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3 Reasons The Hybrid Guy Would Choose A Hyundai Ioniq Over A Toyota Prius

Looking at a used hybrid but want something different? Here are my reasons I would get a Hyundai Ioniq hybrid.

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There is no doubt about it; gas prices have gone way up. Regardless of what is to blame, the fact is you are probably rethinking what you need to drive every day.

The Toyota Prius is one of the most popular hybrids on the market. Still, in the past decade, there has been a significant increase in competition. It used to be easy to shrug off the competitor hybrids, but now the competition is fierce.

Hyundai was at one time a junky company, and I would have never been caught dead in any of their vehicles, but I have changed my mind. Here is what I can tell you about the Hyundai Ioniq and why I would get one over a Prius.

Hyundai Ioniq: Savings Where It Counts
I am a huge Toyota fanboy; I live and die by the brand. Toyota, and especially Prius, has sold me on their technology. But this section of the story is not about Toyota and Prius.

Toyota builds a vehicle that holds its value. When that new car drives off the lot, if you compare the value between the Toyota and Hyundai, the Prius would hold a better value. Again, this is not about Toyota, but I am getting to it.

The thing is, Hyundai makes a much better car than they did 20 years ago. Even if it is not as good as the Toyota, it is still built significantly better than it used to be.

2021 Hyundai Sonota Hybrid

So if I were to choose a "new" car that was certified pre-owned, the Hyundai would be a great option. Just because the vehicle's resale value is not as good as a Toyota does not mean it is not good.

If you compare a used Ioniq to a used Prius in the same year and same mileage, the Ioniq is a few thousand dollars less. Thinking on it, if both cars have 20,000 miles, both have the same features, and both fill my needs, why not save the money?

Hybrids were built to help people save big, and Hyundai makes a good car. I am all for saving a few thousand bucks and going on a family vacation instead.

Jam Packed With Features And Style
In all fairness, both cars are packed with all sorts of features. However, I will say that before Toyota put Apple car play into their cars, Hyundai already had it.

Hyundai has thought about what people want and gives that to them. Heated seats, touch screen, Bluetooth, and class-leading fuel economy are plenty to win most people over.

White 2021 Hyundai ioniq

The thing that really gets me is how much better (in my opinion) the Hyundai Ioniq looks way better. The Ioniq looks like a car and still has a very low coefficient of drag.

I get why Prius is shaped the way it is, but it could have sold better had the car's shape and style been a bit more attractive.

It Is Ok To Drive Other Cars
I have been in the Toyota world for nearly 2 decades. I almost exclusively drive their cars and trucks. I was recently asked by my sister why I only drive Toyota and Honda vehicles.

It is hard for me to explain why I choose to drive what I drive from an engineering and mechanic standpoint. Not everyone works on their own cars or knows the ins and outs of vehicle engineering.

This got me thinking, though, why am I limiting myself to only driving two brands? Once I realized that I am short-changing myself, I decided to do something about it. It is time to try something new.

In the end, I think it will be good for me to know and understand all of the hybrids that I possibly can. After all, I am the hybrid guy. This is a start to a new segment of reviewing all types of hybrids so all my readers can get a better experience with my articles.

A quick recap on why. I would drive a used Ioniq for savings on purchase compared to Prius. I would drive it for the features and style over a Prius and I would drive one to learn what other carmakers are doing to attract customers.

Knowing all these things can help give me a more well-rounded opinion when writing. Thinking of going on the road this weekend? Use these pro tips for a successful trip.

That is all for today. I hope your week has been great. I look forward to seeing you in the next story. Take a look that the reason for Toyota keeping Prius around a little longer.

Check out this wild new battery tech that Tesla has and why it will forever change the auto industry.

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 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.

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Jayme (not verified)    April 17, 2021 - 5:31PM

The primary issue with the Ioniq is its use of real leather (more emissive) and a dual clutch transmission instead of a planetary gearset eCVT. Clearly, since the DCT has far more components and is made to the lesser Hyundai standard when compared with the Toyota standard, it is going to be far less reliable. I'd say the same probably applies to the engine as being less reliable.
Also, having driven one, it is very significantly less smooth than the Prius is.
I'd be willing to bet that the Ioniq also hypermiles worse since it has a higher minimum engine rpm due to the transmission type.

Rick (not verified)    March 29, 2022 - 11:02PM

In reply to by willy111 (not verified)

Yes, that's true - but my 2017 hyundai ioniq still gets 60+ miles to the gallon - and shift to sport is cool...

plus, it looks so much cooler than a prius-potato...


