By on March 24, 2017

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – Image: © Timothy Cain

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Limited

1.6-liter Atiknson cycle inline-four, DOHC (104 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm; 109 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm)

Interior permanent magnet synchronous motor (43 hp; 125 lb-ft)

Combined system horsepower: 139

Six-speed dual-clutch automatic, front-wheel drive

55 city / 54 highway / 55 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

4.3 city / 4.4 highway / 4.4 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

46.1 mpg [5.1 L/100 km] (Observed)

Base Price: $22,200 (U.S) / $24,420 (Canada)

As Tested: $30,500 (U.S.) / $33,550 (Canada)

Prices include freight charge in the United States and are estimated for Canada, where the Ioniq is not yet officially priced.

If you want to beat Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic or Andy Murray or Rafael Nadal, you have to be better than Roger, Novak, Andy, and Rafa.

It doesn’t matter if it costs less to train you. It won’t matter if you’re better looking. It will never be sufficient to merely stack up better on paper; to be taller and stronger and younger.

You have to be better.

Sorry to have to break it to you this way, but, you’re not.

To upset a paradigm that’s been in place for two decades, the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid can’t merely be less expensive than the Toyota Prius. People are willing to pay a premium for a superior known entity. The Hyundai Ioniq can’t merely be more attractive. Indeed, how could the Ioniq not be more attractive than the 2017 Toyota Prius? Moreover, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid won’t succeed simply because of superior on-paper achievements; of greater cargo space or hiproom or horsepower.

If the Ioniq Hybrid is to succeed at weaning green car buyers off their beloved Prii, the Hyundai Ioniq must be a better Prius.

It is. Mostly.

There was this one hiccup.

The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid — there will also be plug-in hybrid and all-electric variants — possesses EPA ratings that make it the most efficient plugless car on sale in America. At 55 mpg city and 54 mpg highway in the case of our Limited-spec tester, the Ioniq sips even less than the 54/50 mpg Prius. The Ioniq Blue’s 57/59 mpg ratings are superior to those of the 58/53 mpg Prius Eco, as well.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid – Image: © Timothy Cain

Yet in the real world, the 2016 Toyota Prius with which we spent 700 miles last spring was a thrifty 57-mpg car. And the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq we just drove 311 miles? 46 mpg.

The Ioniq has valid excuses. That Toyota was a basic Prius riding on 195/55R15 low-rolling-resistance all-season tires in beautiful spring weather. This Ioniq, with only 600 miles on its odometer when it arrived in our driveway, was a top-spec Hyundai with 225/45R17 Michelin X-Ice winter tires, forced to traverse city streets and salt-covered highways in sub-freezing winter weather.

Relatively minor fuel cost differences aside, the Hyundai Ioniq typically shines in comparisons with its obvious rival. Less offensive styling is only the beginning, although the plentiful compliments this particular car received over the last week may have related more to Hyundai Canada’s choice of color — this eye-catching shade of orangey-red doesn’t appear in Hyundai USA’s palette — than the shape itself.

The Ioniq offers marginally more cargo space in a deep and wide cargo hold. All controls, from the regular shifter to the chunky buttons and knobs to the utterly sensible infotainment unit, are built so luddites can cope.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Limited interior - Image: © Timothy Cain

Underway, the Ioniq Hybrid’s 139 total horsepower don’t struggle to propel the Hyundai forward. Better yet, the engine doesn’t sound unhappy, so demanding greater acceleration isn’t met by the sounds of obstinance. There’s a Sport mode that makes the Ioniq feel genuinely urgent, but you then negate the possibility of EV mode — which seems to defeat the purpose of the car.

And when you’re not peeling away from stoplights? Though predictably uncommunicative, the steering is quick to respond and feels naturally weighted. The Ioniq’s left pedal masks common hybrid brake feel, and while stopping force won’t wow you, normal brake feel adds to the all-around normality of the Hyundai. The Ioniq is not going out of its way to be weird. In fact, it seems obvious that, wedge-shaped styling notwithstanding, Hyundai doesn’t want the Ioniq to feel unconventional.

The Ioniq isn’t doing a sports sedan impression. There’s too much body roll for that, just a bit too much mid-corner softness to suggest varsity levels of athleticism. But it doesn’t fight back against enthusiasm. The Ioniq copes well with greater pace rather than protesting against your more onerous requests.

The current Prius is amditedly a great leap forward over past iterations, but it isn’t quite this willing to partner on the dance floor.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid front - Image: © Timothy Cain

I’ll take the Hyundai Ioniq’s six-speed dual-clutch automatic over the continuously variable transmission in the Prius, as well, albeit with reservations. A DCT’s purpose is seemingly to shift quicker, for third gear to be primed when you’re accelerating through second, for fourth gear to be ready and waiting to instantly engage when you’re finishing up with third. Hyundai’s DCT never seems to impress with shift speed, a complaint we also leveled against the Veloster Turbo. It’s also bizarrely laggy at parking lot speeds and can be easily confused when shift timing coincides with powerplant transitions. In most circumstances, however, the Ioniq’s DCT is a well-behaved automatic, and unlike the Prius’s CVT, doesn’t cause the engine to moan along at an unpleasant rev count.

It’s not all upside. The Hyundai Ioniq’s split rear window curtails rear visibility. Rear headroom is limited, a characteristic exacerbated by snug rear quarters. I had to pull the driver’s seat forward so a front-facing three-year-old had foot room; Mrs. Cain had to move up so that a rear-facing infant seat could get in and out.

The Ioniq’s not a big car, to be fair. At only 176 inches bumper to bumper, the Ioniq is 15 inches shorter than the Hyundai Sonata. But the Ioniq quickly creeps into Sonata Hybrid pricing territory, and its passenger space certainly can’t compete. Front seat cushion length isn’t long enough, either, and the seat cushion bolstering isn’t shaped well for my lanky frame.

Presumably hampered to some degree by the lower profile tires — lower trims use 195/65R15s — the Ioniq Limited also exhibits too much ride stiffness. Impacts with harsher pavement, especially for rear passengers, can be jarring. If there was a more obvious payoff in handling prowess, then this poorer-than-Prius ride quality would be easier to tolerate.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Limited interior detail - Image: © Timothy Cain

Yet in general, among this obviously comparable duo, the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is the more enjoyable car in which to spend time. The structure feels stiffer, the absence of cheap bits is noteworthy, the simplicity of operation is welcome.

