New Hyundai Ioniq vs Toyota Prius

Could petrol hybrids replace diesels as our go-to economical choice? We test the Hyundai Ioniq and Toyota Prius to find out...

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What Car? team
24 Feb 2016 07:00 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

What will they cost?

If you’re considering a hybrid, you’ll almost certainly have one eye on costs. After dealer discounts, the Ioniq is around £2500 cheaper if you’re paying cash, and it’ll cost less to own over three years due to its slightly slower predicted depreciation and cheaper insurance and servicing costs.

However, hybrids are mostly company purchases, which swings the pendulum back in the favour of the Prius. Over three years it’s around £500 cheaper to lease. Over that same period, it will also cost around £550 less in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax, if you are a 40% tax payer.

In our real-world True MPG fuel tests, neither car got anywhere near its claimed economy figure. The Prius did best, averaging 50.5mpg – around 6mpg behind the best diesel family hatchbacks – while the Ioniq managed 46.9mpg. Although the Prius is exceptionally economical around town, it isn’t quite as frugal as the Ioniq on motorways and rural roads.

New Hyundai Ioniq vs Toyota Prius

If you’re buying on finance you’ll find little to help you decide. Put down a £5000 deposit on a three-year PCP deal (with a 30,000-mile limit) and Toyota will charge you £225 a month, just £2 less than you’ll pay for the Ioniq.

Despite being the cheaper car, the Ioniq tested here is mid-level Premium trim, while the Prius is in entry-level Active. Both come with dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and keyless entry and start; the Ioniq adds heated seats and steering wheel, a better stereo, a wireless phone charger and smartphone mirroring so you can use your phone via the touchscreen.

The Prius scored the maximum five stars in its Euro NCAP safety test, while the Ioniq is yet to be tested. Both cars have plenty of up-to-date safety features, though, including standard automatic emergency city braking that applies the brakes if it senses an imminent impact. Both also have a system to warn if you’re drifting out of your lane on the motorway, and can show the speed limit of the road you’re driving down on the dashboard.