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Used hybrid test: Hyundai Ioniq vs Toyota Prius: interiors

The Hyundai Ioniq has always been one of our favourite hybrid cars, but how does it stack up against the iconic Toyota Prius as a used buy? We have the answer...

Hyundai Ioniq - interior


Driving position, visibility, build quality, practicality

Both cars have a reach and height-adjustable steering wheel – in the Hyundai Ioniq it has a slightly bigger range of movement – and height-adjustable driver’s seats, so it’s easy to find a good driving position. Both driver’s seats have standard electric lumbar adjustment and, although both are comfortable, the Toyota Prius seats have slightly softer cushions.

Neither car has a great view out of the back because of their thick rear pillars and vertical bar halfway up the rear screen. Both win back points for having standard-fit reversing cameras, while the Ioniq also gets rear parking sensors, which are optional on the Prius.

Used Toyota Prius interior

The Ioniq’s dashboard is easier to use. Its buttons are more clearly identifiable at a glance, and it has a much better infotainment system. Both cars have touchscreens as standard (8.0in in the Ioniq and 7.0in in the Prius), but while the Ioniq’s is responsive to commands and intuitive to navigate, the Prius’s has jerky graphics and confusing menus. Plus, you have to pay extra for sat-nav on the Prius, while the Ioniq provides it as standard.

Neither car feels quite as premium as the VW Golf inside, but the Ioniq comes close. Its interior is arguably less interesting than the Prius’s, but the materials in the Ioniq are denser and more upmarket, and everything feels better screwed together.

A six-footer has the head and leg room to stretch out in the front of both cars. Storage options are generous too, including large door bins and stacks of oddment space.

Toyota Prius rear seats

The Toyota Prius wins for rear leg room, although the Hyundai Ioniq is decent enough. Both cars suffer similar head room issues due to their swooping rooflines (needed for aerodynamics), and if you’re much more than 5ft 10in tall, your hair will probably brush the rooflining.

Both cars have good-sized boots with room for several large shopping bags. The Ioniq’s is deeper, but the Prius’s gets the nod because it’s wider and easier to fit awkward items into (a buggy or a set of golf clubs, for example). When you drop the standard 60/40 split folding rear seats in either car, you’re left with an annoying step in the floor of the extended load bay.