Plus, with a base price of $22,200, Ioniq pricing starts $2,900 below the Prius. With navigation, adaptive cruise, dynamic headlights, Infinity audio, driver’s seat memory, and other features added to the $27,500 Ioniq Limited with a $3,000 Ultimate Package, the $30,500 top-spec 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is $2,555 less than a fully loaded Prius Four Touring.

Perhaps the Prius claws back some of its price premium with superior real-world fuel economy and superior resale value.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter that the Ioniq can beat the Prius, just as it doesn’t matter that you can beat the septuagenarians at your community tennis club.

You need a better backhand. And you want an ess-you-vee. Lo and behold, the Ioniq’s platform partner, Kia’s Niro, is whispering its sweet off-road credentials into your listening ears.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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70 Comments on “2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Limited Review – Cheaper, More Attractive, And Better Than The Obvious Choice...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    These lofty MPG figures mean than *any* variations from ideal conditions have a large effect, and EVs are even worse in this regard. So I’m not surprised the Ioniq didn’t meet its EPA numbers this time. However, the difference between it and the Prius amounts to only $10/month in typical driving, even if the Ioniq continued drinking gas as it did in this test.

    Hyundai needs to push this car hard if they expect to ‘out-Toyota’ Toyota on hybrids. Tim – you’ve described their challenge quite well.

    Having sat in both the Ioniq and the Niro, the Niro was much nicer inside – significantly larger in headroom and legroom, better laid out controls, and still a very efficient car. I’d take the Niro.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      People keep saying that cold weather affects the mileage of hybrids more than ICE-only cars. But they never explain why.

      Part of it is that folks are keen to bash hybrids. Especially those who frequent car websites. Like the tales they share about early battery failure. So they rarely mention or attempt to quantify how cold weather affects non-hybrids. And they never make a fair and validated comparison of that difference to the difference affecting hybrids.

      Again, how is the mileage of hybrids affected more by cold weather than non-hybrids?

      Another point regarding the comparison (Ioniq/winter Prius/summer) in this article is that winter gas has less energy by volume than summer gas.

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        Batteries don’t hold charge as well in use when they are cold. So in cold weather the battery discharges (drains) faster and the car has to rely on the ICE more, so mpg falls. It is the same reason why pure EVs have less range in cold weather.

        Extreme heat also gives batteries the same problem, but that is not as big of an issue for most people.

        Conversely though, batteries store their energy better when cold. But that is only useful if you are not planning on using your car for a while.

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          Should probably point out (can’t edit anymore), that my first sentence might be misleading, so want to clarify. The battery cannot produce as much current when cold, so its current output drops below what is required of it quicker, leading to a dead battery faster.

          So it discharges its “usable” power quicker (because it has less usable power to begin with). If you heat it up your “dead” cold battery it will come back to life.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            @whynot,

            But…. Every hybrid has a system to temperature condition the hybrid battery.

            So the argument becomes how much fuel it takes to keep the battery warm or cool.

            Well, the battery is less mass than an ICE (and bear in mind that hybrids typically have a smaller ice that presumably takes less fuel to warm up than a non-hybrid). The battery usually is closer to its ideal temperature than is an ICE, and it is partially enclosed in the passenger compartment. So it should take a relatively small amount of fuel to temperature condition the hybrid battery.

            Bear in mind that only about 40% of the battery’s overall capacity is used. And, depending on the type of use, only about half of the mileage advantage of a hybrid is due to the systems that use the battery.* The battery/regen system provides almost no advantage during highway driving. So the effect on mileage of having the additional mass of the battery to heat or cool, would be very small.

            *Hybrids also have mileage gains from the cvt, smaller than normal ice, engine stop/start, lrr tires.

            The later Escape Hybrids in fact use “waste” cabin air to temperature condition the hybrid battery. So the difference with them should be almost zero.

            My Escape Hybrid typically gets 37-38 mpg (Canadian) in the winter and 40 in the summer. The losses are mostly due to using winter tires at lower pressure, winter gas, and longer warmup times. Thicker air also, I suppose. We have mild winters, but the difference due to the additional warmup must be something like 1-2%. Non-hybrid cars surely suffer the same losses. I think we’re really not aware of the hit non-hybrid car mileage takes from winter use.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            You can’t make heat out of nothing. The colder it is the more that heating system has to work, and that system is being powered either by the battery itself (increasing its workload and draining it faster) or directly from the engine (increasing its workload and requiring its operation). Most hybrids have an “all-electric range” where the ICE is not running to get maximum mpg.

            Being partially enclosed in the passenger compartment means nothing. Have you sat in a car after it has been sitting overnight in freezing temperatures? You also can’t say a battery will warm up faster than an ICE (or whatever) because it is “less mass,” how quickly it warms up is partially material dependent. An oven mitt, for example, doesn’t heat up and get hot from a hot baking sheet as fast as your bare skin. It is also design dependent (how good your heating system actually is).

            It takes it toll on mpg. This really isn’t something that is up to debate, it is reflected in real world numbers. Your Ford demonstrates that, but you are attributing none of the loss on the battery being in cold air without any actual evidence.

            You say “The losses are mostly due to using winter tires at lower pressure, winter gas, and longer warmup times”. I say the losses are mostly due to using winter tires at lower pressure, winter gas, longer warmup times, and the fact that the cold air is affecting the benefits of your vehicles hybrid system.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            whynot:
            The question is not whether heat is made out of nothing. The question is what a hybrid has to heat that a non-hybrid does not. That difference is the hybrid battery (and some electronics). And I’ll repeat that a hybrid has less of a burden in one way because it has a smaller ice to heat up.

            You don’t seem to understand that because a hybrid temperature conditions the hybrid battery, other aspects such as discharge while cold and ev range, are not affected after the warmup. The only difference is getting the hybrid battery to the right temperature after cold (or hot) startup.

            If ev range is decreased in very cold temperatures, this is largely because of the need for heat for other things. Things that non-hybrids also have to keep hot. Like the engine.

