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Compared to metal, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Prius Prime has a metal gas tank.
Both the Niro Plug-In Hybrid and the Prius Prime 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, driver alert monitors and available rear parking sensors.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Niro Plug-In Hybrid the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Prius Prime last would have qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2019.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Prius Prime’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.
Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Niro Plug-In Hybrid 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Prius Prime. Any repair needed on the motor, batteries, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Prius Prime ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s 1.6 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 18 more horsepower (139 vs. 121) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (195 vs. 106) than the Prius Prime’s 1.8 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 26 miles, a mile further than the Prius Prime’s 25-mile electric range.
For better stopping power the Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Prius Prime:
For better traction, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid has larger tires than the Prius Prime (205/60R16 vs. 195/65R15).
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Prius Prime’s standard 65 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Niro Plug-In Hybrid has standard 16-inch wheels. Only 15-inch wheels are available on the Prius Prime.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Prius Prime’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Prius Prime.
The Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 200 pounds less than the Toyota Prius Prime.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid is 11.4 inches shorter than the Prius Prime, making the Niro Plug-In Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has 5.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius Prime (97.1 vs. 91.5).
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has .7 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius Prime.
When two different drivers share the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer a memory system.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The power windows standard on both the Niro Plug-In Hybrid and the Prius Prime have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Prius Prime prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid has a standard rear wiper. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer a rear wiper.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Prius Prime’s headlights are rated “Acceptable.”
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Prius Prime has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the XLE/Limited.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid has standard extendable sun visors. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer extendable visors.
When the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Prius Prime’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.
Both the Niro Plug-In Hybrid and the Prius Prime offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX/EX Premium has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Prius Prime doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
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