The concept of hybrid cars came about way back in 1898. However, it was Toyota who took the concept and made it a mobility staple with the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle in 1997. This trend-setting Toyota was the Prius. Nearly 20 years later, Toyota named its plug-in Prius the Prius Prime in 2017. Since then, it's been a front runner for innovation and providing impressive fuel economy.
Hyundai decided to have their go in the hybrid plug-in market, introducing the Ioniq in the same year as the Prius Plug-In. It has since proved to be a true MPG competitor.
To this day, the 2020 Ioniq and 2021 Prius Prime have continued down the path of success side by side. With an EPA-estimated combined mileage rating of 52 and 119 MPGe, the Ioniq is a close second to the 2021 Prius Prime with an EPA-estimated mileage rating of 55/53/54 (hybrid mode mpg city/highway/combined) and EPA-estimated MPGe rating of 133.
Beyond fuel economy, see which car has it all in categories like performance, interior, and safety.
Publish Date: 02/23/2021
As the road to success for car companies continues to evolve and move towards a more eco-sensitive option, fuel economy becomes key.
The 2021 Prius Prime upholds this performance standard with an EPA-estimated mileage rating of 55/53/54 (hybrid mode mpg city/highway/combined). The 2020 Ioniq PHEV is not too shabby either with an EPA-estimated combined mileage of 52.
Plus, the 2021 Prius Prime has an EPA-estimated MPGe rating of 133, while the 2020 Ioniq only has an EPA-estimated MPGe rating of 119.
To enhance your driving potential, the 2021 Prius Prime has an electronic continuously variable transmission (ECVT). This ECVT constantly reviews vehicle speed, road conditions, driver input, and engine power to find the perfect gear ratios for optimal mileage. In comparison, the Ioniq has a 6-speed EcoShift® Dual Clutch Transmission with SHIFTRONIC®. This gives the driver an automatic transmission with manual mode. However, the manufacturer site does not mention that the Ioniq can monitor driving and road conditions for better mileage.
Stay connected and tune in with smartphone compatibility in the Prius Prime and Ioniq PHEV.
Whether you're a fan of Android™ or Apple products, these plug-in hybrids have integration options for both. The 2021 Prius Prime has Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Amazon Alexa compatibility standard. Plus, you get hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth® and SiriusXM® with a 3-month All Access trial. The 2020 Ioniq has similar features like standard Android Auto™ & Apple CarPlay® compatibility, a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system with voice recognition, and an AM/FM/HD Radio™/SiriusXM audio system. However, it misses out on Amazon Alexa compatibility.
Get easy access to these tech features and more on the 7-inch touchscreen standard in the 2021 Prius Prime LE. The base trim Ioniq SE has a standard 8-inch touchscreen. For a bigger display to tap, pinch, zoom, and swipe, the Prius Prime XLE has an 11.6 inch touchscreen with split-screen display. The Ioniq’s largest touchscreen is 10.25 inches and is only offered on the high-end Limited trim.
The Prius Prime XLE, starting at $30,000, also comes with Integrated Navigation, while the touchscreen navigation system is featured on the Ioniq Limited starting at $32,950.
Aside from the tech touches and extra fluff you can add with optional packages, safety is something you don't want to miss out on.
All trims of the Toyota Prius Prime come 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, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Road Sign Assist.
The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq has a lot of comparable active safety features. Standard on the Ioniq are Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection (FCA-Ped), Lane Keep Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), High Beam Assist (HBA), and Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with Stop & Go. However, it lacks Road Sign Assist.
Both the Prius Prime Limited and Ioniq Limited also come standard with Toyota's Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Hyundai's Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW), but the Ioniq Limited will cost you more.
With such similar features it's no surprise that the 2019 Prius Prime and the 2019 Ioniq received IIHS Top Safety Picks.
The Prius Prime and Ioniq PHEV are prime examples of the ways in which companies continue to innovate and improve upon past ideas. By taking their famous hybrid and expanding its legacy into something that eco-sensitive consumers aspire to drive, Toyota's Prius Prime has changed the gas/electric game. Same goes for the Ioniq PHEV.
With a handful of connectivity options, like Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility, the Prius Prime and Ioniq help you make more out of your drive. While the Ioniq doesn't mention Amazon Alexa compatibility, the Prius Prime includes it as a standard feature allowing you to ask for local weather, add an item to your shopping list, and more.
Another thing the Ioniq misses out on is Road Sign Assist (RSA). With the Prius Prime, certain road signs will be displayed right on your cars' dashboard as an added reminder.
For these reasons and more, we think the winner is clear: the 2021 Prius Prime.