            Again, the temperature change required is from ambient temperature to a temperature humans find comfortable. This takes much less fuel than what is needed to get an ICE up to operating temperature. Figure it out. eg: 32F to 70F as opposed to 32F to 100-200F for an ice. Yes, the hybrid also has an ice to heat up. So, the difference is the fuel needed to heat up the battery. And, again, that is far less than the fuel needed to heat up an ice. This is also true on restarts, whatever the time between them. Hybrids with smaller lighter lithium ion batteries would have even less of such losses.

            Presumably there are pumping and fan losses to cool an ice during very hot weather.

            I disagree with you about the temperature effect of the hybrid battery being partially enclosed in the passenger compartment. For staying warm it is more enclosed than in the engine compartment or attached to the underbody. For cooling it will stay cooler than in the passenger area. I know where I’d rather be. Yes, the degree of the effect depends on time between startups. As it does for ice-only cars.

            I know how long it takes the battery in my hybrid to get to the ideal operating temperature in both hot and cold weather. That time is obvious because it won’t shut off the ice if it’s outside those temperatures. It takes a couple of minutes in summer, about 5 in winter.

            I believe most of this time is required to get the ice up to temperature, not the hybrid battery. I can see that the battery takes or gives charge much prior to engine shutdown being active, so the logic is that the battery takes less time and therefore probably less fuel to heat up than the ice, catalytic converter etc.

            How can I emphasize that an ice with no hybrid system has to do the same thing to cope with cold temperatures?

            No, a hybrid won’t shut off the ice at all in light duty in extremely cold temperatures. Do you have any idea how much additional gas a non-hybrid uses to keep itself warm in the same conditions? Probably not, because you have no way of knowing. In fact the thing that cools the fastest and therefore needs the ice running to keep warm, is the catalytic converter. Last I heard non-hybrids have them also.

            Unlike your claim to the contrary, I did attribute some of the mileage loss of my hybrid in cold weather to the hybrid battery temperature conditioning. No, I don’t know the exact number. But I made it sufficiently clear, both logically and empirically that the penalty is trivial.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “My Escape Hybrid typically gets 37-38 mpg (Canadian) in the winter and 40 in the summer.”

            That’s less of a difference than I expected. I’ve also noticed a 2-3 mpg increase in fuel consumption during winter with my Mazda3: 30.6 (36.2 imp) mpg in summer (Jun to Aug) and 28.2 (33.4 imp) mpg in winter (Dec to Feb). The difference would be even less if I were one to use air conditioning in the city.

            I always assumed hybrids would suffer a bit extra by not being able to shut the ICE off in the cold. It’s hard to imagine those engines would be shutting off here in Saskatchewan during winter. I also didn’t think the batteries would contribute much on a -20C to -40C day during a short city drive.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The reason that hybrids are effected more by cold temps is that there isn’t enough waste engine heat to keep the cabin warm. That leads to the engine running more frequently than it does where there is no or little demand for heat. Also the colder the engine starts out the longer it takes for it to reach the minimum temp required before the car’s computer will shut off the engine.

        Our Fusion Hybrid saw about a 10% hit in the coldest part of the winter. The wife could minimize the impact by using the seat heaters and setting the HVAC to a colder temp/shutting it off.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Scoutdude,

          If a hybrid engine has to burn more fuel to heat up the hybrid battery, wouldn’t it have more waste heat rather than less? You and whynot can’t have it both ways.

          And the question was cold weather affecting hybrids more than non-hybrids, not whether cold weather affects hybrids. You must know non-hybrids also take longer, and therefore more gas, to heat up in cold weather. The more you use the heater in a cold startup non-hybrid, the longer the automatic choke will be engaged and the more fuel it will burn. So it takes a hybrid longer to go into ev mode. Say a few minutes. How long is a typical drive?

          Some seem to think that a regular hybrid in ev mode is somehow magically moving without using any fuel. Every iota of motion by a hybrid including ev mode is, one way or another, sooner or later, the result of burning gas. To simplify, the advantage of ev mode is that it allows the engine to run at an efficient rpm at low speeds, about 2000-2500rpm, when it periodically charges the hybrid battery with the charge used by ev mode.

          Your 10% loss in very cold weather is consistent with what I see. But bear in mind there are several significant factors contributing to that loss besides the need to temperature condition the hybrid battery. All it takes is a few percent for the different gas, a few percent for the tires, and you’re not left with a whole lot of loss to attribute to the hybrid system. And even then, you have to compare it to the losses of an equivalent non-hybrid being operated the same way in the same conditions. You aren’t left with much. The difference may be more noticed because hybrid owners are much more aware of how much fuel they use.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            Fine. You’re right, and the world is flat, and the sun revolves around the earth.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            Are you trying to describe the operation of the planetary gearset cvt?

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            I believe what he is saying is that the ICE has to run more often to keep the cabin warm because there is not enough waste heat from the battery side.

        • 0 avatar
          Professional Lurker

          This mirrors my experiences so far with the C-Max. With the heater on, the engine will idle constantly while stopped in places where it would normally be shut off. Turn off the climate controls and the engine cuts off immediately. My full-to-empty-tank average went from 50+ MPG in the summer to as low as 45, which I recorded today.

          I experimented with living with the seat warmers for the first 10-15 minutes of my commute. After that, I’m on the Interstate and the engine runs most of the time anyway. However, I haven’t adhered to that strategy enough to know if makes a difference.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            A possible difference with my Escape is that it is awd. Engagement of the rear wheels depends on several things, including throttle level. Using more gas in the winter suggests heavier average use of the throttle which should result in more engagement of the awd, which in turn would increase gas consumption.

            But again, such effects would be the same for non-hybrids with similar predictive awd setups.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            My Escape Hybrid still does engine stop/start in cold weather if the heating is on but without defrost. Defrost uses the a/c compressor and so with my older belt driven compressor requires that the engine be running.

            Good point about the highway speed. Above a certain speed hybrids’ engines have to be running, so the whole matter about whether the ice is running constantly in the winter becomes moot.

            Where the mileage of hybrids can suffer is if you have to be stopped during the warmup phase. Like at a traffic light. Engine burning fuel at 1500rpm and you’re covering no distance. So often I will shut off the engine if I have to stop during the warmup. (The hybrid’s monster starting system never fails and starts instantly.)

            Or running the a/c in stop and go traffic. This means the engine is mostly working to cool air rather than making the car move. At highway speeds the proportion of energy used by the engine for a/c is a tiny fraction of the energy needed to overcome air resistance.