Jason Gallagher (not verified)    April 19, 2021 - 10:35AM

In reply to by Jayme (not verified)

The Hyundai has a better warranty. And cvt sucks. I had one takes forever to get up to speed. And it drains power. I have the dct on my Elantra I can out perform more powerful cars with it. And cvt isn't always cheaper to fix.. So I'll take my chances on the ioniq or Elantra hybrid or maybe sonata hybrid

Nicolas (not verified)    November 3, 2021 - 1:56PM

In reply to by Jason Gallagher (not verified)

Yes CVT suck but, there's a common misconception with the Prius. They do not use a standard CVT, like those infamous Nissan CVT. It's a e-CVT, meaning it combine two electric motor-generator with a planetary gearset to produce an infinite variation of gear ratio. This system has proved itself to be exceptionnally reliable in the last twenty years. I'd rather have it in my cars instead of a DCT, knowing what the cost of simple maintenace is for them. Then, you also have to take into account the need for regular replacement of the starter-generator belt (around 200$). There's no nonsense like this in a Prius. In fact, a gen4 Prius doesn't even use any belt.

Kevin Bu (not verified)    April 17, 2021 - 6:22PM

There's a reason the Prius is worth more than hyundai, it's a real series parallel hybrid with 20 years of awesome history. Do you see any taxi hyundai hybrid no, Prius is hands down the best and longer lasting vehicle, just ask a taxi driver.
Looks? I love the Prius look.

Jason Gallagher (not verified)    April 18, 2021 - 12:29PM

In reply to by Kevin Bu (not verified)

To each their own. I think Toyota's are butt ugly. I'll take my 11 year old Hyundai elantra over a new Toyota any day. And the Prius is so ugly I almost vomit when I see it. And the reason you don't see hyundai taxis are because you ain't looking hard enough one hyundai dealership couldn't sell me a new elantra eco because all 11 left were sold to a cab company. Some people are brain washed. I know of someone that way they only by Honda. Well I used to buy Saab. And I'm really impressed by my hyundai. Put 70k miles in 2 years only had to put new breaks still has original spark plugs and shocks and struts at almost 140k miles and gets 36mpg stop and go and I've averaged 45mpg + on Hwy. So say all you want. I drove a 2020 civic my friend has its slow and under powered my car has more options and more power. You can keep your Toyota's and Honduhs I'll keep my Hyundai. My wife has a 2020 Elantra and my step son has a 2017 we live them. I will be getting a 2022 elantra hybrid once it's out

Alex Vorobej (not verified)    April 18, 2021 - 4:47PM

In reply to by Kevin bu (not verified)

Had a Hyundai Elantra. Put on over460,000 km over eleven years. Never had a problem with it. Have been driving Hyundai product ever since... Voloster, and now a Kona. All are solid vehicles.

Jason Gallagher (not verified)    April 19, 2021 - 10:40AM

In reply to by Kevin bu (not verified)

That's your opinion pal. Hyundai stands behind their cars unlike Toyota. Or did you forget the famous oilburning incident on the v6 solaras or the sticking gas peddles nice try. I remember a friend of mine who works for Chrysler said Toyota once bought a neon to learn from Chrysler on how they built it. Lol so much for Toyota. Peddle your Toyota lice elsewhere cause im not listening

Jason Gallagher (not verified)    April 19, 2021 - 10:18AM

In reply to by Jeff Nipert (not verified)

Exactly. The hyundai has a warranty that beats Honda and Toyota. The best warranty in the car industry. And some hyundai dealerships are giving lifetime warranty. I see no reason to buy a ugly Prius. I mean why go out for whitecastle when you can have steak. And the ioniq is steak at value menu price.

jules rosen (not verified)    April 17, 2021 - 8:31PM

Actually the reason you would still buy the Toyota for 3 or 4,000 more is the reason you would buy a used Toyota for 3 or 4,000 more. Because most probably together with an extra 30 or 40 years of manufacturing still put together a better car with less troubles and less things that can happen down the road so from my money I would prefer not to worry about going into the shop and extra two or three times you're getting stuck on the road with a Hyundai, so all things being equal except for reliability it's the perception that Toyota is a better car is the reason why you pay more

Jason Gallagher (not verified)    April 19, 2021 - 10:26AM

In reply to by jules rosen (not verified)

Speak for your self pal. The reason people pay extra is because they are brainwashed and think Toyota's are so great. Explain when I was in Illinois visiting when it was 40 below why my Hyundai started and the toyatas and a Mercedes wouldn't. And monde wasn't driven for 3 days. So no excuse. So peddle your Toyota love to someone else. Im not interested. You can comment all you want I'll be smart and take a car with a far better warranty and I found a hyundai dealership offering me a lifetime warranty. So I'll be having my new baby for a lifetime. Enjoy

Clarence Stephenson (not verified)    April 22, 2021 - 10:46PM

In reply to by jules rosen (not verified)

Perception is different from reality my friend. I've been following the automotive industry for a long time and I have noticed that tje last 10 years of Toyota vehicles are not so reliable as some people think sure you are still good to find owners with relatively problem free vehicles but there's an ever increasing rate and number of issues with Toyota vehicles overall. And I also found that many Toyota owners lie about how reliable their vehicle is. I've seen people complain about other brands' reliability and then praise Their Toyota with similar and even worse issues.

