2020 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Prius Prime has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Prius Prime Limited has standard Intelligent Clearance Sonar to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Prius Prime and the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius Prime for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Hyundai doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid.

There are over 47 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Prius Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s redline is at 6750 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Prius Prime has a 4000 RPM redline.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Hyundai is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Hyundai vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Hyundai is ranked 10th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Prius Prime gets better fuel mileage than the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid:

MPG

Prius Prime

Electricity (MPGe)

Electric Motor

145 city/121 hwy

Gasoline

1.8 4-cyl. Hybrid

55 city/53 hwy

Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid

Electricity (MPGe)

Electric Motor

123 city/114 hwy

Gasoline

1.6 4-cyl. Hybrid

53 city/52 hwy

Transmission

The Prius Prime has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the Prius Prime’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s (33.4 feet vs. 34.78 feet).

Passenger Space

The Prius Prime has .3 inches more front headroom and 1 inch more front legroom than the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Prius Prime easier. The Prius Prime’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s liftover is 28.8 inches.

Ergonomics

The Prius Prime Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Prius Prime’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. With the Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s optional power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

The Prius Prime Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Prius Prime detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

On extremely cold winter days, the Prius Prime Limited’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Prius Prime Limited’s Intelligent Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Prius Prime, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Toyota Prius outsold the Hyundai Ioniq by almost six to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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