            But I have to emphasize that these losses are exactly the same for non-hybrids.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            If your A/C compressor is capable of running then it’s not what I would consider cold weather. Not even close. Are you in Vancouver? I’d like some perspective on what sort of temperatures you’re describing as cold weather.

            Informative posts regardless, brandloyalty.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            rpn453,
            Yes, I’m in Vancouver. That will partly explain my narrow difference between summer and winter mileage. But I’m still running winter tires at lower pressure, using winter gas, driving in a lot of rain… And most of my driving is to farther inland and higher elevations where it is colder. I always carry, and occasionally use snow chains for instance.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          A Conventional ICE powered vehicle produces tons of waste heat every time the vehicle is running and you don’t have your foot on the throttle to actually move the car.

          Hybrids do not have to condition the battery in cold weather. The standard strategy is to keep the battery in the middle of its SOC operating range. When you start it from a cold soak the primary strategy is to operate the ICE in a manner that it will get up to the min temp ASAP for emissions purposes. Doing so means the engine keeps running and they dump that excess energy into the battery. Charging the battery warms it up in addition to storing some (most) of the energy wasted having that ICE idle. In other words heating up the hybrid battery is just a bonus of heating up the ICE to keep it producing heat and within a temp range where it works at acceptable emission output.

          Now keeping the battery temps down in hot weather is another story. However the energy used in doing that is minimal. In the Fusion we had there was just a fan that would draw cooled air from the passenger compartment. In the earlier Escape they did have a separate evaporator and exterior air inlet to keep the battery cool.

          In our Fusion my wife experimented quite a bit with how much heat she requested from the HVAC system on her way to work. Keep the HVAC off on the way to work which is a net loss of elevation and the computer would report mid 50’s, turn the heat on to 70 and it would report low 40’s. Coming home since it is a net increase in elevation and the fact that she most likely used it at lunch and the difference using HVAC was less.

          So the fact is that conditioning the vehicle is what causes the larger decrease in MPG vs a standard ICE car.

          My friend with the Leaf also experimented with HVAC use in cold weather and reported that keeping it off meant minimal difference in range vs warm weather use. Using that restive element heater uses up a lot of the battery energy.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        Hybrid cars use batteries.

        Those batteries work best at what humans consider normal room temperature.

        Those batteries, therefore, are vented to the cabin to be part of cabin temperature.

        Toyota put climate control in the 04 on up Prius not because they wanted to be fancy, but because they wanted people to set the silly thing at 72 and forget it–so the battery would be able to take advantage of that.

        And in order to be human comfortable temperature in the winter, that means running the engine to create heat. There is no other way to make heat.

        Ergo, the gasoline engine runs significantly more in the winter than it does any other time.

        When it’s hot, the A/C uses power from the big battery–and charging that is a MUCH more efficient task than running the engine for the sole purpose of creating waste heat in the cooling system.

        So cold winter weather is absolutely the hardest time on hybrids, by far.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Jalop1991,

          To revise your post:

          In order to be human comfortable temperature in the winter, that means running the engine to create heat, or, in the case of a non-hybrid, burning more gas to create more heat. There is no other way to make heat. Automatic chokes conceal consumption of additional gas burned just to heat things and keep them hot.

          There is no waste heat below a certain temperature. Hybrid or not.

          Ergo, the gasoline engine burns significantly more gas in the winter than it does any other time. Hybrid or not.

          “When it’s hot, the A/C uses power from the big battery–and charging that is a MUCH more efficient task than running the engine for the sole purpose of creating waste heat in the cooling system.”

          Why is running the engine to charge the battery to run the a/c more efficient than running the engine to run the a/c? Aren’t there conversion losses?

          Both Prius and the Escape Hybrid around 2009, went from a belt-driven a/c compressor to an electric compressor powered by the hybrid battery. The Escape had controls to allow adjusting the amount the engine ran to support a/c.

          Cold winter weather is absolutely the hardest time on hybrids AND non-hybrids by far.

          Another point. My hybrid, even in winter, provides heat from the hvac system even when the engine is off. And for a few minutes. The engine comes back on, not because there is insufficient heat for the interior and not because the hybrid battery is cold, but because the catalytic converter has cooled off. Do you have any idea of the latent heat of several hundred pounds of metal at 100-200F? Is it a challenge for this heat reservoir to keep some air at 70F for a few minutes?

          Is it beyond the capability of the automotive press to come up with a mileage comparison of a hybrid vs an equivalent non-hybrid in equivalent summer vs winter use?

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            “Why is running the engine to charge the battery to run the a/c more efficient than running the engine to run the a/c? Aren’t there conversion losses?”

            Observe the behvior. Put the car in Ready on a hot summer day, and sit there.

            On a non-hybrid, the car idles all the time so that when the AC is needed, the compressor can clutch in. So it runs at idle all the time.

            On a hybrid, the AC clutches in as necessary and pulls from the battery. What you will observe is the engine running very little to keep that battery charged up. Meanwhile, the climate control and AC are just doing their thing.

            So it’s a simple test. How many minutes per hour does the engine run on a hybrid vs non hybrid on a hot day, just sitting there, to keep the cabin at human comfortable temperatures?

            The non-hybrid runs 60 minutes of that hour. The hybrid, WAY less.

            It is trivial to turn a Prius into a generator for your house. And it’s a great one, because of that big honking battery and the smart system that runs only as needed to keep it charged–instead of a typical portable generator that simply runs all the time.

            I know you don’t want to believe it, but it’s so.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            jalop1991,
            My Escape Hybrid has several operating modes regarding a/c. There is an eco button that can be on or off. With eco on, and the hvac set on a mode that does not use the belt-driver compressor, the compressor does not operate and the car will go into ev mode for up to 2km with very light throttle and if the systems are warmed up and if the hybrid battery is at normal charge and if the speed is under 63kph. So you can see that even in the best circumstances the engine is not off very much. When it is off a lot is in stop & go traffic. Which I much appreciate.

            With eco still turned on, and the hvac set to use a/c or defrost, it will still go into ev mode and shut off the engine under the same parameters, but only about 1/3 as much time in ev mode.

