Twin test: Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid vs Toyota Prius Hybrid
The Toyota Prius is the car that helped start the hybrid revolution, and it’s now available with four-wheel drive. Can it stay ahead of the recently facelifted Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid?
Toyota famously started the hybrid revolution with the Prius, a car that has remained at the top of its class over a number of generations. Clearly inspired by the Prius in philosophy, mechanicals and design, the Hyundai Ioniq arrived as a direct competitor in 2016 and has continued to impress with great build quality, decent driving dynamics and practicality on its side.
Toyota has recently added the option of four-wheel drive – by way of an extra electric motor – to the Prius range, while Hyundai’s front-drive-only Ioniq was updated in the latter half of 2019 with a facelift, new infotainment and some interior improvements.
Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Premium SE
Pros: Easy to drive, cheaper to buy, excellent infotainment
Cons: Less refined, could ride better, not the most efficient
Toyota Prius Business Edition Plus AWD
Pros: Cheap to run, good to drive, great ride quality
Cons: Expensive, poor infotainment, surplus four-wheel drive
Chances are that the choice between Ioniq and Prius will be made by company-car users looking for frugal transport with low tax rates, although either could be suitable for private buyers looking for a practical, cheap-to-run family transport. It’s important, therefore, that each can hold its own not just in the economy and emissions stakes, but also in terms of practicality, comfort and reliability.
Read on for our full in-depth comparison between these two cars...
In This Review
- 1Intro - currently readingThe Toyota Prius is the car that helped start the hybrid revolution, and it’s now available with four-wheel drive. Can it stay ahead of the recently facelifted Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid?
- 2Fuel economy & CO2 emissionsThe Toyota is more efficient than the Hyundai, but neither can travel on electric power alone for very long
- 3Running costs & warrantyMonthly PCP prices depend heavily on spec, while the Toyota Prius is marginally cheaper than the Hyundai Ioniq for company-car buyers
- 4Performance & handlingBoth are good to drive, but the Toyota Prius rides better and has a better-resolved drivetrain than the Hyundai Ioniq
- 5Interior & infotainmentThe Hyundai Ioniq takes the win here, with a revised interior and far superior infotainment
- 6Space & practicalityBoth are a similar shape and size, but the Toyota Prius just clinches it
- 7Safety & reliabilityBoth the Prius and Ioniq are safe cars with similar levels of active systems; both should be reliable, too
- 8Verdict & specificationsOverall, the Prius is a better car than the Ioniq – but the Hyundai has its strengths