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What Does a Three-Time Prius Owner Think of the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid?

A long-time Toyota Prius driver tries out the Hyundai Ioniq and shares his thoughts on the new hybrid.

Toyota Prius owners are fiercely loyal. That's why the Toyota Prius is the number one car owners keep longer than ten years. However, Toyota Prius owners ended up in a hybrid because they also tend to be early adopters and are not afraid to try new technology. They see a benefit to a green lifestyle. One of the many long-term Toyota Prius owners we keep in touch with is Jesse Rudavsky. Jesse's 250K-mile Prius was recently the subject of a Torque News spotlight story. Jesse is well on his way to achieving over 1 million hybrid miles. This week, he tried out the new Hyundai Ioniq to see how it compared and we'd like to share his test notes.

First: some facts and figures about Hyundai Ioniq and Toyota Prius

The new Ioniq has an EPA-estimated MPG rating of 55 Combined, 55 City and 54 Highway. That compares favorably to the standard Prius's 52 Combined, but Toyota's Prius Eco still has the edge with a 56 MPG rating and 58 City/ 53 Highway. However, Hyundai's Ioniq Blue can top the Prius Eco's numbers. It offers 58 MPG combined, and its highway number of 59 MPG is actually higher than its City rating, unusual for a hybrid. Like Toyota, Hyundai will also offer a plug-in version of the Ioniq this fall, and unlike Toyota, Hyundai has a battery-electric (full EV) version coming this spring.

Jesse summarized his research and road test of the Ioniq by saying, "Hyundai finally has a real competitor to the Prius." Jesse found the 139 hp of the Ioniq "...feels spirited" and "...had no problem getting up to highway speeds above 65 MPH." At which speed Jesse reported the car feels solid.

Hyundai Ioniq Advantages vs Toyota Prius

Those who want a hybrid, but not a constantly variable transmission (CVT) will be pleased to hear the Ioniq has a dual-clutch transmission (DCT). Jesse reports that "The 6-speed dual clutch automatic shifted smoothly under normal acceleration but could have dropped back down a little quicker after full throttle acceleration." He also points out there is manual control, saying, "Slide the selector over to the left for full manual control of the transmission."

Toyota Prius Advantages vs Hyundai Ioniq

Jesse did find a couple of areas that the Ioniq didn't match up to the Prius. He said, "Unfortunately there is only one regenerative braking mode and it feels weaker than the Prius. No back wiper is available which can be useful on a hatchback."

If you would like to read more of Jesse's review of the new Hyundai Ioniq, including his full conclusion, you can try this link to his Facebook Post.

If you would like to read another story Jesse contributed to, please see our recent post, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime EV Proving Perfect Long-Distance Commuter Car.