            With eco turned off and the hvac set to use the compressor, it will only very rarely go into ev mode and shut off the engine.

            I never use it in non-eco without a/c or defrost. Eco mode on the Escape Hybrid does not otherwise change engine or ev system operation. So using eco does not harm acceleration or otherwise save gas. It only affects hvac and engine stop/start.

            The penalty for using eco mode with a/c or defrost is that use of the compressor is reduced. So, for instance, if in this mode you were sitting at a stop light with the engine off, the interior will start to heat up. If this becomes uncomfortable you turn off the eco and the engine and compressor and cooling will work full-time. The owners manual explains this at some length.

            Sometimes when I’m using a/c or defrost and am driving long hills, I’ll bother to use the full a/c or defrost only on the uphills when the engine is working hard anyway.

            2010+ Escape Hybrids switched from the belt-driven compressor to an electric comoressor. So they can operate the a/c or defrost even with the engine off. I believe the Prius made the same change in 2009 or 2010.

            Whether we still disagree on the details, I think we have sufficiently shown that if hybrids suffer a mileage penalty in cold weather, it is not substantially greater than the effect on non-hybrids.

            I have seen an article claiming up to a 34% increase, and certainly that is utter nonsense.

            As for the use of a hybrid as an emergency generator, I have no idea why you seem to think I wouldn’t know that. The limitation is that, on the Escape Hybrid at least, the 120v outlet is limited to 150 watts. Enough for a couple of incandescent light bulbs. Not much for a household. A more useful purpose might be to power cordless tool chargers at a remote job site without a generator.

      • 0 avatar
        arach

        There’s a lot of responses to this question, but here’s the easiest answer:

        The difference from 20-21 MPG is a whole lot more than the difference between 50 and 51 MPG.

        The issue is that MPGs are Miles / Gallons.

        Therefore:
        100 / 2 = 50 MPG
        100 / 5 = 21 MPG

        Now say you put on winter tires, which essentially consume a meager .2 gallons per 100 miles. This has the same effect to both vehicles, but the result is amplified on the high MPG vehicle:

        100 / 2.2 = 45 MPG
        100 / 5.2 = 19 MPG

        In this case the same force had the same effect on both vehicles, but that translates to a bigger “impact” on the highly fuel efficient vehicle. It dropped the 50 MPG car by 5 MPG, while the 21 MPG car was only dropped by 2.

        What this means is that things that feel “insignificant” on a 20 MPG car are really “felt” on a high MPG vehicle…. things like:
        1. Tire Selection
        2. Tire Pressure
        3. Road conditions
        4. GAS TYPE (many people don’t realize there’s WINTER and SUMMER blends- this is a HUGE one)
        5. Increased resistance of fluids in engine/transmission
        6. Increased resistance in bearings
        7. Alternator Effort (Must work harder in winter to charge battery)
        8. Battery performance reduction.

        All of these things technically impact both Hybrids and Non-Hybrids. The biggest influence in “feeling the punch” though is simply because they are higher MPG vehicles! They are slightly more impacted by battery performance and alternator impact, but those all spell an 8-10 MPG drop in a 55 MPG vehicle, but only a 2-3 MPG drop in a 20 MPG vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        bhtooefr

        In addition to the factors that everyone else is talking about (much more requirement to run the engine to get more waste heat, a battery that’s less able to handle power when cold requiring more engine usage), there’s also a factor caused by hybrids getting higher MPG, and the way the math of MPG works.

        Let’s say your conventional gasoline car typically gets 30 miles per gallon, and in winter, it gets 27 miles per gallon.

        Now, let’s say a hybrid typically gets 50 miles per gallon, and in winter, it gets 42.2 miles per gallon.

        Which vehicle takes more of a hit, in terms of gallons of fuel used, in winter?

        Intuitively, you’d say the hybrid – after all, the gasoline car is getting 90% of the miles per gallon, the hybrid is getting 84% of the miles per gallon, that clearly means the hybrid’s burning more additional fuel than the gasoline car.

        But, you don’t drive gallons, you drive miles. Let’s convert these numbers to gallons per 100 miles.

        30 miles per gallon is 3.33 gallons per 100 miles.
        27 miles per gallon is 3.70 gallons per 100 miles, for an additional 0.37 gallons per 100 miles.

        50 miles per gallon is 2.00 gallons per 100 miles.
        42.2 miles per gallon is 2.37 gallons per 100 miles… for an additional 0.37 gallons per 100 miles. This was a trick question – they use the same amount of additional fuel.

        Quite a lot of the “hybrid hit” in winter is that rating vehicles in miles per gallon amplifies small changes in efficiency in an efficient vehicle, and minimizes large changes in efficiency in an inefficient vehicle, making a lot of comparisons unintuitive.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      If the Michelin winter tires used here are similar to Blizzaks like I have on my SRX they make quite a difference in rolling resistance compared to “Eco” tires.

    • 0 avatar
      vagvoba

      I happen to own a Prius gen. III and incidentally use the same kind of tire (Michelin X-Ice) in the winter as the Hyundai Ioniq in the review. In the warmer months I use the default all-season low rolling resistance tires that the Prius comes with.
      In my experience the fuel consumption difference between the winter and summer months is between 2 and 5 MPG, depending on the use. Long highway drives tend to be very similarly efficient in the winter and in the summer, while cold temperatures can affect fuel economy in short city drives more significantly.
      My guess is that the tire itself contributes 1-2 MPG to the loss and the cold engine/battery adds the rest.

  • avatar
    Rday

    I have found the 17 Prius base veryyyyy comfortable seating wise and still with plenty of back seat and storage room. DCT transmissions have been problematic in many cars so i would prefer not to have one. Does the Hyundai have a timing belt or chain….another expensive maintenance potential. And Toyota does the best when customers have problems.
    They both seem like nice cars but there is just enough doubt IMO that the Hyundai needs more track history.
    Many cars are great when you first drive/buy them but what happens over the long haul…that is what really matters.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      As a buddy of mine said, about 6 months after he bought a Hyundai and his wife bought an Accord: “We know who has the longest warranty. We also know who has the better car.”

