Inside, the tech setup is one I prefer too, as the Hyundai vehicle lineup has done very well in recent years regarding how their infotainment looks and performs.
The Ioniq hybrid is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine, plus an electric motor.
Regenerative braking is in play on the Ioniq hybrid and it helps charge the battery.
139 is the total net horsepower (vs. 121 net hp in the Prius). A sport drive mode is offered, but be warned that it will lower your gas mileage. And honestly it’s hardly sporty in the true sense of the word. But you can’t have it all when it comes to these fuel mileage battles. If you really are focused on power, you’re probably not going to be looking at a hybrid in the first place.
Being a realist, I have to say that the drive is not thrilling in the Ioniq, outside of the thrill you get when you constantly drive past gas stations without having to stop (Boasting a capability of well over 600 miles per fill-up, you might forget what side the gas tank is on between stops).
Just like the Prius, the Ioniq crawls up to speed, all in the name of fuel mileage. It’s their lot in life, and drivers who get behind the wheel every day will probably get used to it. But it’s still annoying if you’re used to driving a faster vehicle.
I did not have navigation in my Ioniq, but the rest of infotainment system worked well. The button layout was very functional, and voice commands worked well for radio and phone. The only odd thing I noticed was that the heat took a while to get working sometimes. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are supported in the Ioniq hybrid.
Official numbers on the Ioniq hybrid I tested were 55 city/54 highway/55 combined. One version of the Ioniq comes through with an estimate of 58 mpg. Various Prius models are right in this area, but Hyundai claims a slight advantage. In the end, in real world testing, you’ll be pretty much in the same vicinity.
How high that number climbs depends how hard you drive the vehicle, and when you’re taking it easy.
During my time in the Ioniq hybrid I wasn’t really stretching the fuel to the max, and I managed between 45 and 50 mpg depending on conditions. If I had been more conservative, I easily could have gotten into the mid-50s. In my experience driving the Prius it was about the same number-wise, so the decision is more about which vehicle you like the most and of course price.
My test vehicle came in at just under $26K; and the base price starts closer to $23K, with incentives likely to be offered at year’s end and possibly lowering the price further.
The base price starts about a thousand under the Prius and higher trim levels will save you several thousand, no doubt on purpose as it tries to wean away buyers from Toyota.
If you want the fuel economy and eco-friendliness of a Prius, but in a more easy-to-look at package and for slightly less money, the Hyundai Ioniq hybrid is targeted squarely at you and it’s worth a test drive.
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.