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2021 Prius vs. Ioniq Comparison

As the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle and with nearly 20 years of experience in the North American market, the Toyota Prius is the perfect example of continuous innovation. Now you can save gas and turn heads: the 2021 Prius' 2020 Edition adds a sleek new design to the Prius lineup.

Comparatively, the Ioniq Hybrid is a newcomer in the hybrid market having been introduced for the 2017 model year.

While both of these hybrid vehicles are standouts when it comes to EPA-estimated MPG ratings and starting MSRPs, the 2021 Prius has more to offer in terms of standard safety features like Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), and Road Sign Assist (RSA).

Plus, the 2021 Prius was rated more highly by actual consumers than the 2021 Ioniq Hybrid. Based on reviews on KBB.com the 2021 Prius received a 4.5-Star Consumer Rating and the 2021 Ioniq Hybrid got a 4.3-Star Consumer Rating.

Checkout exactly how the 2021 Prius and the 2021 Ioniq Hybrid compare in safety, awards, and design.

Published Date: 03/22/2021

Interior of 2021 Prius

Safety

  • AWD-e is available on two Prius models while the 2021 Ioniq Hybrid does not have AWD on any models.
  • Some features, like Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop & Go and Lane Following Assist (LFA), aren't standard on the base Ioniq Hybrid model.
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) comes standard on all Prius models and has many safety features, like Road Sign Assist (RSA) and more.

Both the Prius and Ioniq Hybrid come with a lot of safety features. However, only the Prius has added AWD capability to its lineup.

Standard Safety Features

For added safety driving in adverse conditions, the Prius has two models with available AWD-e. Choose between the Prius LE AWD-e and XLE AWD-e for the ability to take advantage of All-wheel Drive (AWD) while moving under certain speeds. The Ioniq Hybrid does not have AWD available on any model.

In terms of driver-assistive features, the Ioniq Hybrid comes standard with Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (FCA) w/ Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Assist System (LKA), Driver Attention Warning, and High Beam Assist. For Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop & Go and the Lane Following Assist System (LFA) drivers would need to add an optional package. The list of advanced safety features makes no mention of a comparable Road Sign Assist feature either.

In the 2021 Prius, know that you're covered by some of the most advanced driver-assistive technology with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0). This suite of active safety features includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Road Sign Assist (RSA) standard.

2021 Prius driving through town at night

Awards

  • The 2021 Prius LE cost was shown to depreciate less than the 2020 Ioniq Hybrid SE. Figures for the 2021 Ioniq Hybrid are not yet available.
  • The 2021 Prius received a higher Consumer Rating based on customer reviews on KBB.com than the 2021 Ioniq.
  • The Toyota brand was awarded the 2021 Best Resale Value: Brand accolade according to Kelley Blue Book®'s KBB.com.

When you buy a car you don't want a vehicle that will end up costing you more in the long run. This is especially true if you like to keep your cost-to-own figure low over the life of your vehicle.

Cost-to-Own

The Prius provides drivers a return on their investment with lower depreciation, maintenance, and total ownership costs within a 5-year time period. Compared to the 2020 Ioniq Hybrid SE, the 2021 Prius LE has a depreciation of only $13,125 (based on MSRP of $25,735, 75K miles/5 years) as opposed to $14,084 for the Ioniq Hybrid SE (based on MSRP of $25,150, 75K miles/5 years). The estimated maintenance cost for the 2021 Prius LE is $3,543 compared to the 2020 Ioniq Hybrid's $2,519 (kbb.com). Having said all that, IntelliChoice culminated these findings into a Value Rating and awarded the 2020 Prius an Excellent Rating while the 2020 Ioniq Hybrid got a Good Value Rating. Cost-to-own details for the 2021 Ioniq Hybrid are not yet available.

If price value isn't enough, the 2021 Prius also received a higher Consumer Rating based on customer reviews on KBB.com with a 4.5-Star Consumer Rating as opposed to the 4.2-Star Consumer Rating the 2021 Ioniq Hybrid received.

Plus, Toyota as a whole was awarded the 2021 Best Resale Value: Brand accolade according to Kelley Blue Book®'s KBB.com. Since there can only be one winner in this category, the Hyundai brand did not receive this award.

Interior of 2021 Prius

Design

  • The Prius LE comes standard with a cargo area tonneau cover.
  • If you're wanting an injection of style in your ride, the 2021 Prius offers the redesigned 2020 Edition trim.
  • The 2021 Ioniq hasn't made any significant changes to its styling and overall design.

Safety and fuel economy are key to a successful hybrid sedan in 2021, so designers have to add an edge over the competition. That's why the 2021 Prius turns heads with an aggressive, sport-styled look.

Prius 2020 Edition

The overall design of the Prius is such that it optimizes fuel efficiency with its sculpted exterior. The Prius' iconic look with its sleek lines, active grille shutter, aero stabilizing fins, and underbody panels ensure an aerodynamic drive. The 2021 Ioniq Hybrid did not get any big changes to its look which currently includes standard active grille shutters. Chrome beltline molding for a shiny touch is not a standard design feature on the Ioniq Hybrid.

As an added bonus, Toyota is celebrating 20 years of the Toyota Prius. To commemorate this achievement the 2021 Prius features the redesigned 2020 Edition trim. With blackout headlights, black badging, and 17-in. black alloy wheels this Prius is sure to turn heads. As described by caranddriver.com, the Ioniq is designed to look like a "normal car". While the Prius stands out, the 2021 Ioniq Hybrid blends in to the flow of traffic.

Not only will the outside of your car be shining, but to keep your cargo area looking fresh, a cargo area tonneau cover is standard on the Prius LE model (starting at $25,735) and above. It is unclear based on the currently released features if a cargo cover will be available on the 2021 Ioniq Hybrid.

Closeup of 2021 Prius decall

Conclusion: Prius vs. Ioniq

  • The 2020 Prius has an Excellent Value Rating by IntelliChoice meaning your car will have more value for longer.
  • Since the Prius has been around for over 20 years, Toyota knows what customers expect in a stylish hybrid.
  • The Ioniq is newer to the hybrid scene having been introduced only in 2017.

While both of these hybrids offer great fuel economy and an affordable price, only the 2021 Prius has the attention of past, present, and even future customers.

With an Excellent Value Rating by IntelliChoice, the 2020 Toyota Prius gives you more bang for your buck than the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid which only received a Good Value Rating from IntelliChoice.

Not to mention, having been around for 20 years, the Prius has had time to change and adapt to the times giving customers exactly what they want. The Ioniq has fairly recently arrived on the scene, putting out its first-generation model in 2017.

When you take home the 2021 Prius you take home a safe and reliable car that will continue to make history for generations to come.