  • avatar
    carguy

    I’m sure everyone who reads this site already knows it but MPG is not a linear scale. Moving from 15 MPG to 20 MPG is a much much greater gain than moving from 50 to 55. In fact, the 50 – 55 gain only represent a yearly saving of $68 if you drive 15K miles and pay $2.5/gallon (the move from 15 – 20 MPG would be $625)

    Having said that, the Ioniq looks way more appealing than the Prius. The Prius looks too weird and has an interior that appears to made from dryer lint and recycled Chinese plastic toys. I would take the minor economy hit for a better ownership experience with the Ionic.

  • avatar
    SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

    Interesting, given the track record of Hyundai, I expected them to not fudge the fuel economy numbers. In both Euro norm and real life driving, the Ioniq hybrid falls short compared to the Prius, yet Hyundai went ahead and posted figures as if the customers don’t have access to real life numbers. It is the Fusion Hybrid vs Prius V all over again.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Only in the sense that Toyota always beats its EPA estimates and Ford always lags far behind. So I’m not surprised this has higher EPA numbers than the Prius. Doesn’t mean it’s misleading. 46mpg in a cold climate with the wrong tires means it could get near 60 in the right conditions.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        While the C-max mileage fiasco got lots of press, practically no one besides the owners were aware that the Escape Hybrid got mileage as good or better than what it was rated for. Good example of bias.

      • 0 avatar
        SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

        It is misleading, since the hybrid system in the Ioniq is less efficient than the one in the Prius and gives worse fuel economy in real world conditions, as well as non-EPA measurements. ADAC has tested the fuel efficiency of both cars extensively. Spritmonitor.de will show the same. Hyundai has yet again fudged the numbers and hopes to get away with it.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Another tiresome description of the droning engine note in cvt hybrids.

    There is nothing objectively wrong with the sound of a cvt/engine sound. It is only “wrong” to someone used to the note of engines mated with transmissions with shift points.

    Someone unaccustomed to shift point noises might find them unpleasant as they represent operation of the engine at inefficient rpms, uneven application of power and additional stresses on engine and transmission parts.

    Anyway, no one who rides in my hybrid who does not know it is a hybrid, ever notices that it doesn’t shift. They also don’t notice that it sometimes shuts the engine off. They don’t notice anything unusual about the brakes. Only one person noted that it doesn’t crank when it starts up.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Well, what a scientific study, no one who drives with you has complained about your car. Cancel all press, we’ve got the definitive word here from the experts!!

      CVTs cause a droning engine noise by holding revs high. Most cars don’t have enough insulation to combat this exhausting sound. So you hear it, especially in models like a Prius C or non-hybrids like Sentras or Versas. It’s real. The end.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        It’s not real, or the end. It’s subjective. What one person hears as droning, another hears as the sound of efficiency. Ever heard of the noise from fighter jets being described as the sound of freedom?

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        I will elaborate on your point.
        That droning noise is not the CVT. It is the motor.
        It is a very common comment in automotive write ups that CVTs are the source of the drive train noise. I would say with some certainty this is wrong.
        In the Toyota’s system’s case, just how much noise can a sun gear, four planetary gears, and a ring gear make? If that six gear transmission makes noise, then holy crap, standard automatics with their tens of gears should produce an insufferable cacaphony. They don’t.
        Come to think of it, I don’t recall much bitching about the “CVT droning” in Camry, Avalon, or Lexux hybrid write ups.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      It may not be “wrong”, but the single most unpleasant thing about my Mother’s Prius-V is the way the thing sounds. And if you want to accelerate at more than a snail’s pace you are going to be hearing it loud and clear. It’s just an unpleasant groaning moaning nasty sounding motor. It would be just as bad no matter what transmission it was connected to, but at least if it was a stick you could keep the revs down. With the CVT just a toe press sends the revs rocketing skyward into drone territory. And of course, all that commotion results in VERY little increase in forward motion.

      The choice of a multi-geared transmission in this drivetrain seems odd to me. CVTs are all about efficiency, and hybrids get to use the super-simple planetary gear type that have none of the drawbacks of the typical belt-drive CVT. At least the electric motor presumably means that it can creep better than the typical clutch DSG.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        Did you know the creep mode in hybrids is engineered in? An electric motor with no throttle applied just sits there. The creep mode was set up because people are used to it.

      • 0 avatar
        OldManPants

        “the single most unpleasant thing about my Mother’s Prius-V is the way the thing sounds”

        Does it bother your Mom? If not, it wouldn’t bother me.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Bottom line is that I don’t feel I have compromised my quality of life one iota because I reduced my gas consumption 40% by buying a hybrid.

          And if someone feels greatly put out because a hybrid might deprive them of some old fashioned car noises, they might discuss their angst with the citizens of Shishmaref Alaska, or Tuvalu. Where rising ocean levels threaten villages or entire nations. In any sort of decent perspective, this fretting about a different engine note is astonishingly juvenile.

      • 0 avatar
        bhtooefr

        Worth noting that newer Toyota hybrids are using more electric power to keep the revs down a bit more.

    • 0 avatar
      petey53

      Anyone who complains about how a car sounds is driving it wrong. Crank the tunes, bro!

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Just buy damn Civic or Mazda3 and enjoy life.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      If the difference between driving a Prius or Ioniq and a Civic or Mazda3 determines whether you enjoy life, you have my sincere sympathies.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Considering that I drive 12K miles per year, at avg speed of 40 mph, I spend 37.5 8-hour work shifts in my car. I would rather enjoy driving it. I drove Prius. This car is soul-less. And it drags my soul right into the floor.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          You place no value in the great mileage or interest in how it works? That’s something I really noticed about my experience of driving after getting a hybrid.

          • 0 avatar
            jalop1991

            It’s true that enjoying a car for its own sake is part of the process, and you’re right–you can value the Prius for what it is, not for what it isn’t.

            It has quite a bit of engineering built into it for a driver to strive to understand as best possible and to take the best possible advantage of. Doing so means doing different things than in a Mustang, sure. But it’s not less engaging.

            I wonder if the Tesla drivers get the same kind of crap from gearheads who are so narrowly focused on what a “real” car is. “T’ain’t got no motor or exhaust to fiddle or twiddle with; what’s the point??” I can hear them say.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            As engineer I’m always interested in how things work. In fact, I do all my car repairs myself. But I don’t need to own a device to understand how it works. If they build a hybrid which I can toss into the corner, and generally feel as part of that machine, I’ll check it out. Someone mentioned Tesla here. We know that it is incredibly fast but few things to keep in mind:
            1. It loses it quickness as battery drains.
            2. It is super heavy car and I really didn’t see much info on how tossable it is, we only hear that 0-60 is under 3 sec.

