When Hyundai and Kia teamed up to create two model lines directly targeted at the Toyota Prius the media was almost joyful. Finally, a chance to report on what could be the Prius' downfall.
Here are some example headlines from the period when the new Ioniq and Niro were released:
- CarBuzz: The Kia Niro Hybrid Crossover Is The New Toyota Prius Killer
- The Verge: This is Hyundai's Prius killer, the Ioniq
- 95 Octane: 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Could Be a Real Prius Killer
We could keep going, but we think you get the point. Now that the two models have been on sale more than long enough to be completely marketed and to have mature production lines how are they doing? Here is a listing of the year to date sales through the end of May of all three model lines. Keep in mind that each includes all the variants of the models (plug-ins, EVs, hybrids, etc.)
- Kia Niro: 11,483
- Hyundai Ioniq: 7,093
- Toyota Prius: 38,327
In the month of May, Toyota's Prius line outsold the combined sales of the Kia Niro and the Hyundai Ioniq by more than two to one. If there is any "killing" going on, the Prius is the one doing it. Sales of all green cars in America continue to struggle.
A broader selection of green cars has had a flattening effect of individual model sales and the Prius continues to decline in sales from its high. However, it isn't really the other brands that are responsible.
Toyota's own RAV4 Hybrid has been hugely successful as a hybrid version of one of the top-selling models in the world overall. Through May, Toyota has sold nearly 20,000 RAV4 hybrid crossovers. The RAV4 Hybrid AWD has a legitimate claim to the term crossover. The all-new RAV4 Hybrid debuts this fall. Watch for it to continue to outsell rival pretender front wheel drive "crossovers" like the Niro going forward.