The 2024 Kia Niro and Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid are hybrid subcompact SUVs with fuel-sipping engines that deliver terrific mileage. 

Fresh from a complete redesign for the 2023 model year, this latest generation of the Niro gained considerably more style and substance. Added driver aids and more advanced tech also help nudge the Niro ahead of many direct rivals.

In the opposite corner, the Corolla Cross Hybrid is an MPG-minded spinoff of the Corolla Cross SUV, which debuted for the 2022 model year. In hybrid format, the Corolla Cross delivers better fuel economy, more power, and stronger acceleration than its non-hybrid sibling. 

Big on value and kind to your fuel budget, which of these hybrid SUVs is the better pick? Let’s check out some highlights of the Kia Niro and Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.

2024 Kia Niro 

The 2024 Niro has a starting price of $28,315, including destination charges, and can be had in five trims: LX, EX, EX Touring, SX, and SX Touring. Even the top-of-the-line SX Touring has a reasonable price tag of $36,715, and it comes loaded with features like a heated steering wheel, power-operated liftgate, heated and ventilated front seats, and a Harman Kardon audio system. The Kia Niro is also available as a plug-in hybrid or as an all-electric model.

Kia Niro Highlights 

Futuristic exterior: With its recent redesign, the Niro sports a modern exterior with “aeroblade” rear quarter panels. Style is always subjective, but there’s no arguing the new Niro is far more attention-grabbing than the forgettable wrapper of its predecessor. 

Amazing MPGs: At its most frugal, the Niro returns an EPA-estimated 53 mpg in combined city and highway driving. This applies to the LX, EX, and SX trims fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels. Fancier models with larger wheels still return an outstanding 49 mpg combined that bests the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s 42 mpg combined rating.

Kia Drive Wise: This suite of driver aids is equipped to every version of the Niro hybrid. It includes features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, driver attention monitor, and safe exit alert. 

Class-leading warranty: A 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty is coupled to a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. In terms of coverage, that’s a veritable mic drop moment for the Kia Niro. You also get 24/7 roadside assistance for the length of the basic warranty. 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Niro models for sale near you. 

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid SE in Blue Crush Metallic with the ocean in the background.

The Corolla Cross Hybrid can be had in four trims: S, SE, Nightshade, and XSE. With a starting price of $29,570, including destination, this hybrid Toyota is about $4,000 steeper than the entry-level fee of the non-hybridized Corolla Cross. What do you get for the added expenditure? To start, a whole lot of miles for every drop of gasoline. The Corolla Cross Hybrid also comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD), which is unavailable on the Kia Niro.

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid Highlights

Standard AWD: Having all-wheel drive standard is a big selling point for this small SUV. Many car shoppers in snowy climates might knock Niro off their shopping list simply because it’s strictly front-wheel drive. 

Warranty for hybrid components: We’ll admit that the Kia Niro has the better overall warranty. However, to give credit where warranty credit is due, let’s not overlook the Corolla Cross Hybrid, which has 8-year/100,000-mile coverage for its hybrid powertrain components. And it also has a transferable 10-year/150,000-mile warranty for its battery pack.  

Nightshade Edition: This is a new addition to the Corolla Cross Hybrid lineup for the 2024 model year. The Nightshade Edition comes with black 18-inch alloy wheels, an available two-tone exterior, red interior stitching, and a roof rack. It adds a little more visual punch to this otherwise practically-minded SUV. 

Quicker than the regular Corolla Cross: So, wait a minute. Does the Corolla Cross Hybrid have better fuel economy than the standard version, and is it also quicker? That’s right, the 196-hp hybrid powertrain has 27 more ponies than the regular Corolla Cross. This pays off when merging onto a highway or when an extra jolt of acceleration is called for in city traffic. Its EPA-rated 42 mpg combined is 12 mpg better than the standard model (when equipped with AWD). 

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Corolla Cross models for sale near you. 


The Kia Niro and Corolla Cross Hybrid have a lot in common regarding how they drive, their feature content, and their impressive degree of safety features. Each is also extremely good in terms of fuel economy, too.


The Kia Niro and Toyota Corolla Cross are great bargains; each has a lot to offer anyone wanting an economical vehicle with easy-going driving manners. When you read the fine print, each has excellent warranty coverage, and their modest dimensions make them maneuverable in tight parking spots. 

After hitting the highlights, what might be some downsides? The Niro doesn’t offer AWD, and wireless smartphone connectivity is only available with the standard infotainment system, not the upgraded one. You also have to get at least an EX trim if you want adaptive cruise control, which is standard in the Toyota. As for the Corolla Cross Hybrid, its rear legroom is tight for taller passengers, and its simplistic interior design lacks the flair of its Kia rival. 

Are these deal-breaking flaws? Probably not. And that’s why we suggest taking each for a test drive and seeing which pulls your heartstrings and makes the most sense for your needs and budget.

  2024 Kia Niro  2024 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Starting Price  $28,315 $29,570
Popular Powertrains      
Engine  1.6-liter gas-electric 4-cylinder 2.0-liter gas-electric 4-cylinder
Horsepower  139 hp @ 5,700 rpm 196 hp @ 6,000 rpm 
Torque  195 lb-ft @  139 @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission  6-speed automatic  CVT 
Fuel economy MPG 53 city/54 highway/53 combined 45 city/38 highway/42 combined
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  5-Stars NA
Max Seating Capacity 
Wheelbase  107.1 inches  103.9 inches 
Overall Length  174.0 inches  176.1 inches 
Width  71.9 inches  71.9 inches 
Height  60.8 inches  64.9 inches 
Turning Diameter  35.8 feet  35.4 feet 
Headroom, Front  40.5 inches 38.6 inches 
Headroom, 2nd Row  39.6 inches  39.0 inches 
Legroom, Front  41.5 inches  42.9 inches 
Legroom, 2nd Row  39.8 inches  32.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Front  56.3 inches  52.7 inches 
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row  55.4 inches 52.4 inches
Cargo Volume  22.8 cubic feet   21.5 cubic feet 

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