            High mileage of course has value, specifically, if you are hooked on things environmental (just don’t forget that building hybrid causes more environmental distress than building a regular car), and if you perceive that you will save $$ on the long run. When I was buying a car and gas was around $4, I saw that in my driving conditions, Prius would take 8 years to break even vs the other car I was looking at. Gasoline needed to be at $6 for me to save enough $$ to consider it.

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          At that average speed, the current Prius would be running a good (educated guess here) 40% to 60% of that distance with the ICE at 0 rpm and running the mpg figures up towards 70-80mpg.
          Such high tech sophisticated efficiency makes my soul sing.

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            I am really, not here to save the planet, if that what high mileage achieves. Hollywood actors will tell you “we must save the planet” and then they jump into private jets, they live in huge houses that use a lot of energy, and they drive Bentleys, etc. I am already saving the planet by not buying v8 as to me it is more important the ability to accelerate on curvy roads [and not need to slow down] rather than quickness off the line. I see no thrills in calculating high mileage. I am happy with 30mpg my car makes and even more happy that I can punch the corner every time I want to.

          • 0 avatar
            brandloyalty

            To reply to several posts:

            No doubt there are “environmental” celebrities who are hypocrites. It is also hypocritical for anyone who dismisses environmental concerns to take mileage into consideration when car shopping.

            No one has done a survey to determine levels of such hypocrisy. Many of those celebrities do limit their impacts, buy carbon offsets etc.

            Like any accountant will tell you, evaluating liabilities without considering assets is meaningless. David Suzuki drives a car sometimes (an old Prius) and flies sometimes and has 5 kids. Those are his liabilities. Consider that he can’t get his ideas out by sitting naked in a cave lecturing the walls. And he buys carbon offsets.

            But consider his positive environmental “assets”. How much global degradation has he offset by getting his message out? When you balance it this fair way, his impacts are trivial compared to his “savings” Same for people like Gore. And one of Suzuki’s daughters is following in his footsteps.

            As for the added impact of building hybrids, I can offer the possibility that hybrid buyers may be buying smaller cars than they would if hybrids were not available. And the less frequent maintenance for things like brakes and probably engine work counts against the lifetime “build” costs.

            I believe many people who buy ev’s and hybrids would buy them even if gas was free. Because of their commitment to doing what they can reasonably do to lower pollution.

            A friend of mine has a 2010 Prius. He also has an old Volare and an ancient TR3 for which he is spending (wasting) a fortune to install some recent fancy engine in it plus other essential upgrades. Takes all kinds…

            Another friend who is a retired engineer has a 2010 Escape Hybrid. Inexplicably he takes zero interest in how it works. When I asked him why he bought it, he had no sensible answer.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    “Rear headroom is limited, a characteristic exacerbated by snug rear quarters. I had to pull the driver’s seat forward so a front-facing three-year-old had foot room; Mrs. Cain had to move up so that a rear-facing infant seat could get in and out.”

    Very worryingly, that reminds me of the 2nd-gen Insight.

    imo, it seals the deal for the Prius. I’m no fan of how that car feels to drive, but I can see why so many of my friends buy them – the Prius is the perfect size now that midsized sedans are sized for XXXL people but most compacts are still a little too small for child seats.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      You stole my comment. Totally agree. I wanted to write exactly that – seem too many issues in usability department, unproven reliability, fake MPG. So, it is better in driving, and [subjectively] normalcy of the interior/exterior, better price. Everything else seem worse. After all, Prius buyers want to be “unusual”.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’d argue it seals the deal in favor of the Kia Niro, which is quite comfortable inside, front and rear.

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      The current Prius has a back seat that’s exactly like the Ioniq.

      Go on, go find a 2004-2009 Prius and try the back seat. Then go look at a new one. You’ll be shocked at how they screwed that up.

  • avatar
    Eddy Currents

    I own a 2016 Prius. My average fuel economy in the summer was 3.5 l/100km (67.2 us mpg).
    My average in the winter is 4.2 l/100km (56 mpg) with Michelin X Ice tires on it.

    My commute is about 155 km (~100 miles) a day, and I couldn’t be happier with the CVT/Prius. I spent some time on a snowmobile as a youth, and as a consequence, I appreciate what a CVT does. For me, the shifting of a DCT would be a big minus, not a plus.

    I also appreciate the balance of handling/ride in the ’16 Prius. Sure, it isn’t going to win an autocross, but who would expect it to? It manages some magic, as it is both compliant and engaging.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Thanks for the contribution. So far the anecdotal evidence is that hybrids don’t suffer a significantly different mileage loss in the winter compared to non-hybrids.

      I assume you know that the innards of the Prius cvt are totally different from a snowmobile’s cvt. So do you “floor” the Prius or “pin it”?

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        Well, they do.

        In addition to running the ICE significantly longer, running through water or snow will take its toll on mileage.

        The simple resistance that a decent amount of water, or any amount of snow, presents is anathema to high mileage. You may not notice it on a truck, but on a system that’s highly tuned for mileage like the Prius will show the hit instantly.

        It really doesn’t take much to start knocking down the mileage on a Prius. If you’re outside southern CA, the sweet spot for maximizing the system’s efficiency, you’ll definitely notice it.

        And even then, anything can cause a noticeable drop in fuel economy. It doesn’t take much to fail to cause that. The car will still run fine, but suddenly that 53mpg becomes 46–and while that’s still great, you’re left scratching your head as to what happened.

        It’s a tightly strung system that’s easily disrupted, and any disruption–mechanical, environmental–will reveal itself in the fuel mileage first, by far.

        • 0 avatar
          Eddy Currents

          Jalop1991,

          Your fears of disruption haven’t materialized for me.
          I drive, I am comfortable, the car works well, and returns economy better than the official numbers. I’m also about 2600 miles from southern California.

          FWIW, my 2001 Prius also still gets the numbers it should.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          jolop1991,

          My comparative mileage numbers include driving in lots of rain and snow. Again, we have empirical and theoretical evidence and reasoning on one side to support the claim hybrids don’t get significantly worse mileage in adverse conditions than equivalent non-hybrids; and on the other hand unsupported claims to the contrary.

