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2021 Prius Prime vs. Ioniq PHEV Comparison

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

2021 Prius Prime driving fast towards a bend in the road


  • The Prius Prime has a slightly better EPA-estimated combined MPG rating of 54 to the Ioniq PHEV's 52 combined MPGs.
  • Aside from fuel economy ratings, the Prius Prime comes standard with an ECVT to further optimize your drive.

As the road to success for car companies continues to evolve and move towards a more eco-sensitive option, fuel economy becomes key.

Fuel Economy

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.

Interior of 2021 Prius Prime


  • Both the Prius Prime and Ioniq PHEV have a variety of ways to connect and play your favorite music.
  • While the Ioniq has a larger standard touchscreen, the Prius Prime gives you over an inch more touchscreen when you get the XLE or Limited.
  • The Prius Prime XLE also comes with Integrated Navigation which is a feature only found on the more expensive Ioniq Limited.

Stay connected and tune in with smartphone compatibility in the Prius Prime and Ioniq PHEV.

Connectivity Options

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.

Isolated 2021 Prius Prime in white


  • Both the Prius Prime and Ioniq have similar standard active safety features.
  • Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning (RCCW) in the Ioniq Limited will cost you more than getting the same feature standard with the Prius Prime Limited.
  • Based on the most recent ratings by the IIHS, the 2019 Prius Prime and Ioniq received Top Safety Pick awards.

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.

Standard Safety Features

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.

2021 Prius Prime driving fast

Conclusion: Prius Prime vs. Ioniq PHEV

  • Get impressive gas mileage with the Prius Prime and Ioniq PHEV.
  • While both have more than one way to listen to your favorite music, the Prius Prime includes Amazon Alexa too.
  • As an added touch, the Prius Prime also comes with Road Sign Assist (RSA) to help you practice safe driving.

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.