The Kia Niro recently underwent a massive redesign for its 2023 model year, affecting its hybrid, plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and EV models. So, how does the new Niro EV compare to its competitors? Here are four reasons to consider the 2023 Toyota bZ4X over the 2023 Kia Niro EV.
1. Toyota bZ4X has more torque than Kia Niro EV
According to Toyota, the bZ4X FWD variants come with a single electric motor capable of producing 201 horsepower. This setup can also provide 196 lb-ft of torque.
The AWD variant of the Toyota SUV has dual motors. They may not be much of an upgrade to 214 hp, but there is a 52 lb-ft increase in torque to 248 lb-ft.
By comparison, Kia’s electric vehicle delivers a similar 201 horsepower figure but only manages 188 pound-feet of torque in both Wind and Wave trims.
2. bZ4X is more energy efficient
Another advantage the bZ4X has over the Kia Niro EV is fuel economy (equivalent). The FWD XLE trim offers 131 MPGe in the city with regenerative braking and constant stops helping to reduce energy consumption. On the highway, it’s less fuel efficient, offering 107 MPGe, resulting in a combined 119 MPGe.
By comparison, the Kia EV’s figures are 126 MPGe in the city and 101 MPGe on the highway for a combined 113 MPGe. That’s worse than what you get with the FWD variant of the Limited trim, rated at 114 MPGe.
3. More ground clearance than Niro EV
If you like to take your vehicle off-road, the more ground clearance you have, the better. As such, the Toyota electric car’s 8.1 inches of ground clearance should be sufficient and match what’s found in pickup trucks like the Ram 1500.
That’s more than what you get with trucks like the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado 1500, both of which have 7.9 inches of ground clearance.
The Kia Niro EV’s ground clearance of 5.9 inches makes it a city car. It’s on par with a sedan like the Subaru Legacy. As such, it will probably run fine on tarmac or paved roads but will probably struggle on back roads.
4. Only the Toyota EV offers all-wheel drive (AWD).
Finally, Toyota offers optional AWD for the bZ4X XLE and Limited trims, an option not available with the Kia Niro EV. As mentioned above, the dual motor setup delivers 214 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. Naturally, this translates to on-road performance as well, with the more powerful AWD variants clocking 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds on Car and Driver’s test strip.
Kia, on the other hand, claims its electric SUV can do the same run in 7.1 seconds. That said, the quick acceleration of the AWD system comes at the expense of fuel efficiency. As a result, the AWD XLE and Limited trims of the bZ4X offer combined fuel economy figures of 104 MPGe and 102 MPGe, respectively.
Advantages of Kia Niro EV over Toyota bZ4X
The Kia Niro EV also has an advantage over the Toyota bZ4X. For example, you can get it significantly cheaper with a starting price of $39,450, while the Toyota starts at $42,000.
Additionally, buyers of the Niro EV get a 10-year warranty on most components. Electric vehicle drive components are covered for eight years if you get a Toyota EV, while everything else gets three-year or five-year coverage.
The Kia Niro EV offers even more cargo space at 63.7 cu.in with the rear seats folded. ft. compared to the Toyota’s 56.9 cu. ft. This is despite the Kia having less interior space overall and less cargo space behind the second-row seats.