          I’m disappointed you seem to have learned nothing through this discussion and seem to be relying on the approach that repetition can lend credibility to a claim. I doubt you have any idea how much bad conditions hurt the mileage of larger vehicles.

        • 0 avatar
          brandloyalty

          Jalop1991:”In addition to running the ICE significantly longer, running through water or snow will take its toll on mileage.

          The simple resistance that a decent amount of water, or any amount of snow, presents is anathema to high mileage. You may not notice it on a truck, but on a system that’s highly tuned for mileage like the Prius will show the hit instantly.

          It really doesn’t take much to start knocking down the mileage on a Prius. If you’re outside southern CA, the sweet spot for maximizing the system’s efficiency, you’ll definitely notice it.

          And even then, anything can cause a noticeable drop in fuel economy. It doesn’t take much to fail to cause that. The car will still run fine, but suddenly that 53mpg becomes 46–and while that’s still great, you’re left scratching your head as to what happened.

          It’s a tightly strung system that’s easily disrupted, and any disruption–mechanical, environmental–will reveal itself in the fuel mileage first, by far.”

          ………

          I tested some of this SPECULATION today. I drove for an hour at about 90kph. The road was mountainous with some sharp corners. The weather was a “rainfall warning” and there was enough standing water to cause frequent hydroplaning. Ambient temp all day averaged 4C. Vehicle is a hybrid Escape with winter tires and awd. Mileage on this leg of the trip was 38.4 mpg Imperial.

          This is my normal winter mileage. No loss for the weather, which did not make sense. I suspected there had been a tailwind.

          I then drove up and down a 15km gravel road from sea level to 3000′ elevation. As I gained elevation the rain changed to snow and the top km. was in deep enough and untracked snow that I almost needed to use chains. At the top I was parked long enough for a full cool-off.

          Mileage by the time I got back down to sea level and paved roads was 36mpg Imperial. So a huge climb, gravel, and plowing through snow had only a minor effect. Why so small an effect? Because the slower speed on the steep gravel road meant less wind resistance.

          Then an hour’s drive back to the city, still in moderate rain. Just over 36mpg, which confirmed a boost from the tailwind on the first leg. The tailwind increased mileage by 1mpg on the first leg and the headwind cost 1mpg on the return.

          Parasitic losses included using the wipers, heater, stereo and ADAS all the time. Fog lights, seat heaters, awd and defrost some of the time.

          It cannot be more clear that all these issues that supposedly have a terrible effect on the mileage of a hybrid, actually had minimal effect. I’m damn sure a non-hybrid would have shown a greater variance from normal mileage during this drive.

          In fact, hybrids suffer less mileage loss from all sorts of circumstances than non-hybrids. Duh, that’s how they get better mileage. Like stop and go city traffic. Like up and down hills, and slowing for corners. Even carrying extra weight hurts hybrid mileage less than a non-hybrid. Because more energy is recovered from slowing the extra weight when it comes time to slow down.

          So, though Jalop1991’s claim that the superior mileage of hybrids is a delicate thing that’s easily defeated is plausible, the real world completely refutes the claim. One wonders how much experience he has with hybrids.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Here is an example of increased fuel consumption in winter.
    My 2003 2liter 5-speed Suzuki Vitara gets 20-24mpg in 4wd and pushing it hard over Vail Pass on snowpack all winter. In the summer it frequently returns 28-30 mpg on the same route on dry pavement and 2WD. Ever car I have owned up here takes a good 20% hit in the winter.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      Friends have a 2008 Suzuki Grand Vitara. 2.7l V6. We compared mileage once. Drove the same hilly road at the same time with the same load, Escape Hybrid in varying awd, GV in full-time awd. The Escape used 60% as much gas as the GV.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Most of the discussion here is not about the Ioniq. Seems to me this often happens with articles about specific hybrid models.

    Editors, we need an article about hybrid misconceptions.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    I have lived with a Hyundai DCT. It is unpleasant and non-linear, especially at low speeds. I would take an eCVT any day of the week over that. One of the great attributes of a hybrid is its smoothness. Why ruin that with a jerky DCT?

    And speaking of smooth. The Prius handles like a banana, but the upside of that soft suspension is that it is shockingly comfortable, even on the highway, especially now that they’ve got interior noise a little better controlled.

    I’d take a Volt over either one of them, though. It’s relatively quick, quiet, rides and handles well, it’s good-looking inside and out, and you can do most of your commuting with no gas at all. On paper it’s a bunch more money than an ordinary plugless hybrid, but lease rates are very competitive. GM needs to get on the ball and produce a CUV version, though. Not only is that what all the cool kids are doing these days, but also the Volt’s sporty styling costs it dearly in rear headroom and visibility from the driver’s seat.

  • avatar
    bd2

    The Ioniq by itself may not make a huge dent in Prius sales, but can see the Ioniq along with the Niro making somewhat of a dent.

    In the markets where the 2 have been selling (such as Europe) – the Niro has been the better seller (but the 2 have done quite well for H/K).

  • avatar
    petey53

    The Ioniq and the Niro failed to pass Euro6 emissions requirements in recent tests by the German Auto Club (ADAC). Both emitted over 3 times the allowed amount of CO and 3-4 times the allowed particle count. The Ioniq achieved only 5.1 l/100km while the Niro got 5.8 on ADAC testing. The 2016 Prius passed all emissions with flying colors and scored 4.1 l/100km. In my view, the Ioniq/Niro design has several problems. 1. Using GDI has increased emissions 2. Using a conventional transmission means that engine and motor torque contributions cannot be continually and instantly adjusted for maximum efficiency and minimum emissions the way the Prius does. 3. GDI and the conventional transmission will (I predict) prove less reliable than the Prius system. The king has not been dethroned yet!

  • avatar
    beachy

    The review says “Lo and behold, the Ioniq’s platform partner, Kia’s Niro, is whispering its sweet off-road credentials into your listening ears.” ??? The Niro has no off-road capabilities that I know of, just 5.9 inch ground clearance instead of 5.3 for the Ionique. Which leads to my question, how many wheels are actually driven by this car, i.e., if in the sand and I spin the wheels, one wheel spinning or two?

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