Toyota Prius c Vs. Kia Niro

By Justin Cupler | June 17th, 2019

Small hybrids are not known for their speed, but they are great at delivering stellar fuel economy. The 2019 Toyota Prius c and 2019 Kia Niro are small but deliver great fuel economy. Which one is better for you, our hybrid shoppers in the Waukegan area? Continue reading to find out.


In 2018, the Toyota Prius c received a light refresh that brought in a new nose, but it never inherited the looks of the latest-generation Prius lineup. Instead, it continues with its tiny, Toyota Yaris-based appearance that is sportier and more youthful than its larger sibling. This makes it a popular model among the younger crowd and easier to maneuver in tight spaces and slide into packed parking garages.

The Kia Niro is still fresh, as it debuted in 2017 with a surprisingly simple look that makes it a great buy for virtually any hybrid shopper who prefers not to stand out. Kia markets the Niro as a hybrid crossover, but it is more of a lifted hatchback with its low roofline and limited ground clearance. There’s nothing wrong with it being a hatchback, but you’ll need to curb your inner off-road enthusiast when piloting the Niro.

The Toyota Prius c is well-equipped for its low price tag with LED lighting, silver accents, power mirrors, shark-fin antenna, and more, but the Niro has a small advantage with its alloy wheels and standard acoustic windshield.


In terms of size, the 2019 Toyota Prius c is significantly smaller than the Niro. While this makes easy work of parking and zipping through traffic, it gobbles up a ton of interior space.


Measurement 2019 Toyota Prius c 2019 Kia Niro Difference
Length 159.8 inches 171.5 inches -11.7 inches
Width 67.5 inches 71.1 inches -3.6 inches
Height 58.7 inches 60.4 inches -1.7 inches
Wheelbase 100.4 inches 106.3 inches -5.9 inches
Ground Clearance 5.5 inches 6.3 inches -0.8 inches
Curb weight 2,530 pounds 3,106 to 3,287 -757 to -576 pounds


Advantage: 2019 Toyota Prius c

  • Easily glides in and out of tight spaces
  • Sporty nose

Advantage: 2019 Kia Niro

  • Traditional looks
  • Standard alloy wheels


Inside, the 2019 Toyota Prius c has a basic design that includes plenty of plastic components. Shoppers looking for more style and upscale materials may not appreciate its lower-quality materials, but this helps make the Prius c the most affordable hybrid while still offering a wide range of desirable standard features. The latter includes power windows, the Entune Audio infotainment system, a 6.1-inch touchscreen, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system. Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, and advanced voice recognition.

There are also plenty of standard safety goodies in the 2019 Prius c, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights.


The Kia Niro, like all Kia models, has a stylish but not overdone cabin that includes a sporty three-spoke steering wheel, a clean climate-control interface, and more. The 2019 Niro boasts loads of standard features the Prius c  lacks, including dual-zone automatic climate control, driver-only air-conditioning function, rear heater vents, a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a six-speaker AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM audio system, but it comes at nearly a $2,000 premium.

Inside, the Prius c is again significantly smaller than the Niro, making it a tough option for families.


Measurement 2019 Toyota Prius c 2019 Kia Niro Difference
Front headroom 38.6 inches 40.1 inches -1.5 inches
Front legroom 41.7 inches 41.7 inches
Front shoulder room 52.3 inches 56 inches -3.7 inches
Front hip room 51 inches 53.7 inches -2.7 inches
Rear headroom 37 inches 39.1 inches -1.8 inches
Rear legroom 35 inches 37.4 inches -2.4 inches
Rear shoulder room 51.7 inches 55.2 inches -3.5 inches
Rear hip room 50.8 inches 48.3 inches +2.5 inches
Cargo room (standard) 17.1 cubic feet 19.4 cubic feet -2.3 cubic feet
Cargo room (rear seats folded)
54.5 cubic feet


Advantage: 2019 Toyota Prius c

  • Great standard features for the price
  • LE trim adds premier features like navigation
  • Host of advanced safety equipment is standard

Advantage: 2019 Kia Niro

  • Slick Kia interior design
  • Loads of standard features
  • Tons more interior space


The 2019 Prius c and 2019 Niro are fuel-saving hybrid models, and performance is secondary in this class. The Prius c uses a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor paired to a continuously variable transmission to produce 99 horsepower. This tugs the Prius c to 60 mph in just under 11 seconds and delivers up to 46 mpg combined.

The 2019 Niro uses a more power 1.6-liter engine and an electric motor to deliver 139 total horsepower. This power heads through a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, giving it a more traditional feel behind the wheel while still maintaining up to 50 mpg combined in the base FE trim. While this its standard fuel economy beats the Prius c, moving into the higher trims pushes the Niro as low as 43 mpg combined. The Niro is also quicker than the Prius c at 8.6 to 9.6 seconds, depending on the trim level.

2019 Toyota Prius c 2019 Kia Niro Difference
Engine 1.5-liter 4-cyl 1.6-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 73 hp at 4,800 rpm 104 hp at 5,700 rpm -31 hp
Torque 82 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm 109 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm -27 lb-ft
Electric motor Permanent magnet AC synchronous motor Permanent magnet AC synchronous motor
Electric horsepower 60 hp 43 hp -17 hp
Electric torque 125 lb-ft 125 lb-ft
Total system power 99 hp 139 hp -40 hp
Total system torque
195 lb-ft
Transmission e-CVT 6-spd dual-clutch
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 11 seconds 8.6 to 9.6 seconds +1.4 to +2.4  seconds
MPG City 48 mpg 46 to 52 mpg -4 to +2 mpg
MPG Highway 43 mpg 40 to 49 mpg -6 to +3 mpg
MPG Combined 46 mpg 43 to 50 mpg -4 to +3 mpg


Advantage: 2019 Toyota Prius c

  • Better overall fuel economy

Advantage: Kia Niro

  • Better base fuel economy
  • Quicker to 60 mph
  • More tradition feel behind the wheel

Pricing and Features

The Toyota Prius c has a limited lineup of just two trim levels: L and LE. The start from $21,530 and $22,955, respectively.


