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2 Reasons To Consider The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Over The Toyota Prius

In a war for the best hybrid, Toyota Prius has been king for a very long time. Is the reign finally over with what Hyundai has built?

Every champion meets their match at some point in life. The Toyota Prius is no exception to that rule. The question is, how is now going to take that spot if Prius cannot keep a loyal following? My thoughts are there are at least eight other options people can choose from, but I think one stands out the most.

The Hyundai Ioniq, I believe, is the contender many have not considered and for a good reason. Hyundai has been a bottom feeder for so long; it can be hard to change the way people think about the company. What most people do not know is the Hyundai has been doing well. In fact, their ability to make a better and cheaper vehicle have made may long time, die-hard Toyota owners think twice.

To make a fair comparison of these two cars, it would take loads of time. I would need to drive both of them and give you all the details. I am not saying that I will not do that; I will; however, I want to look at other things first. Afterward, I'll drive a Prius and an Ioniq and do another story on what I found out. For now, we will look at two things to consider when thinking about the Hyundai over the Toyota.

Price Of An Ioniq Vs A Prius
Prices range from $22,400 - $28,550 for the Ioniq and $24,325 to $28,375 for the Prius. The only way you are going to have an advantage here is on the base model of the two hybrids. So at this point, you would need to look at features on the base models. I will not do this here until after I have driven them.

2020 Prius in blue and white

Something to consider though, is that Prius is very competitively priced to the Ioniq. This tells me that Hyundai has figured out how to make their hybrid as well as Toyota. I could be wrong, but it is interesting. I also think that a $2,000 difference is not that much. If it means getting into a "better" hybrid for a little more money, I would choose the better option and get the Prius.

Overall, I think that both cars are very well priced. This would tell me you need to drive both base models and see which one suits you and your budget better. Better is relative to you.

Fuel Economy Between Prius and Ioniq
The main reason people buy a hybrid is for the fuel economy. I do not care what anyone else says; any hybrid owner bought the car to save a ton on fuel. How does the Ioniq and Prius stack up against each other? Here are the stats

2020 Prius white limited

Here are the 2020 Toyota Prius fuel economy ratings. We will use the standard City/Hwy/Combined method that the EPA uses so no numbers get messed up. We will also use the Eco Prius (which shows the highest numbers), so you can see what can be achieved. Prius Eco weighs in at a hefty 58/53/56. Hard numbers to beat, but now let us know what the Ioniq has to offer.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Blue, with an astounding 57/59/58, giving the Prius a friendly jab to the ratings. Prius has always been known to have the best fuel economy over any other four-door hybrid, but the competition is fierce, and Hyundai is competing.

Based on these two things alone, I am far more curious now than I ever have been to try out the Hyundai. I am not in the market for a new hybrid yet, but I could be after doing a bit more research. I think that Hyundai is a great competitor to Toyota and that quality standards have come up a lot. Either way, I think that anyone looking for a hybrid would love either car, I think it depends on your preferences.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to seeing you in the next story. 3 Oddly Satisfying Things I Like About My Toyota Prius.

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.


Scott Webber (not verified)    March 26, 2020 - 2:44PM

Horrible article. No less, as the former lease holder of the 2013 Toyota Prius Plug in. And now the lease holder of 2019 Hyundai ioniq plug in. I'm in a better position to critique these cars than the author is. I too, as the author suggests, sought out both these vehicles due to their fuel economy. While I found the Prius to be the hands down fuel economy winner compared to the Hyundai, the Hyundai's driving dynamics, transmission, sport mode and blue link features combine to make the Hyundai the more enjoyable car to own and do my green driving in. I love driving the Hyundai hard when I want to, and with finesse seeking uber fuel economy when I want to too. The choice is mine. In the Prius, even when in "power" mode, I was left yearning for more power, as Tim the Toolman used to say. I hate that most car comparison articles fail to advise on different driving models and how the vehicle comparatively performs in those different modes, as the difference is NJ noteworthy. Also noteworthy is total cost of ownership. No one talks about the cash back incentives and how that impacts value quotient. The prius I had leased for $0 down, $229/month, 12,000 miles/year all in, including tax and dmv, true $0 down sign and drive with roughly an $18k residual. By comparison I leased the Ioniq, $0 down aside first month and Dmv for $131/month, 36 month lease, 15,000 miles/year. Roughly $12,000 residual at lease end. For whatever I may lose with the prius for real world fuel economy, I am far ahead in lease price savings making this a deal to be had for the long term.

flight physician (not verified)    March 27, 2020 - 1:45AM

I have an Ioniq plug in. I have driven over 600 miles and still have 3/4 tank. I mostly drive around town, less than 30 miles per day, which is the range of the Ioniq. Plug into the 120V wall outlet, no special gadgets, and it is charged in a couple of hours. I am easily on track to get over 1000 miles on this tank, and will probably do much better than that at this rate. Plus I get free service for 3 years and much more thrown in. I price shopped and test drove all last year and finally took the plunge. I have had my Ioniq PHEV 2 months and I am totally delighted.