Used test: Hyundai Ioniq vs Toyota Prius

The Hyundai Ioniq is one of our favourite hybrid cars, but how does it stack up against the Toyota Prius, and which makes more sense used? We have the answer...

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What Car? team
07 February 2019

Used test: Hyundai Ioniq vs Toyota Prius

Our verdict

If you’re in the market for an economical and practical alternative-fuelled vehicle, then both of these cars have plenty to offer. The Toyota should cost the least to run in terms of day-to-day fuel costs, and it also has the most rear leg room out of the two. Its boot is the widest, and while it may sacrifice a few litres of overall volume to the Ioniq, the extra width is really useful when loading a child’s pushchair or a set of golf clubs.

However, the Prius is a lot more expensive to buy. In fact, you’d be better off looking for a better-equipped and more popular Business Edition than the basic Active since it’ll cost about the same and get you more equipment.

But it’ll still not be able to match the Ioniq for overall price, because the Hyundai is a few thousand pounds less. What’s more, it’s faster, much nicer to drive, has an easier to use interior and it’ll be cheaper for servicing costs. While Toyota may have pioneered hybrid technology with the Prius, Hyundai with the Ioniq has usurped them. That’s the reason it’s won numerous What Car? Awards, both new and used, and continues to make perfect sense as a second-hand buy.

Read our review of the new Hyundai Ioniq here

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1st – Hyundai Ioniq

Used Hyundai Ioniq studio

For: Cheaper to buy; better equipped; quicker; more fun to drive

Against: Slightly firmer ride; not as cheap on fuel

Verdict: Better all-round package, and still offers sensible running costs

5 out of 5 stars

Read the full used Hyundai Ioniq review here


2nd – Toyota Prius

Used Toyota Prius studio

For: Higher urban economy, reliability

Against: Boomy engine; grabby brakes; below-par infotainment system

Verdict: A good car for the economy minded, but outclassed and undercut by the Ioniq

4 out of 5 stars

Read the full used Toyota Prius review here


Specifications: Hyundai Ioniq 1.6 GDi Hybrid Premium

Engine size: 1.6-litre petrol

List price when new: £21,795

Price today: £17,000*

Power: 139bhp

Torque: 108lb ft

0-60mph: 10.3sec

Top speed: 115mph

Fuel economy: 82.1mpg (official NEDC average)

CO2 emissions: 79g/km


Specifications: Toyota Prius 1.8 VVT-i Hybrid Active

Engine size: 1.8-litre petrol

List price when new: £23,600

Price today: £20,000*

Power: 121bhp

Torque: 105lb ft

0-60mph: 11.0sec

Top speed: 112mph

Fuel economy: 94.1mpg (official NEDC average)

CO2 emissions: 70g/km

*Price today is based on a 2016 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing


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