The 2019 Kia Niro has a more robust lineup of five trims — FE, LX, EX, S Touring, and Touring — with starting prices ranging from $23,490 to $32,250.

2019 Toyota Prius c Key Features and Pricing by Trim

L: $21,530

  • 1.5-liter hybrid powertrain
  • e-CVT
  • Electric power steering
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Nickel-metal hydride battery
  • 15-inch eight-spoke machined alloy wheels with gray accents
  • Hill-start assist
  • LED projector headlights
  • Daytime running lights
  • LED taillights
  • Black roof rails
  • Silver-accented lower body guards
  • Black rocker panels
  • Black wheel arch moldings
  • Power mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Intermittent rear windshield wiper
  • Color-keyed shark-fin antenna
  • Color-keyed rear spoiler
  • Automatic climate control
  • 3.5-inch driver-information center
  • Two-tone cloth seats
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Cruise control
  • Tilt and telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Digital gauges
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Power windows with driver’s side one-touch up/down
  • Soft-touch armrest
  • Cargo cover
  • One 12-volt front power outlet
  • Entune Audio infotainment system
  • 6.1-inch touchscreen
  • Four-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Advanced voice recognition
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Automatic high-beam headlights


LE: $22,955

  • All L features, plus
  • Touch-to-unlock door handles
  • Keyless ignition
  • Entune Premium Audio infotainment system
  • Navigation with predictive traffic
  • HD Radio
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • SiriusXM

2019 Kia Niro Key Features and Pricing by Trim

FE: $23,490

  • 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain
  • Six-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • Sportmatic
  • Idle stop and go
  • Active ECO System
  • Regenerative braking
  • Electric power steering and air conditioning
  • 16-inch allow wheels with covers
  • Bi-function projector headlights
  • LED positioning lights
  • Automatic headlights
  • LED high-mount stop light
  • Body-color power mirrors
  • Acoustic windshield
  • Deep-tinted rear glass
  • Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Body-color outside door handles
  • Black wheel arches, side sills, and belt-line moldings
  • Body-color bumpers
  • Shark-fin antenna
  • Rear spoiler
  • Chrome grille surround
  • Matte-black grille
  • Gloss-black grille insert
  • Tilt and telescoping steering wheel
  • 4.2*-inch driver-information center
  • Digital clock
  • Outside temperature display
  • Overhead console with sunglasses holder
  • Mood lighting
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Luggage net hooks
  • Woven and knit cloth seating
  • Six-way manual front seats
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Driver-only air-conditioning function
  • Rear heater vents
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • UVO eServices infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM audio system
  • Two front 12-volt power outlets
  • USB input
  • Rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Power windows with one-touch-up/down driver’s window and one-touch-down passenger’s window
  • Power door locks
  • Cruise control


LX: $23,900

  • All FE features, plus
  • LED taillights
  • Roof rails
  • Rear armrest
  • Storage tray in the cargo area
  • Smart key with push-button start


EX: $26,400

  • All LX features, plus
  • Fog lights
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Power-folding mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • High-gloss-black upper console panel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Cargo cover
  • High-gloss door garnish
  • Deluxe door armrest with stitches
  • Satin-chrome inside door handles
  • Cloth-and-leather seating
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shifter knob
  • Rear air-conditioning vent
  • Rear USB charge port
  • One-touch-up/down passenger’s window
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane-change alert
  • Rear cross-traffic alert


S Touring: $28,800

  • All EX features, plus
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Gloss-black outside front grille
  • Unique metallic-color front grille insert
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Navigation
  • HD Radio
  • Eight-speaker Harman Kardon audio system with a subwoofer


Touring: $32,250

  • All S Touring features, plus
  • Unique 18-inch alloy wheels
  • HID headlights
  • Gloss-black front grille insert
  • Power sunroof
  • LED interior lighting
  • LED cargo light
  • 110-volt power outlet
  • Deluxe scuff plates
  • Leather seating
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Memory for driver’s seat and outside mirrors
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Front and rear parking sensors

Who Should Buy the 2019 Toyota Prius c?

The Toyota Prius c is the lowest priced hybrid vehicle in the U.S., so there are a few sacrifices to make. That said, it has plenty of features for the younger crowd and a price to fit their budget, making this a great daily ride for a recent high-school grad heading to college.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Kia Niro?

With a roomier cabin and a higher price tag, the 2019 Kia Rio is best suited for a young family looking for thrifty wheels for their daily errands.


Whether you’re commuting to class in Waukegan, driving friends to a party in McHenry, or heading to Crystal Lake for the weekend, the 2019 Toyota Prius c is up to the task of getting you there safely and efficiently. Swing by Garber Fox Lake Toyota serving the Waukegan area to test drive the 2019 Prius c for yourself and see what it offers you. If you can’t make it to our Toyota showroom today for a test drive, you can navigate to our online inventory page and find the Prius c that suits your needs to test drive at your convenience.