Introduced to the U.S. market in 2000, the Prius continues to be a leader in hybrid innovation. As the first hybrid vehicle offered by Toyota, it builds on its years of hybrid drivetrain heritage.
Meanwhile, the Hyundai Ioniq launched in the U.S. in 2016.
The Prius features a decades-long history of reliability and safety. It was a Top Safety Pick by the Institute for Highway Safety45 in 2019.
The 2019 Ioniq was also an IIHS Top Safety Pick, but only when driver assistance front crash prevention and HID Projector headlights were added onto it, at an extra cost to its driver45.
Plus, the Prius L Eco has a higher city MPG rating than the Ioniq Blue48.
In this head-to-head comparison, we will analyze the Prius vs. the Ioniq in key hybrid vehicle categories of safety, fuel economy, and price.
Looking for reassurance for when you are on the road? Then look no further than the Prius. Every 2019 Prius comes standard with the Toyota Safety Sense® P (TSS-P)24 advanced safety suite. Advanced active safety features in this suite include Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD)2322, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)20, Automatic High Beams (AHB)18, and Full Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)39.
If you want similar features in the Ioniq, you will have to look at higher-grade trims. Comparable standard safety features like Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), Automatic High Beam Assist, and Lane Change Assist are available on the higher-grade Ioniq SEL and Limited.
The Prius also is outfitted with safety features beyond TSS-P. Prius comes standard with LED exterior lighting that helps to brighten your view of the road. LED Daytime Running Lights and taillights only come standard on the high-end SEL and Limited models of the 2019 Ioniq.
For added security, Prius LE AWD-e comes standard with an all-wheel drive system that engages as necessary at speeds up to 43 mph in low-traction situations73. The 2019 Hyundai Ioniq is only available in front-wheel drive.
With more than 20 years of experience in producing dependable hybrid drivetrain technology, the Toyota Prius is backed by a solid foundation.
Hyundai Ioniq Blue has an EPA-estimated 57/59/58 mpg (city/hwy/comb), while the SEL and Limited models have 55/54/55 mpg.
For those searching for fuel economy in an all-wheel drive hybrid model, the Prius is tough to beat. Prius LE/XLE AWD-E has the highest MPG of any Toyota AWD vehicle48.
Meanwhile, no model of the Hyundai Ioniq offers an AWD option. Prius LE/XLE AWD-E73 is a great option for those who want excellent fuel efficiency but live in an area where difficult road conditions are a concern.
While the FWD fuel economy numbers of the Prius and Ioniq are similar, the base model Toyota Prius starts out at slightly higher price of $23,77012 vs. $22,400 for the Ioniq. However, the Ioniq does not come backed by 20-plus years of experience in the hybrid space. It also misses out on many of the standard safety features of the Prius.
When looking at higher-end trims of the Ioniq, many models come in at a higher price than Prius. Moving up to the SEL or Limited trims of the Ioniq bring it to the same price range as the Prius. In fact, the Ioniq Hybrid Limited Ultimate option (MSRP $2,200) brings the cost of the Ioniq up to $30,750. Only at that price point does the Ioniq come with comparable features to Prius’ TSS-P suite of advanced safety features24.
The price of a car goes beyond its initial MSRP. When buying a vehicle, drivers should look at the total cost of ownership. Every 2019 Prius comes with ToyotaCare No Cost Maintenance Plan (2-years/25,000 miles, whichever comes first) and Roadside Assistance (3-years/unlimited mileage)1138.
While the Hyundai Ioniq comes with a 5-years/unlimited mileage roadside assistance plan, Hyundai does not offer a comparable cost maintenance plan. Rather, owners can purchase prepaid maintenance at extra cost for their Ioniq.
When looking at the entire package of what each car offers, the Prius takes the clear lead. The 2019 Prius comes standard with significantly more options for safety and reliability. Prius is a versatile, dependable, and fuel-efficient hybrid with a proven track record of reliability. Plus, every 2019 Prius comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense® P24 and ToyotaCare11.
Just as impressive as its standard safety features is the fact that Prius was an IIHS Top Safety Pick45. Only higher-end Hyundai Ioniq SEL and Limited trims with HID Projector headlights and front crash prevention technology were chosen as Top Safety Picks by the IIHS45.
When looking for ways to save at the pump, Prius is the way to go. Prius LE/XLE AWD-E has the highest MPG of any Toyota AWD73 vehicle. The Hyundai Ioniq does not offer AWD on any model. Prius LE AWD-E and XLE AWD-E are great options for those who want the excellent fuel efficiency of a hybrid vehicle but who deal with challenging road conditions such as snow.
Beyond these impressive stats, there is the long hybrid history that Prius draws on. Don’t forget that the Prius is backed by over 20 years of hybrid engineering; the Hyundai Ioniq has only been around for a few short years since 2016.
After closely examining the differences in key categories of this hybrid vehicle head-to-head competition, the winner is clear: the 2019 Toyota Prius. Backed by reliability and safety, the Prius leads the way in hybrid innovation.