2017 Kia Niro vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Kia doesn't mind shaking things up a bit, which became even more plainly obvious when it launched the industry's first and only dedicated hybrid crossover, the 2017 Kia Niro. The Niro is a combination of popular crossover styling and fuel-efficient hybrid technology, so let's see how it measures up to another hybrid crossover: Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

2017 Kia Niro vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid


The styling of the Niro actually appears to sit somewhere between the Sportage crossover and what a Forte wagon might look like, if such a thing existed. With the Niro, Kia seems to have been looking for a design with even wider appeal than an all-out crossover. You won't find anything unpleasant or polarizing about the way the Niro looks, but the less-than-revolutionary styling probably allows even greater focus to be placed on the powertrain.

Logic seems to indicate that plenty of people must like the way the RAV4 looks because a lot of people buy them--or it might be that buyers like the Toyota for reasons other than the way it looks. The RAV4 is a little awkward and not entirely conventional, but it's also not as edgy and futuristic as the stunning C-HR either. We'll have to give this round to the Kia, as the Niro doesn't force you to love awkward.


The powertrain in the 2017 Kia Niro is a combination of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine, an electric motor, and a 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. On its own, the gas engine creates 104 horsepower, the electric motor is good for 43 horsepower, so the total system output is 139 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque. The transmission is a six-speed dual clutch, and all versions are front-wheel drive with no option for all-wheel drive.

A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is at the heart of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid powertrain, which produces a combined peak power rating with the electric motors of 194 horsepower. A CVT transmission is standard, as is all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive system isn't mechanical like the standard RAV4, but instead uses a third electric motor to provide torque for the rear wheels. The Toyota takes the honors here then.

Fuel Economy

All versions of the Niro deliver pretty stellar fuel economy, with the best being 52 mpg in the city, 49 mpg on the highway, and that magical 50 mpg combined from the Niro FE. Even the least fuel-efficient version still gets ratings of 46 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway and 43 mpg combined.

Compared to a standard RAV4, the RAV4 Hybrid is much more economical, as it should be. However, with ratings of 34 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 32 mpg combined it's not even close to the Niro, so this is a significant win for the Kia.

Trim Levels

You can choose between five different versions of the Kia Niro, which start with the entry level FE trim and then go upwards through LX, EX, and Touring LE to the top of the range Touring trim. Standard features are generous across the range with even entry FE models including dual-zone climate control, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, and LED headlights.

The RAV4 Hybrid comes in three flavors of XLE, SE and Limited, which are all very nicely equipped as standard. Although the levels of standard features are very good, even with the XLE, you do have pay a lot more than Kia asks for the Niro.

Learn More about the Kia Niro

Since the Toyota RAV4 is such a highly rated and massive-selling model, it would be easy to assume the RAV4 Hybrid would be just as good. In fairness, the RAV4 Hybrid is the most powerful model in the RAV4 range, but what's the point of a hybrid if the fuel economy isn't very good? The 2017 Kia Niro delivers the fuel economy we'd hope for from a hybrid, along with generous features and a competitive price. For us, that makes the Niro is the clear winner.

Current Inventory

There are currently no 2018 Kia Niro EX 4dr Crossover for Sale in inventory


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