Hybrids & Electrics

The 2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Is Finally Good Enough to Challenge the Prius

The compact electric Hyundai Ioniq came on the scene as direct competition in the strong EV segment. Offering affordability and Hyundai’s well-known features, the Ioniq has plenty to offer. But with EV giants like Toyota and its best-selling Prius, the Hyundai Ioniq has struggled to climb the ranks. The newest 2020 Hyundai Ioniq, however, could finally give the Prius a run for its money.

The all new 2020 Hyundai Ioniq

According to U.S. News, the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq comes with a variety of updates for the new model year. New owners can take advantage of an improved, longer-range battery that “increases the car’s all-electric driving range from 124 to 170 miles,” and increases horsepower to 134 hp in fully-electric variants.

Hybrid variants of the Ioniq can earn up to 57 mpg in the city and up to 59 mpg in the city. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor are paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, while all-electric versions are paired with a single-speed.

The aerodynamic-focused design of the Ioniq is slightly updated for the 2020 model year, including a newly-designed grille, bumpers, and tires. On the inside, a new 8-inch touchscreen now comes standard, as well as additional safety tech added. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, driver drowsiness monitoring, and more. A 10.25-inch touchscreen, ambient lighting, and stop-and-go adaptive cruise control are also new options for the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq.

The starting price for the Ioniq begins at around $23,000 for the hybrid base trim.

How reviewers feel about it

RELATED: This is the Most Concerning Part of Driving the Hyundai Ioniq

The new 2020 Ioniq needed some upgrades to compete in such a competitive segment and according to the experts, Hyundai finally pulled it off. Its best qualities include excellent fuel economy, a well-fitted interior, plenty of features and available options, great electric range, an amazing warranty, and affordable pricing.

The Ioniq also comes with plenty of cargo space – an added benefit for EV/compact cars. In fact, it has one of the largest cargo holds in its class, with up to 26.5 cubic-feet of cargo space.

Another update for the 2020 model year gives owners another reason to consider the Hyundai Ioniq. According to Consumer Reports, in addition to its already-impressive warranty, Hyundai will now offer “three years of complimentary maintenance for all-new” vehicles, including all 2020 Ioniq models. This new program includes services such as oil and filter changes, making the Ioniq an even more affordable option.

Although the Hyundai Ioniq is loaded with improvements, it still has a few things to work on. U.S. News feels the Ioniq still has to conquer some of the biggest challenges associated with many electric vehicles, stating that the “steering is numb and the ride becomes rough over bumpy pavement.”

Can the new Hyundai Ioniq finally compete with the Toyota Prius?

According to Car and Driver, the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq’s updated styling, new interior tech, and safety features should give “potential Prius buyers something else to consider.” While some electric variants of the Prius may have less expensive starting prices, base trims and options across the board are cheaper with the Hyundai Ioniq. But the Prius has the advantage of age and reputation ahead of it.

Consumer Reports experts rank the newest Prius ahead of the 2020 Hyundai Ioniq, but also state that it’s the “first direct challenger to the Toyota Prius.” It directly competes with the Prius in price, fuel economy, and standard features.

Some Ioniq models are even more fuel-efficient than some Prius variants.  Buyers who feel strongly about all-wheel-drive will have to opt for the Prius, however, since front-wheel-drive is only available on Ioniq. With its most recent updates, the Ioniq stands more of a chance of dominating the Prius than it ever has before.