kia's system be as dependable as Toyota's proven system in the Prius? What does everybody think?

I suppose the Prius V is the more rational purchase, with more room, presumably better residuals...yet I cannot stand the Prius interior and much prefer the overall design of the Niro.

 

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Interesting. One more important thing i'll be on the loook out for is what cabin space is like, which one can better accommodate the average american. So far the Prius V does that well, not sure if the Niro can.
 

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The Prius has always been such an ugly vehicle. I like that Kia made the Niro look like a normal car. It doesn't have battery symbols, or a strange flat trunk, etc to make it look all future hybrid like. I think that the fuel economy also matters. The Prius is bigger, but does that mean that it is heavier too?
 

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I think design is a tough one, brands have to find identity with its products and something tells me that in achieving that, ugly can be good, gives you room to finally have that image rather than spending more R&D than needed for a certain model.
 

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Well the Prius is good if you're looking for a rational yet ugly choice. The Niro may be a bit smaller but it looks a lot better and Kia is a reliable and generally problem free brand.
 

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Toyota reliability and the long history they have of being a good brand is one thing I bet a lot of these buyers have as a motivation for buying over something else in the segment. So if you're someone with limited automotive knowledge and want the "best" Toyota might be it.
 

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I don't mind it, might just be part of being used to seeing Lexus models since they sort of have similar design cues going on and it stands out as much as Toyota's new designs do.

The biggest thing toyota was probably after was presence and they sure got it right.
 

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I'm hoping we can get a discussion going here on arguably the Niro's closest rival: the Prius V.
This is my thinking, too, though I can see how others who prioritize differently might place other vehicles at the top of their lists.

Compare the dimensions to the Prius V "waggon"
Station waggon, exactly. Only most people hate that designation. Go figure.

The Prius V is actually taller!
And height is one of my top items, and reasons I'm leaning against buying the new Prius hatchback. My '07 has a good, if not great seating position. After sitting in a new '16, though it's not as bad as I feared, I really don't want to go even a bit shorter. This post over on priuschat explains,
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"...going from a Gen 2 to a Gen 3, you'll notice a difference in seat height. In the Gen 2, you sit high relative to the dashboard, in the Gen 3, you sit in the car with the dashboard a little higher up. In the Gen 4, it's like the Gen 3 but everything is shifted lower..."
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And the head room in the back seat of the new "sportier" Gen 4 (2016) is really terrible. When I sat in the back seat, my head wasn't just touching the roof, my head was pressed over to the side.

Reading this comment on the Ioniq over on greencarreports is interesting,
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"Most important of all, I found it comfortable... not like the new Prius with sit-in-a-hole passenger seats."
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I'll be curious to examine an Iconic, though it sounds like the Niro will be better for me. I'm willing to accept a small hit to fuel efficiency in getting a taller vehicle, but in the past the hit has always been huge, as with the RAV4.

Another thing to keep in mind is the 2017 Prius v will hopefully get the new more efficient engine the 2016 Prius hatchback got this year.

There's also the problem of the current Prius v having *LESS* leg room than the smaller hatchback, because the seats are positioned to accept a third row (even if not in the US market).
 

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2 inches in extra height isn't really going to make a difference to me unless that's an additional 2 inches in the ground clearance and not the cabin interior but that doesn't seem to be the case with the Toyota Prius V. That pretty much removes the Prius from my list of contenders. The 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid but it's not exactly cheap so the Niro is still in the lead.

I've heard of the Hyundai ioniq too but according to Korean reviews, the car isn't actually that well made.
 

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I rented a new Prius V on my last business trip, drove it for a week. A few days later I sat in a Niro at the local dealership, couldn't drive it. I'd give the Prius 3/5. Not exciting to drive for sure. Big ass blind spot that I couldn't adjust the mirrors to cover. Decent room for people and suitcases. I think the Niro has more comfortable seats and ergonomics. Like the look and feel of Niro. Your mileage may vary.
 

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I've test driven all these and the Prius V is louder if you don't mind; more so than the Prius. Prius V bigger perhaps but do you like the style, interior, sound, etc.? It does have the reliability but the Kia does have a 10 year warranty even on the battery (at least this is what I have been told). If you plan on keeping the car that long, that may be a consideration and resale not an issue. If this first year Niro is a flop, well....we all know what that means for resale. Niro was a quiet ride. Test drove FE today but will be testing the Touring this week with the larger wheels. NOTE: Any reliable crash test results yet on the Niro?

The Prius does have nice handling, etc. but you either like the looks or not. No vehicle is perfect; depends on what you are purchasing the car for and what your needs are.

Don't overlook the new Hyundai Ioniq coming out end of this year. You may want to hold out for that. It has nice styling and could be competition for Prius but again, no history yet.

The Niro is different in that it is trying to appeal to the crossover market which is a hot segment now. Each has their own niche and will appeal to different people for different reasons.
 

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I was in between the regular prius and the Niro. I ultimately preferred the interior layout more in the niro, like the dash being behind the wheel versus in the center like the prius has. Also liked that the Niro has apple car play. I also didn't like that the toyota service interval was every 5k vs every 7500 for the Niro. Oddly in Europe the service interval is 10k for the Niro from what I've read. Also the Prius is just uglier than the Niro.

The Ioniq has less rear legroom and it's why I decided against it. The interior space in the regular prius was actually pretty good.


Prius V headroom front 39.6; rear 38.6
Prius V legroom front 41.3; rear 35.9

Niro Headroom front 40.1; rear 39.1
Niro Legroom front 41.7; rear 37.4


European Crash Test:
 

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I test drove a prius V and was impressed with the room. However, that 2" of extra height made putting the paddle board on it just that much worse! I like the upright seating of the Niro much better, and the Niro has much better ground clearance! I'm thinking mileage is pretty much the same....the Touring Niro I got....netted me 42.77mpg that's for 422 miles hand calculated with the racks on and a 14 foot paddle board on the whole time. Avg speed for that tank was 30 mph.
 

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