It might seem like this is an unfair comparison, the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid being, well, a clearly labeled hybrid, but the 2023 Kia Niro is also a hybrid. Unlike the CR-V, however, the Niro’s default powertrain is a hybrid, hence the lack of the word “hybrid” in the name. On the other hand, the CR-V is somewhat larger than the Niro.
The question, then, is how the two compare when you look beyond the superficial. That’s what we’re here to find out, so let’s compare the new Kia Niro to the new Honda CR-V Hybrid.
2023 Kia Niro
The 2023 Kia Niro is all-new this year, and is a hybrid by default. There are also plug-in hybrid and all-electric versions of the Niro, but here we’re only comparing the standard hybrid version to the hybrid version of the CR-V. The 2023 Niro hybrid gets a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine coupled with a lithium-ion battery and an electric motor with a combined 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Kia sells five grades of the 2023 Niro, in order from lowest to highest MSRP: LX ($26,590), EX ($29,190), EX Touring ($31,490), SX ($32,590), and SX Touring ($34,890).
Kia Niro Highlights
Great fuel economy: The 2023 Niro’s hybrid powertrain is especially efficient considering its SUV body type and 63.7 cubic feet of total cargo space, coming in at 49 mpg combined, just a few mpg behind the 2022 Toyota Prius and its 52 mpg combined, despite the Prius being considerably smaller and sleeker with its sloping hatchback body type.
High-quality cabin: Despite the low starting MSRP, the 2023 Kia Niro’s cabin looks and feels nice enough for a luxury car. The dashboard is particularly impressive, even without the optional dual 10.25-inch screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment systems.
Smart styling: The Niro’s exterior is clearly shaped with aerodynamics in mind, but also tautly integrated with the brand’s “Opposites United” design philosophy, resulting in a sleek, modern look that makes the most of its stretching-the-limits-of-compact footprint. In addition to the lines and overall form, the Niro’s details, like the plastic cladding along the lower portion of the body near the wheels, the Aero Blade D-pillar, and futuristic lighting, really help project a premium image.
Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Kia Niro hybrid models for sale near you.
2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid
Like the 2023 Kia Niro, the 2023 Honda CR-V is all-new, including its hybrid form, with just two versions making up the 2023 CR-V Hybrid line: Sport ($32,950) and Sport Touring ($39,100). All-wheel drive (AWD) is optional ($1,500) on the Sport and standard on the Sport Touring. Whichever version you choose, you’ll get a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor rated for a combined 204 horsepower.
Honda CR-V Hybrid Highlights
Efficient & Practical: Although it’s markedly less efficient than the Niro, the CR-V’s larger overall size and greater cargo capacity — more than 10 inches of additional length and nearly 14 cubic feet more cargo space than the Niro — mean it’s still quite efficient while also being rather more useful and spacious. Front-wheel drive versions of the 2023 CR-V Hybrid score 40 mpg combined, while AWD models rate 37 mpg.
Lots of standard equipment: Both versions of the new CR-V hybrid get Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, but the Sport Touring gets the wireless version. Other prime standard equipment includes hill-descent control, a one-touch power moonroof, a reclining/folding rear seat, LED headlights, and 18-inch alloy wheels in gloss black (or 19-inch wheels for the Sport Touring).
Excellent safety tech: No matter the trim or the drivetrain, the 2023 CR-V Hybrid comes with the Honda Sensing driver assist suite, which includes adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, traffic sign recognition, blind-spot detection, automatic high-beams, and more. Niro buyers get a similar list, but some features, like forward collision warning that works when turning and parking sensors, aren’t found on the base model.
Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Honda CR-V Hybrid models for sale near you.
The Kia Niro and Honda CR-V Hybrid both offer hybrid drivetrains, SUV body styles, roomy rear seats, and useful cargo space.
The 2023 Kia Niro is clearly the more efficient of these two hybrid SUVs, but it’s also considerably smaller. On the other hand, the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid gives up some efficiency to deliver greater passenger and cargo space. Both are well-built, stylish, and even luxurious when properly equipped.
|2023 Kia Niro||2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid|
|Engine||1.6-liter hybrid 4-cylinder||2.0-liter hybrid 4-cylinder|
|Horsepower||139 hp @ 5,700 rpm||204 hp @ 6,100 rpm|
|Torque||195 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm||247 lb-ft @ 0-2,000 rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd dual-clutch automatic||CVT|
|Fuel Economy||53 city/45 hwy mpg||43 city/36 hwy mpg|
|Also Available||PHEV, EV||AWD|
|Basic Warranty||5 years/60,000 miles||3 years/36,000 miles|
|Powertrain Warranty||10 years/100,000 miles||5 years/60,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||TBD||TBD|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||107.1 inches||106.3 inches|
|Overall Length||174.0 inches||184.8 inches|
|Width||71.8 inches||73.5 inches|
|Height||60.8 inches||66.2 inches|
|Turning Diameter||34.8 feet||37.3 feet|
|Headroom, Front||40.5 inches||38.2 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.5 inches||38.2 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.5 inches||41.3 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||39.8 inches||41.0 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||56.2 inches||57.9 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||55.4 inches||55.9 inches|
|Cargo Volume||22.8/63.7 cubic feet||39.3/76.5 cubic feet|