Why The Hyundai Ioniq Will Destroy The Toyota Prius Hybrid Monopoly

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Has the Toyota Prius finally met its match?

When it comes to hybrid electric cars, the Toyota Prius has long been the market leader. Enter the Hyundai Ioniq, which aims to dethrone the longstanding Prius with its aggressive pricing and superior economy. The Korean manufacturer has announced pricing and trim level details for the 2017 model Ioniq, which is the first car to be made available with three electric powertrains on the same platform available as a Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid or an all-Electric vehicle.

Hyundai

The starting price for the entry-level Blue trim Hybrid model sits at $22,200, while the mid-range SEL trim will cost $23,950. The Limited top trim will set you back a still fairly reasonable $27,500. Hyundai hasn't revealed the differences between each trim, so it's not yet clear what equipment you get in the Limited trim to justify an extra $5,000, but all three feature the same 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain producing a combined output of 139-hp paired to a six-speed dual clutch transmission. Will the Ioniq be a threat to Toyota and its longtime hybrid vehicle market dominance? On paper, at least, the Prius is outmatched this time around.

The Ioniq is $2,535 cheaper than the standard $25,570 Prius, and has a combined mpg of 58 compared to 52 in the Prius. A battery-powered Ioniq Electric will also be available with base Electric trim for $29,500, or Limited trim for $32,500. Pricing for the Plug-in Hybrid variant has yet to be announced, however.

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