Wc (not verified)    January 30, 2023 - 5:28PM

In reply to by Clarence Stephenson (not verified)

Thank you! I see folks with awful pollution spewing early 90s hondas just 1 busted balljoint away from catastrophe. Im in a 300,000 mile cruze that has same fit/finish/drive ability as new & thinking seriously, they bought that crap & expect to drive anywhere in that? Give me a break!

Shawn barrere (not verified)    April 17, 2021 - 11:55PM

I just don’t understand why anyone would buy a new ioniq when Hyundai also has the new Elantra hybrid which is not only better in almost every way, but significantly cheaper as well.

Jason Gallagher (not verified)    April 19, 2021 - 10:42AM

In reply to by Shawn barrere (not verified)

I agree. Also though they will have a new ioniq coming out soon. It is amazing. I also like the new elantra hybrid and check out the sonata hybrid. It is amazing

G. Perry (not verified)    April 18, 2021 - 12:42AM

I'm a recent (Nov 2020) Hyundai Ioniq owner, and I have almost nothing but praise for the vehicle, and the dealer support so far.

I purchased the PHEV 2020 model, and have seen my fuel use plummet. Since November, I've used just over 1 tank of gas, with almost 3,500km of driving.

I compared Toyota, Kia, and Honda models at the time, but the Ioniq was the better value on paper in terms of warranty and cost.

Perhaps I'll end up burned in 7 years, but for now, I don't see the reason to pay a premium for the Toyota name...been there, done that.

Jason Gallagher (not verified)    April 19, 2021 - 10:45AM

In reply to by G. Perry (not verified)

Well you and I are smart. Unlike the Toyota clowns. We can save our money and spend it on other things. Besides real cars don't have the word TOY in their name

Bernard (not verified)    April 22, 2021 - 1:57PM

In reply to by Jason Gallagher (not verified)

I have a2021 Toyota Prius. Gets 60.64 miles to the gallon. When it's cold out. Like 40 degrees out then I get 50 m.p.g. This is at 1/4 of a tank of gas. The brakes last 150000 miles before replacing them. The batteries are better. Nickocatium.

Stuart Feinman (not verified)    April 18, 2021 - 7:35PM


I currently drive a 2013 Ford C-Max. Yes Ford!
I compared it to the Toyota Prius and the Ford won in every category except one. The Prius had slightly better mpg.

The Cmax looked much better.

* more passenger space
* much more horse power
* better acceleration

Why were the sales so bad for thr Ford C-max?

In my opinion its a much better car then the Prius.

Kind regards,

Stuart Feinman

Jason Gallagher (not verified)    April 19, 2021 - 10:29AM

In reply to by Stuart Feinman (not verified)

Yeah there are better then Toyota and Honda. But people have to not have blinders on. But one issue with Ford. Transmissions they go out left and right on their cars. I had a Ford and never again

Wc (not verified)    January 30, 2023 - 5:33PM

In reply to by Jason Gallagher (not verified)

Ive had focuses & contours with the mtx-75 transaxle. I did all sorts of burnouts in the Contour. It was v6. Smoked the tires all way thru 3rd merging into jersey trafic once! So I dont know how y'all keep tearing up these ford trannies!

James Batchelor (not verified)    April 19, 2021 - 9:10AM

Considering alll the recalls hyundai engines have had over the past 8 years. Or all the recalls in general it is negligence for someone in the automotive industry to reccomend a hyundai. It also tells me you literally know nothing about cars.

Marc Gerstein (not verified)    April 19, 2021 - 6:34PM

I have a 2009 prius and I just put about $2300 into it and would not trade it for any other hybrids! Why? Because it went 147k before someone stole my catalytic converter and the hybrid battery failed. I bought a brand new cell hybrid battery for $1569.00 and of course, replaced the 12v battery and the catalytic converter. I get a 51mpg average year-round and never have to charge it! It's a tank! The second generation prius is the best made. It still looks new and still drives great. It's not the prettiest car but its roomie and I give Toyota kudos because it is durable so go ahead and buy the wannabes it will not be built with the same quality.
I love my prius and it loves me too..;-)

Keith (not verified)    April 22, 2021 - 3:48PM

I'll buy that the Ioniq isn't quite as refined as the Prius, but their reliability has been top notch. It's better looking, gets better gas mileage, and I MUCH prefer the DCT to the CVT in the Prius.