2019 Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid v Toyota Prius Comparison Test | carsales

2019 Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid v Toyota Prius Comparison Test | carsales

[NADINE] It’s new kid on the block, the Hyundai
Ioniq going head-to-head with the tried and trusted Toyota Prius. But this is not a simple comparison. It’s fair to say Australians have been slow
to get on the EV bandwagon. Admittedly, there have been many barriers. [ANDREA] You’re not wrong, Nadine [?]. Price,
range anxiety, charging infrastructure, and those polarising looks for starters. But maybe the arrival of the new Ioniq will
once again stoke interest in the trusty Prius. Perhaps it’s time for a new age of motoring
in Australia. [NADINE] The Toyota Prius hit Australian roads
in 2001 and, let’s be honest, it’s copped it’s fair share of flak, critics pulling apart
its looks and dynamics. Some 18 years later, however, and the polarising
looks have softened, and handling has improved. But so has the competition, the Hyundai Ioniq
doing its bit to entice a whole new set of buyers to the EV game. [ANDREA] Okay. Can we please first talk about the visual
appeal of these rivals? [NADINE] Well, appeal is an interesting word. At least the Prius has lost its science experiment
looks over the generations. It’s a little bit more palatable. But it’s interesting to see that the Ioniq
has maintained that same, similar silhouette. [ANDREA] True. True. But at least we’ve got some new colours, the
red and the blue. We’ve moved away from the white, good jokes. I think that they’re a little more appealing. [NADINE] Yes. I think you’re right. They still look unique. So I think drivers that are looking to show
that they’re driving something that is perhaps a little bit different from the norm, they’re
going to like the fact that it stands out on the road. But it’s not so polarising as the cars in
the past, that’s it’s actually more of a conventional design. [ANDREA] Absolutely. So we need to have a look at their driveline
and their clever engines to see what sets them apart. [NADINE] Yes. They look quite similar. But there’s a fair bit going on that makes
them actually very different. [ANDREA] To be fair, neither of these vehicles
are being touted as dynamically rewarding powerhouses. They’re eco-warriors above all else. [NADINE] The Prius is quite a heavy car but
it feels solid. And as a result, it feels really planted on
the road. The CVT is not only smooth, but it’s also
quiet. And when you put your foot down, it’s pretty
responsive. [ANDREA] Now the big difference between this
Ioniq and the Prius is that this is the plug-in version, which means that you can do up to
60km on pure EV range. And for many people that don’t have a long
commute, that means you’re going to be driving on electricity for most of the week. And plug-in hybrids, well, we’re going to
start seeing a lot more of them on the road because they offer the best of both worlds. We get that pure electric driving for a small
portion of the day, but then we’ve got that extended range as well. And on this one, with a full battery and a
full tank of fuel, we’re looking at a range of 1000km. And that’s on a par with the best diesels. [NADINE] Okay. If you’re having people in the second row
on a regular basis, it’s got to be the Hyundai for me. Purely because second row air vents. [ANDREA] Yes. It makes a massive difference, I think. The odd thing, though, is that there’s only
one map pocket on the back of the seats. There isn’t anything on the back of the
driver’s seat, which is a bit unusual. And talking of quality and maybe cost saving,
the quality of these hard plastics, it’s a little bit tough. And I think the Prius wins on that count. [NADINE] Yes, definitely a nicer place to
sit in the back of the Prius. But I think as far as kit goes, it’s the Ioniq
for me. UF And there’s a little bit more headroom
in the Ioniq too than the Prius. If you’re a six-footer you’re still going
to struggle a little bit, just because of the body styling of the cars. But, yes, a little bit more here than in the
Toyota. [NADINE] So switching to the Prius and it’s
such a different feel in here. And personally, I think this interior hangs
together better than the Hyundai. [ANDREA] It does feel a bit more high-tech. But it’s still quite easy and accessible to
actually drive all the information that you’re being given. This widescreen that sits atop of the dash,
well, that gives you some really cool information about how the car’s travelling. In terms of what your score is, how efficient
you’re being in driving, and, also, you get the information that tells you the flow of
energy. Which you do get in the Ioniq as well, but
up here I think it works better. [NADINE] And then there’s oddment storage. I think they’re quite similar. But it just feels like this is just a little
bit more clever. There feels like there’s more room here, and
good cup holders. [ANDREA] One thing that does let both of the
cars down, and it drives us both bananas, is the use of the foot-operated park brake. Seriously, these are 21st century cars with
a 19th century technology. It’s ridiculous. Very disappointing. I’m quite angry. [NADINE] With near-identical liftback silhouettes
and 60/40 split-fold seating, the Ioniq and Prius offer good load flexibility. The Ioniq brings strong safety credentials,
including autonomous emergency braking. While service, warranty and aftersales see
our rivals line-ball. Given the pick, we’d take the Toyota Prius. It’s not only a better vehicle to drive, but
better finished in a more cohesive package.

About the Author: Michael Flood


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